PC gamers are able, should they choose, to buy today’s new Call of Duty from the Windows Store instead of Steam, but doing so comes at a price.
Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows 10 version of the game’s multiplayer will only connect with others who have purchased from Microsoft’s store. In other words, there’s no access to the player pool who downloaded the game through Steam.
The platform holder told Windows Central, however, that the decision was an Activision one: "We support cross-play between devices and platforms for partners who want to enable it."
This at least opens up the possibility of playing against Steam players in the future, although why anyone would want to take this gamble is a mystery. The move must be a frustrating one for Microsoft at a time when it faces a steep uphill battle to pursuade PC gamers to purchase titles from its store.
Note that while Infinite Warfare, and bonus extra Modern Warfare Remastered, are both released on consoles and Steam today, their Windows Store release date has not yet been confirmed.
Interestingly, though, each will be available separately on Windows, unlike on other platforms where access to the latter requires the purchase of the former.
Less surprising is the news that the game is not an Xbox Play Anywhere title, so purchasing it through Windows does not grant access to the Xbox One release. On the flip side, no Xbox Live Gold membership is required for the online component – although nor is it on Steam.