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Digital distributors boycott MW2

Digital distributors boycott MW2

Digital distributors Direct2Drive, Impulse and GamersGate have announced a boycott on Modern Warfare 2.

A number of large digital distribution services - namely Direct2Drive, Stardock's Impulse and GamersGate - have announced that they are boycotting Modern Warfare 2 and will never have the PC version of the game on sale on their networks.

The row stems from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's reliance on IWNet for multiplayer gaming, which is built on Valve's Steamworks system and therefore requires the installation of Steamworks to run.

"We don't believe games should force the user to install a Trojan Horse," a Direct2Drive spokesperson told Kotaku.

Activision and Infinity Ward announced that Modern Warfare 2 would make use of Valve's Steamworks system just a few weeks ago, at the same time saying that they implement the system in such a way that there is no support for dedicated servers and user-generated content.

The Steamworks tool kit itself however can be used to add a number of functions to Steam games, such as game authentication, auto-patching and syncing with the Steam Cloud. Valve have previously claimed that the system would make DRM completely obsolete and have released the system for free as a way to encourage developers to use it.

Direct2Drive has claimed it will boycott the title as it is unhappy that the game should require the installation of a rival's software and that it will not support or sell an Steamworks games until Valve "decouples itself from the marketplace".

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

50 Comments

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barndoor101 6th November 2009, 15:29 Quote
it makes sense as no-one is going to buy it
steveo_mcg 6th November 2009, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
"We don't believe games should force the user to install a Trojan Horse," a Direct2Drive spokesperson told Kotaku.
Bet they sell Bioshock and other similarly infested games though....
Natima 6th November 2009, 15:41 Quote
I'm just happy IW have got whats coming.
Baz 6th November 2009, 15:46 Quote
The trojan horse these sites refer to is the Steam Store - not some kind of Virus. Like all steam works games (Dawn of War 2 for example) all retail copies of MW2 simply add the game to your games list in Steam. As Steam is fully integrated with it's own game store, it's bad business for these sites to sell a game that actively endorses a competitor. They're not saying Steam is a virus.
Mongoose132 6th November 2009, 15:50 Quote
Don't know about you bitter PC gamers, but I and my 360 are catered for better than ever at this time.

And I've pre-ordered it for PC. In the vain hope that it is somehow changed.
Still going to be intensely popular, regardless of alienating its more hard-core fan-base with the stream of down-grades and negative stories.
cgthomas 6th November 2009, 15:53 Quote
^^ troll
DarkLord7854 6th November 2009, 16:01 Quote
Karma's a bitch ain't it IW
Hustler 6th November 2009, 16:13 Quote
IW just put eveybody out of your misery and announce your leaving Pc development....every time you open your mouths lately you come across as a bunch of arrogant money grabbing cxxxs.....

Seriously, if your so set on being a Fisher Price Toy developer, at least have the guts to be honest about it.
Pendarus 6th November 2009, 16:34 Quote
Good! I would rather buy it through Steam directly. It's easy to use, auto patches all my games, why would anybody actually use anything but Steam?
Dreaming 6th November 2009, 16:47 Quote
With the increased transparency of information (on where to buy etc.) and availability (internets is everywhere) then really they are not hampering the sale of MW2 at all - all they are doing is damaging their own income. They are taking a fairly political stance really on the 'ethics' of bundled software when really as a games distributor / retailer they should just sell whatever sells and leave it up to regulators to regulate. I too have worries about Steam's overarching dominance over every sector, but so far they are less evil than EA and Activision so for the time being the situation is manageable.

I agree that whilst loads of the features in MW2 are missing or crap (p2p hosting, max player limit 9v9) - it's still up to the customer to choose to buy the game or not. I just don't see what they have to buy except for internet credit for agreeing with the majority.

Look at it this way: I run a crockery shop, and someone wants to sell some new teacups. All the customers say they're ****, made in china, etc. but as a vendor, if there is a reasonable demand for these teacups I'm going to stock them and sell them. I'm not going to put a sign up saying 'we dont sell chinese goods' and this is the same, they wont sell anything with steamworks in it because they dont like it.
ssj12 6th November 2009, 17:07 Quote
thankfully the only service I use is Steam. Really though, did these companies boycott DOW2? it installs GFWL which is a bigger issue.
Jaffo 6th November 2009, 17:43 Quote
Does this mean the game becomes tied to your Steam account and can't be resold later?
Star*Dagger 6th November 2009, 17:52 Quote
Steam and Steamworks are different animals.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/2008/01/30/valve_releases_steamworks_toolset_for_free/1

Educate, enjoy then speak.

S*D
rpsgc 6th November 2009, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffo
Does this mean the game becomes tied to your Steam account and can't be resold later?

Yes.
PureSilver 6th November 2009, 18:35 Quote
This is a totally understandable decision. They don't want to endorse a competitor's product. So what? They're just cutting their losses by boycotting it; they know that anyone with even half a brain will buy it on Steam anyway to keep things simple, and therefore they probably aren't expecting many sales through their own distribution systems.

Valve have got the jump on them by getting such what is likely to be a popular title tied to Steam.
OtakuHawk 6th November 2009, 19:17 Quote
news flash: companies don't like selling their competitors products.
SNIPERMikeUK 6th November 2009, 19:31 Quote
I will be buying the game for console, but not PC
Bazz 6th November 2009, 19:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
IW just put eveybody out of your misery and announce your leaving Pc development....every time you open your mouths lately you come across as a bunch of arrogant money grabbing cxxxs.....

Seriously, if your so set on being a Fisher Price Toy developer, at least have the guts to be honest about it.

Well said
I-E-D 6th November 2009, 19:41 Quote
Now we just need STEAM to drop it so there's no netwrok for it to run on!
TWeaK 6th November 2009, 20:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by I-E-D
Now we just need STEAM to drop it so there's no netwrok for it to run on!

+1
gavomatic57 6th November 2009, 20:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffo
Does this mean the game becomes tied to your Steam account and can't be resold later?

Most PC game EULA's forbid the game from being sold on by the original buyer anyway - you are essentially paying for a license to use the software, not to own it. As you don't own it you can't sell it. This is why retailers like Game don't handle used PC games.
Hypno 6th November 2009, 20:10 Quote
GOOD! I like steam but im sorry IW you put the final nails in, no dedicated server and now 18 play mp only. 3 words "GO F**K Yourselfs!"
Blackie Chan 6th November 2009, 20:20 Quote
someone needs to summarize who isn't boycotting this game. It might be a shorter list at this point.
Mankz 6th November 2009, 20:47 Quote
WAIT? I have to run steam to play MW2? OH HELL NO.

I was going to pirate MW2 anyway, but if I have to run Steam to play it, then I just ain't gonna bother.
Matticus 6th November 2009, 21:11 Quote
Does nobody else think that this is bad news for PC gaming as a whole, yes IW are getting what they had coming to them. But is this not going to say to other companies that PC gaming is a hassle and they might as well just shoot straight for the consoles?

Hopefully I am wrong and other developers are going to learn from IWs mistakes.

Mankz, why the steam hate?
Psytek 6th November 2009, 21:22 Quote
To be honest, Valve should split steam off into a seperate company, the longer they leave it, the bigger the fine they pay will be when they get hit with an anti-competition lawsuit.
Mankz 6th November 2009, 21:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus
Mankz, why the steam hate?

I can't run Steam at school, even in offline mode, so no MW2 while here.... :(

This game is getting worse as the days go by. In my eyes its gone from one of the most wanted games of recent times into **** up after **** up. I can't wait to see Joes review of it.
ZERO <ibis> 6th November 2009, 22:01 Quote
Natural Selection II is going to use steamworks and many saw that as an "advantage"...
wiak 6th November 2009, 22:54 Quote
Steam allows you to play anywhere, you dont need to on YOUR own computer and be locked to DRM on THAT computer and have only 5 installs limit!, steam allows you to take you games to your friends computer and play there, much like email, you can use it everywhere

Steam is you friend, heck i can play all my steam games on all the computers in house and at my friends house no matter, heck i just need a modern pc with a ATI or NVIDIA graphics to play, dont bother with intel crapstics :p

buy Mass Effect for 50% off and try for your self, you can even backup the games to harddrive, DVD9 or DVD5 discs
http://store.steampowered.com/app/17460/
Baz 6th November 2009, 23:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz
I can't wait to see Joes review of it.

We'll be reviewing the game, not how it's delivered. I think it's pretty much a given that, for the vast majority of users, Steam is an awesome and very beneficial service, although for that tiny portion of users who don't have reliable internet access it does of course become an issue. As the single player will be for the most part unaltered by the all the grumbling around MW2, I can't imagine it'll be a "bad" game.

When it comes to the multiplayer though, we'll be paying plenty of attention to IWnet and whether it's a passable attempt at moving away from the dedi server structure, or just a buggy lagfest. We're not going to slam the game on the basis of IW's choices alone, and will give it the benefit of the doubt before grabbing the flaming pitchforks.

Additionally, all those who reply "I'll just pirate the game - that'll teach em!" - how in hell does this help the PC Gaming cause, of which your support has been so vocal? If you don't like the changes, just don't play the game. Don't add your torrent download to the inevitable "look at how many PC users pirated MW2" list and further move PC gaming closer to the edge. To paraphrase an awesome man, "We're on the raggedy edge here," and PC Gaming needs all the support and levelheaded users it can get, not angry teenagers justifying stealing a game.
Saivert 6th November 2009, 23:21 Quote
another boycott. how fun.

Is this a new trend? First people hating on Valve because they make a sequel, then people (actually just one) hating on Valve because they got this DD thing called Steam and they are exploiting indie developers supposedly. Guess we will see more of this.

Bring on more of this. It's entertainment you can't pay for.
Moyo2k 6th November 2009, 23:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
Karma's a bitch ain't it IW

^^ Epic win
steveo_mcg 6th November 2009, 23:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavomatic57
Most PC game EULA's forbid the game from being sold on by the original buyer anyway - you are essentially paying for a license to use the software, not to own it. As you don't own it you can't sell it. This is why retailers like Game don't handle used PC games.

Most EULA's aren't worth the magnetic energy used to store them as they could not be enforced in court since they use language inappropriate for the intended audience and most of the time represent and unfair contract in that you've effectively agreed to it before you get to read it since you can't return an opened package.

Besides that game does deal in used pc games through its game station brand.

Your buying a licence and you are free to sell that licence on in the UK.
iggy 7th November 2009, 00:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavomatic57
Most PC game EULA's forbid the game from being sold on by the original buyer anyway - you are essentially paying for a license to use the software, not to own it. As you don't own it you can't sell it. This is why retailers like Game don't handle used PC games.

Most EULA's aren't worth the magnetic energy used to store them as they could not be enforced in court since they use language inappropriate for the intended audience and most of the time represent and unfair contract in that you've effectively agreed to it before you get to read it since you can't return an opened package.

Besides that game does deal in used pc games through its game station brand.

Your buying a licence and you are free to sell that licence on in the UK.

well said.
Kiytan 7th November 2009, 01:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
"We're on the raggedy edge here"

So don't push me, and i won't push you.

Hopefully the game has very very low piracy rates, combined with even lower sales, just to show how strongly people dislike the idea of no dedicated servers.
Mix 7th November 2009, 03:13 Quote
I for one welcome the Steam trojan. lol Their system is well done, much better than those other services.
1ad7 7th November 2009, 09:05 Quote
Yeah this maybe be a little retarded but they wont lose out not many will buy this POS.

I cant blame a company for trying to increase there rivals market share...
Psy-UK 7th November 2009, 13:12 Quote
They are clearly not thinking straight.

If you buy a game from these digital distributors all you are doing is purchasing a CD Key. You download Steam, create an account, enter you CD key, download the game, and voila. That's it. No money goes to Valve at all. All they get in return is free advertising and the chance for new Steam users to come back and start purchasing from their service.

It's no different then the likes of GFWL but - let's face it - Steam is undeniably the most popular digital distribution platform so it makes sense for Activision to use it for MW2 when a huge amount of PC gamers already own a Steam account.
perplekks45 7th November 2009, 17:31 Quote
Sooo... they're not willing to sell a competitor's product? How come?
Horizon 7th November 2009, 17:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavomatic57
Most PC game EULA's forbid the game from being sold on by the original buyer anyway - you are essentially paying for a license to use the software, not to own it. As you don't own it you can't sell it. This is why retailers like Game don't handle used PC games.

Most? other than digitally downloaded games and MMOs, i can't find one that says you can't. The EULA I'm looking at say that you may transfer the game but you must

- Completely uninstall all copies you own.
- Relinquish serials, keys, and associated physical media
dire_wolf 7th November 2009, 23:55 Quote
So, instead of making a sale and 'possibly' losing their customer to steam, they're going to refuse the sale and force their customers to buy off steam anyway. How fantastically retarded.
gavomatic57 8th November 2009, 00:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horizon
Most? other than digitally downloaded games and MMOs, i can't find one that says you can't. The EULA I'm looking at say that you may transfer the game but you must

- Completely uninstall all copies you own.
- Relinquish serials, keys, and associated physical media

COD4 manual, page 11:
Quote:
You shall not:
Sell, rent, lease, license, distribute or otherwise transfer this Program, or any copies of this program, without the express prior written consent of Activision
Quote:
Activision grants you the non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right and license to install and use one copy of this program solely and exclusively for your personal use.

Same story for FEAR on page 26...
Same for Clear Sky on page 20...
but with different companies in the license. It seems to be of a standard wording used by everything I have to hand around here.
Aracos 8th November 2009, 01:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Steam is an awesome and very beneficial service, although for that tiny portion of users who don't have reliable internet access it does of course become an issue.

Personally I like steam and the way it works but there is one major problem I've found, it's a complete gamble whether or not it will actually work on a persons machine or not. For example I currently have XP and windows 7 with steam on both and on XP it's a toss up between steam deciding to start or not start at all, it'll just lay idle in the ram doing nothing sitting at about 13mb after double clicking and no amount of restarting the process helps, most of the time I'm forced to delete steam.dll and stuff so that it'll fetch a new copy then eventually boot up after about 20 minutes downloading a small file (seriously what's up with steam update speeds?) even then I'm not guaranteed that it'll work when it's finished. Whereas on my windows 7 partition it usually just works everytime which is nice and all but no amount of googling has ever actually helped me find out why sometimes it just works and sometimes it just doesn't, complete pain in the arse really. What about the people who suffer problems like mine? I know I'm not the only one as google has shown me, for people who it just never works for that bought the game usually they have to end up pirating it just to have a copy they can play whenever they want.

Don't get me wrong I'm not bad mouthing steam because when it works I like it especially with it's xfire style in-game chat but when it's not it's a ******* to fix :(
Phil Rhodes 8th November 2009, 15:48 Quote
Hell, I've been avoiding Steam on the basis that it's a trojan for years. What's new?
Dragunover 8th November 2009, 17:34 Quote
Steam as a digital distribution itself is fine. What is wrong is them using it as DRM. What is wrong for me is getting an average ping of 32 to 142.
general22 9th November 2009, 02:20 Quote
ROFL, trojan horse what idiots, they could just say that they don't want to sell something that helps their competitor but you know spreading FUD is all the rage these days.
kylew 9th November 2009, 07:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Steam is an awesome and very beneficial service, although for that tiny portion of users who don't have reliable internet access it does of course become an issue.

Personally I like steam and the way it works but there is one major problem I've found, it's a complete gamble whether or not it will actually work on a persons machine or not. For example I currently have XP and windows 7 with steam on both and on XP it's a toss up between steam deciding to start or not start at all, it'll just lay idle in the ram doing nothing sitting at about 13mb after double clicking and no amount of restarting the process helps, most of the time I'm forced to delete steam.dll and stuff so that it'll fetch a new copy then eventually boot up after about 20 minutes downloading a small file (seriously what's up with steam update speeds?) even then I'm not guaranteed that it'll work when it's finished. Whereas on my windows 7 partition it usually just works everytime which is nice and all but no amount of googling has ever actually helped me find out why sometimes it just works and sometimes it just doesn't, complete pain in the arse really. What about the people who suffer problems like mine? I know I'm not the only one as google has shown me, for people who it just never works for that bought the game usually they have to end up pirating it just to have a copy they can play whenever they want.

Don't get me wrong I'm not bad mouthing steam because when it works I like it especially with it's xfire style in-game chat but when it's not it's a ******* to fix :(

Haven't you just described almost every piece of software out there? Software doesn't work as it should for everyone. For everyone person with a complaint about it not working, there's another person to say "it works fine for me".

So yeah, steam works fine for me, over the last 5 years, I've installed steam hundreds of times on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, there's never been an issue with it.

In fact, on my main PC, I've had the same steam folder for about 5 years, I've got it on a drive that's separate to windows, the steam folder itself has been moved across about 6 hard drives, and each time I just have to install steam to where the old installation is and it picks up all my games as soon as I log in.

Though the point of my comment isn't to prove you wrong, it's to highlight that your experience with steam is your own, same with my experience, it's not a reflection on the other 99.9999% of steam users out there.

I think steam's great, I try to get all my games on steam unless they're cheaper in the store, for the case of Valve's own games, I'll buy them in the store and then just use the serial with steam. I've never used my left for dead disc yet. :p
nicae 9th November 2009, 22:52 Quote
I used to like steam. When I moved, I was a few weeks without internet and guess what - Steam wouldn't even let me start in offline mode because I spent too long without logging in. And I PAYED for the damn games.

Never again will I buy on Steam. Afterall, Steam = DRM with a few perks (unless you're blind).
Warrior24_7 11th November 2009, 10:47 Quote
This is more about Steam being favored and feeling slighted by Activision and Infinity Ward, then it is about stopping "you" from downloading a "trojan horse" on your PC! I bet if "their" trojan horse was included they'd be all for it. I don't think they would even call it that either. Boycotting the game is cutting off your nose to spite your face.
pandoraocicat 22nd August 2010, 13:25 Quote
so does this mean you need to install steam to run it. Get your steam account banned for no reason then be unable to play the game again.

Steams policys are vague and due to way they operate your not actually buying game just renting it at steams discretion
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