The physical release of Halo Wars 2 on PC has been cancelled for North America

Back in January, Microsoft announced that it was partnering with THQ Nordic to bring a special physical PC version of its upcoming real-time strategy game to retail stores in North America and Europe. Sadly, those plans have been sliced in half.

For reasons unknown, Microsoft just announced via the Halo Waypoint forums that the rather sexy-looking Halo Wars 2 PC box set will now only be available in Europe. PC gamers looking to pick up Halo Wars 2 when it launches on February 21st will have to purchase it digitally either via the Xbox or Windows 10 Store (opens in new tab). Here's what Microsoft had to say on the matter.

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. 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.Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 PC will remain available worldwide, digitally, via the Windows Store. We apologize to any customers affected by the change in our retail plans, and thank everyone for the continued support as we look forward to the release of Halo Wars 2 for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on Feb. 21, 2017.

This will come as a bit of a blow for physical media fans, and it's hard to speculate as to why Microsoft might have canceled it. It's no secret that the dominance of Steam has largely slaughtered physical media for PC games, but this would have been a cool collector's item nonetheless.

There's still a chance you'll be able to order it from Europe (opens in new tab) if you're based in North America, but it sounds as though supplies will be limited.

Halo Wars 2 will launch on February 21st, 2017 for Xbox One and Windows 10 as Play Anywhere title.

See at Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • The actual act of not selling a physical edition is not longer an issue, given the digital nature for most peoples purchases. However, there is a problem in saying that you would sell it physically and then withdrawing the option. I assume that there is a good reason for it, but until we know more, it looks like the option was taken away for fun.
  • It would have been relevant since this PC retail release will likely drop in price within half a year while the PlayAnywhere version will be sold at full Xbox price until the day Microsoft closes the Windows Store.
  • Ofcourse it would  be the same price as on xbox since you are buying the same license. Not only that, but the play anywhere version is avaliable from places other than the microsoft/ xbox store and at their own price ( and come to mind). It really does make no difference price wise.
  • The problem with digital is they may decide to pull the title from their store, you will no longer have access to it.
  • Doesn't matter for Steam, pretty sure they have a clause that any users would be able to play the games offline if it's pulled from the store.
  • The option was taken away because the orders were probably extremely low.
  • If only they made a true halo game for pc. Nothing beats the first one for pc back then when I had windows XP. Anything else that has to do with a so called halo pc such as this halo wars is a real let down and not the halo I grown to love. Shame on Microsoft.
  • Halo 2 was on PC, I just wished they at least finished off the main series and released Halo 3, but we can only dream.
  • You are only about 2 weeks late reporting this.   My phyiscal edition just got dispatched :D (I'm in the UK)
  • Will halo wars 2 be available outside of the Windows Store? As in, through other digital means like Steam?
  • As of now no.
  • Man, when was the last time Microsoft did soemthing that didn't annoy me? It's getting ridiculous. I thought before that I would eventually get this from Best Buy, with its 20% off new physical games program. Now, forget it. I'm just going to pass.
  • Here comes 10 times the price items on eBay. Anyone in Europe want to ship some copies to me? =P I'm sure the discs would be region locked even though uts just a link of the license to the store copy.
  • PC games have never been region locked.
  • Really? Interesting fact, I thought that existed on all media.
  • I'm pretty sure there's no region coding on Xbox one either
  • Just checked Amazon UK and the site says it can't ship to the US....