The first Modern Warfare 2 had a disc that contained between 40 of 50 GB of data, depending on the console you purchased the game on. The second Modern Warfare 2, which arrives tomorrow, contains just 70 MB. Activision didn’t find some magical way to compress Modern Warfare 2’s memory requirements into something that’d fit on a few floppy disks, however. Those 70 MB just direct players to download the game, which comes in at 150 GB.
Players that have their copy of Modern Warfare 2 are reporting that the disc is virtually empty. It’s called a dummy or key disc, where the physical disc itself is merely used to direct players to a digital download. That download is 150 GB even without Warzone 2, which will be untold GB more.
Having players download the game after paying for a physical copy sort of defeats the purpose of producing a disc at all. Players generally purchase physical discs to either have something that they can preserve on a shelf or to get around internet restrictions like download caps or slow speeds. Folks expecting to at least play the single-player campaign are now forced to go over their download caps just to play the game they thought they’d purchased on disc. These dummy discs are also bad for video game preservation as there’s nothing on the disc worth preserving.
As noted by Eurogamer, the strategy for Activision seems to cut costs and incentivize the player for digital downloads, also offering early access and pre-order bonuses for those that opt for the digital copy. The publication also noted this is quite the switch for 2019’s release of Modern Warfare, which at least had the full campaign printed to the disc.
Empty discs aren't the only thing Call of Duty fans are discovering. For example, in the Call of Duty world, de-escalating a tense situation with civilians is as easy as pulling out your gun and waving it in their faces.
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