Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and the remastered Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare have both run afoul of the walled-garden approach to video games in a new and rather puzzling way.
Gamers who purchase Infinite Warfare off the Windows 10 Store, rather than from Steam or a retail box, will find themselves unable to play with anyone but other people who purchased it on the Windows 10 Store.
The Modern Warfare remaster suffers from the same restriction, according to the FAQ over on the Activision Support site.
The FAQ does not explain why this is the case, though it does confirm both titles are not Xbox Play Anywhere. Had the Windows 10 version been cross-play with the Xbox One version it would have made a certain amount of sense to segregate the systems. It would even have been an excellent reason in favour of buying it on the Windows 10 Store, as the combined player base and longer life of console shooters would have helped immensely.
While no reason has been given for this restriction it seems likely that the Steam version integrating with the SteamWorks platform may have something to do with it. The alternative is that Activision deliberately chose to cripple the version they’re selling through Microsoft, which seems a little too dastardly a scheme with no real purpose behind it.
This policy may change later and Windows 10 Store versions may become interoperable with the rest of the PC world. We’ll let you know if we hear anything on that front.
For now, if you want the game and were for some reason going to buy it from the Windows 10 Store… maybe don’t?