Bad news for people who purchased Modern Warfare 2 over Steam: Valve has confirmed that the digital version of the game will remain locked and unplayable until Thursday.
The PC release of Modern Warfare 2 is already a mess, but that's not to suggest it couldn't get any messier. In fact, it just did, at least for those of you unfortunate enough to have purchased the game on Steam. Folks who trundled off to their local game dealer to pick up a copy are probably happily playing it at this very moment, but anyone who decided to take advantage of the ease and convenience of Steam are screwed until Thursday.
"Those who purchase the retail copy will be able to activate and play the game on November 10 via Steam," Valve told Kotaku. "Those who purchase on Steam will be able to activate and play on November 12."
Nobody seems to know exactly why this is the case but making it even more irritating is the fact that the retail version of the game uses Steam for DRM. In other words, you're using Valve's digital service no matter which version of the game you have but if you thought that laying down your money and preloading the game would have you playing it the very moment it was launched, well, you guessed wrong, son.
I don't want to be accused of paranoia here but I'm honestly starting to wonder if Activision and Infinity Ward aren't screwing up the PC launch of Modern Warfare 2 on purpose. Unless Valve pleaded with Activision for a two-day break so its servers wouldn't be crushed under the pressure of the launch (and if so, then perhaps Steam should have been reconsidered as the DRM of choice) then what possible reason could their be for putting a limitation like this on a digital release?