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. 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 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.

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Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at 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 tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!