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'Halo Wars 2' PC disc release canceled in U.S., will be available digitally

Why it matters to you

Customers who pre-ordered a physical copy of Halo Wars 2 on PC in the U.S. should check with their retailer about how their order will be fulfilled.

Microsoft canceled plans for a physical release of the PC version of Halo Wars 2, developer 343 Industries announced on Monday. The PC version will still be available in physical form in Europe, where another studio, THQ Nordic, is releasing both a “standard” and an “ultimate” edition of the game. Halo Wars 2 will still be available on PC as a digital download when the game releases on February 21.

Developer 343 announced the change on the Halo Waypoint blog. “Earlier this month, you may have heard that we were partnering with our friends at THQ Nordic for worldwide availability of a physical retail version of Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 PC,” wrote Halo community manager Brian Jarrard, who goes by SKE7CH. “Since then, our retail plans have shifted and Microsoft has made the decision to focus the release of the physical retail version to Europe only. THQ Nordic is a great partner and they are working with us to ensure this transition remains smooth for our customers.”

“We apologize to any customers affected by the change in our retail plans, and thank everyone for the continued support,” the statement continued.

The ultimate edition of Halo Wars 2 includes the game’s DLC season pass, an “enhanced” copy of the original Halo Wars with “Play Anywhere” support (meaning you can buy it once and play it on both Windows and Xbox, which HW2 also supports), and some nice-looking packaging.

Halo Wars 2 is a sequel to the 2009 real-time strategy game Halo Wars. Unlike the original, which was developed by Ensemble Studios, Halo Wars 2 is a joint effort between 343 Industries and experienced strategy game developer Creative Assembly. Halo Wars 2 will be out February 21 on Xbox One and PC.

The Ultimate Edition was also supposed to grant players early access to the game four days before its release, on February 17, but Halo Waypoint’s post only mentioned February 21, so it seems that plan may have changed. Customers who pre-ordered the game should contact the retailer from which they ordered it for more information.