Call of Duty Has a Big Issue. Choose Your Store Carefully.

Subject: General Tech | November 3, 2016 - 09:14 PM |
Tagged: xbox, steam, pc gaming, fail

In a few short hours, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will unlock on Steam and Windows Store. If you're intending to get it for the multiplayer, though, then you need to choose your store carefully. According to Activision's support page, Steam users can only play with other Steam users, and Windows Store users can only play with other Windows Store users.

Ouch.

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"We need to stick together! I wanted to pad my Gamerscore and you're the only one online!"

They do not elaborate on why this is the case. PC Gamer speculates that it could be an issue with Windows 7 versus Windows 10, but that makes basically no sense. The protocol between computers is just data, controlled by Activision, so the operating system that transfer it from network socket to game application is irrelevant.

I think I know what it is, though. According to the same support page, they note that a Microsoft Account is required to play online with Windows Store. I'm not sure if Activision voluntarily chose to use two different account systems, or if Microsoft pressured Activision to use Xbox accounts on Windows Store, but I'm guessing the incompatibility is due to Steamworks versus Xbox.

Again, I really don't know why Activision chose to, or was forced to, split their user base. We'll need to see if this becomes a trend going forward, though. If it is, I can see this hurting Microsoft more than Valve.

Source: Activision

November 3, 2016 | 09:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Aren't they giving it for free if you buy the Xbox version? Otherwise i would stay way from the Windows Store version and get from Steam.

November 3, 2016 | 09:50 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Nope. According to the page, the title is not available for Xbox Play Anywhere.

November 3, 2016 | 09:46 PM - Posted by Joseph Taylor (not verified)

Not sure I would call this a big issue since I guarantee that the vast majority of players will not be buying it on Windows store

November 3, 2016 | 09:51 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

... Which makes it a big issue for those who do. :p

November 4, 2016 | 09:01 AM - Posted by Joseph Taylor (not verified)

A big issue for a few, and a non issue for the vast majority :)

November 3, 2016 | 10:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why would anyone get it from Windows Store? It'll be a ghosttown.
No one uses that shit service for anything besides MS' Xbone ports.

November 3, 2016 | 10:42 PM - Posted by remc86007

This sounds like there were plans to make the game a play anywhere title and the publisher backed out at the last minute. I can't imagine why the stores would be separated otherwise.

November 3, 2016 | 11:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

(tongue in cheek)I think Microsoft is right when they say Win 10 will be the last Windows.
The way it's going it's a flop gaming wise. lol

November 4, 2016 | 12:22 AM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

This past week I've finally made the jump from Windows to Linux and I've been pleasantly surprised how many of the games I play run natively on Linux without even having to resort to WINE. Reports like this only reinforces my confidence in my decision. In my house Windows 8.1 was the last version of windows, all of my systems from my home server to gaming rigs to HTPC are moving to Linux.

November 4, 2016 | 02:05 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Nice! Congrats.

November 4, 2016 | 11:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What the fuck is Linux?

November 4, 2016 | 02:10 AM - Posted by SV108 (not verified)

This is dumb, the obvious choice is to use Steam then, because of the absolutely massive userbase. If Microsoft did this, they're shooting themselves in the foot, like they were doing when they refused to make Apps for Android and iOS because they wanted to support Windows Phone.

Steam is pretty much the defacto platform for PC Gaming. Kind of like how Xbox Live and PSN are for their respective consoles. Hence the Steambox.

November 4, 2016 | 04:43 AM - Posted by Mad_Dane

Feels like the fucking twilight zone, it's like Microsoft hasn't realized they own both Windows and Xbox!

YEAH! Let's fight ourselves, fuck yea!

Instead of making a unified system with perfect cross platform cohesion and pound Sony into the ground!

November 4, 2016 | 07:41 AM - Posted by DaveSimonH

I imagine key sellers will have Steam version, retail copies a steam code and obviously people buying at Steam direct. So Microsoft expects people to buy the game on the Windows store if all other online players will be incompatible?

Eh, good luck with that w10 store MS...

November 4, 2016 | 09:20 AM - Posted by reverseclipse

My first thought is that this could be tied to all Windows Store apps have to be Universal Windows Platform apps? The last line of the security section includes (from wikipedia) "Microsoft further moderates these apps." Similar to Apple's approval process, the owner of the store has control over the applications because they can just deny approval if it's not how they want it. Developers have less control than ever over their own product due to the nature of today's walled garden ecosystems.

It may be something else entirely, but it would fit with their previous stance on apps for other phones as one of the above commenter said.

November 8, 2016 | 11:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Shame on you for supporting those digital walled gardens and their stupid business model that punishes paying customers.