Modern Warfare 2 Shunned by Several Digital Distributors Due to Steam 'Trojan Horse'

By Alice O'Connor, Nov 06, 2009 11:00am PST Major digital distributors Direct2Drive, GamersGate and Impulse have refused to stock Infinity Ward's highly anticipated shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on PC due to its reliance upon Valve Software's rival distribution platform Steam, Voodoo Extreme reports.

"We believe strongly that when you buy a game from us, you shouldn't be forced to install and run a 3rd party software client to be able to play the game you purchased," D2D explains in a statement masquerading as a listing for Modern Warfare 2 in its store. A representative later told Kotaku "We don't believe games should force the user to install a Trojan Horse."

Modern Warfare 2 on PC will use Steam and Valve's Steamworks framework for DRM purposes as well auto-update, achievement and anti-cheat features, among others.

However, both Direct2Drive and GamersGate sell ACE Team's Zeno Clash--which requires Steam. D2D also offers several other Steam-based titles, including Empire: Total War and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2.

"We share some of the same concerns as Direct2Drive over the bundling of the Steam client with the game," Impulse told Voodoo Extreme. "The most obvious issue is the forced inclusion of a competitor's store that blocks us from carrying the game."

This latest Modern Warfare 2 upset comes hot on the heels of controversies over a terrorist sequence and the fact that the PC version will not support dedicated servers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is expected to be one of the biggest titles of the year when it arrives for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 10, with retailer GameStop reporting that pre-orders are "the highest for any title we've ever sold."

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45 Threads | 209 Comments

  • It's amazing to watch this game and developer stir up so much sht. What a bunch of drama queens
    ! WTF? It must have been their plan all along--the more sht you can stir and the more people you can push away-the more advertising you will get-thus spawning more idiots that will buy it just to see what it's all about. It's just like cable news. People love controversy. It's what keeps a large part of the modern world going. I guess these developers felt it was time to try that approach. Seriously folks ---It's just a freakin video game!

  • Calling Steam a trojan was pretty dumb. Just what I would expect from PR people.

    Other than that, it's an understandable position, in that they don't want to support the growth of a competing store.

    The closest analogy I can think of is if a game forced people to sign up for one of those Best Buy reward cards before the game would install. It doesn't cost anything in and of itself, but I can see why Gamestop would be hesitant about selling that game.

    To take such a stand on *this* game, though, that will no doubt be a huge seller despite its insurmountable design failures? I am not convinced that was the best decision. We won't know until the sales figures come in, but I doubt it will ultimately be worth it for them to deny themselves a piece of this pie.

  • What D2D, Impulse, etc. fail to take into consideration is that

    A) Most everyone who has purchased from D2D has also purchased from Steam.
    B) Anyone that has used D2D and has purposefully shunned Steam is unlikely to change their mind and switch to being a full time customer just because of MW2
    C) Many users will just take the D2D key and plug it straight into steam and 1 click install it straight from there, thus avoiding having to download the 20 gig game d2d's bandwidth starved network, going through the extra steps of manually installing and deleting the download files.
    D) In part of an extension to C, anyone who installs their d2d steamworks game from steam saves d2d precious bandwidth cost. Also, all subsequent installations (be it reinstalls or installs on 2nd PCs) will most likely be from steam as well.

    BASICALLY - D2D could just sell the damn keys and instruct the user to install the game via steam.

  • D2D has always been willing to sell games that require Steam. Heck, they don't even mention Steam is required half the time - how much to they really care about their customers? They're just jumping on the MW2 PC hate train to get some page views. If the $5 coupon doesn't scream marketing ploy, I don't know what does.

    Impulse/Stardock has never sold Steam games and they're just jumping on the bandwagon. It's funny to see Stardock say that a game requiring installing Steam "blocks" them for selling the game, which is garbage. They're just upset they can't sell the game directly from their store and force you to install Impluse to download it. If they want to sell MW2, they can. They just have to sell the CD-key for users to activate on Steam, like developers and D2D have been doing for ages.

    Steam has it's flaws and there is no denying that but all this fuss is nothing but PR BS.