Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will require a massive download if you ordered a physical copy

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer details
(Image credit: Activision)

What you need to know

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will require more than a 100GB download if you purchased a physical copy of the game.
  • Physical discs for the game only include 70MB of data, which is essentially just a physical DRM key.
  • While most games require a download on day one, physical discs usually include at least some portion of the actual game.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launches this Friday, October 28, 2022. Those that preordered the title have been able to play its campaign for a week, but the full game isn't available until Friday. Unfortunately, if you ordered a physical copy of the game, you'll have to wait a bit longer to actually play it.

That extended wait time is due to the massive download that will be required to play a physical copy of the game. As reported by Eurogamer, physical discs of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 only has 70MB of data on them. That low amount essentially makes the discs physical DRM keys and nothing else.

The actual game will have to be downloaded over the internet. That download will be at least 150GB but could be more. Eurogamer notes that the pre-release update is 150GB and doesn't include Warzone 2.0.

Twitter account Does it Play first spotted how much data was on the disc.

With rising energy costs and access to the web varying between households, downloading Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 could take hours and cost a fair amount.

Modern games often require day-one downloads, but those are generally patches, not an entire game. As pointed out by Lance McDonald on Twitter, shipping a disc that doesn't include the actual game has other consequences.

"Tethering a physical disk to a digital service that forces you into firmware updates, online ecosystems and DRM updates just to play a single player game is not a standard now and should never be," said McDonald.

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Physical "dummy discs" are a controversial topic within the gaming industry, but they are becoming more common. Some gaming companies, including EA, have moved away from physical copies of games altogether, at least in certain regions (via PlayStation LifeStyle).

Regardless of how you ordered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you'll have to wait until it launches in your area to play it. Infinity Ward, the developers behind the highly anticipated title, said that you cannot change your region settings to play the game early.

Buy from: Xbox (opens in new tab)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)

Squad up for a new era of Modern Warfare. The standard edition includes a Cross-Gen bundle that is playable on both Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles.

Buy from: Xbox (opens in new tab) | Steam (opens in new tab) | Battle.net (opens in new tab)

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).