Halo Wars 2 won't be getting a physical PC release in the US

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Halo Wars 2 is the latest Xbox Play Anywhere title from Microsoft, which means that digital purchases of the game count towards both the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. This normally doesn’t apply to physical releases, but there was an interesting exception: THQ Nordic’s physical PC release, which we reported on last month.

The standard version of Halo Wars 2’s PC release

This variant is interesting in a few ways. Aside from the fantastic looking box and whopping four DVDs to install the game, activation of the game is identical to purchasing a code online. You’d open up the Windows Store and redeem the code for the game using the key (which we assume would be on the card in the picture above), and everything would function the same as a digital purchase from there – including Xbox Play Anywhere.

As physical Xbox One releases don’t include anything of the sort, we found it interesting. Alas, however, it wasn’t meant to be- if you live in the United States. 343 Industries’ community manager Brian Jarrard (aka Ske7ch) took to the Halo Waypoint forums to announce that while the physical release is still happening, it’s only happening in Europe. He stated that this was a decision purely on Microsoft’s end and that THQ Nordic was still a great partner to work with.

This is an interesting development, and there’s a lot of things to speculate on. There’s a multitude of potential reasons behind this (selling a physical copy of a game only in regions where physical copies sell better is one of the first to come to mind), but we likely won’t know the exact reason for a while – if we ever find out at all.

Regardless, something that is certain is that the game will still be available digitally worldwide. If you’d like to purchase the standard edition (which launches on February 21st), you can pre-order it in the Windows Store here. You can also grab the Ultimate Edition (which comes out Friday) here.

Are you (or were you) planning to pick up Halo Wars 2 for PC physically? Let us know in the comments below!

More about the topics: games, gaming, halo, Halo Wars, Halo Wars 2, pc gaming, xbox, xbox one