Back in January we reported the surprising news that Halo Wars 2 would receive a physical retail edition release on PC when it hit on February 21st. It was surprising since most PC gamers have moved to all digital gaming, making a retail release somewhat superfluous, despite offering some collectibility. Now it seems that Microsoft has realized that it was a bit of a mistake, announcing the cancellation of the Halo Wars 2 physical PC edition for all but the European market.
“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,” explained 343 Industries. “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.”
Thankfully this is just the physical retail edition of the game for PC, so digital versions on Xbox One and PC will still be available as planned. Xbox One will also show up in stores in disc form as usual, in case you prefer to own a disc that way.
Halo Wars 2 was already a bit of a niche title, despite it being a sequel and a spinoff from one of gaming’s biggest franchises. The first Halo Wars sold well, but not well enough to warrant a sequel right away. Instead there was a long stretch of time between releases, with a cult following building up around the title, eventually making the sequel seem like a good opportunity. Taking this further into the niche territory of retail PC releases didn’t make a ton of sense, so this cancellation isn’t all that surprising, except for how close it comes to the release date.