Digital distributors boycott MW2

Written by Joe Martin

November 6, 2009 // 3:23 p.m.

Tags: #activision #d2d #direct2drive #gamersgate #impulse #iwnet #modern-warfare-2 #mw2 #steam #steamworks #valve

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".

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