Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare From Windows Store Can’t Do Multiplayer With Steam Players

If you were hoping that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare [official website] or Modern Warfare Remastered would have the cross-platform play that some recent PC games have had, you’re in for a bit of crushing disappointment. It’s not even unified on PC. People who buy IW or MWR for Windows 10 through Microsoft’s Windows Store are unable to play multiplayer with players who own it on Steam, Activision Support confirm. That’s a bit of a bum deal.

“You can only play these titles with other users of Windows 10 on Windows Store,” Activision say. Seeing as the majority of PC players will purchase or activate their copies through Steam, those that purchase them through the Windows Store may find themselves with a very bleak multiplayer experience. And no, it doesn’t support cross-platform play with Xbone to make up for that.

Microsoft, asked about this by Windows Central, said “We support cross-play between devices and platforms for partners who want to enable it.” That would suggest a decision at Activision is behind this, though we could only guess at their reasons. It seems unlikely that they’d release a substandard version without cause, though maybe it would’ve been better to simply not release it there.

If you’re planning on purchasing Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, you might want to consider these new developments before taking the plunge. You might need to end up purchasing the game on an alternate platform if you had very involved PC plans, and will be hopping mad. Rightly so. This probably isn’t the greatest development that could have happened right around launch day, is it?


  1. GameCat says:

    Have fun playing with these 10 people who also bought this game on Windows store.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      Yeah its not really splitting the player base any since no one will buy it from the windows store anyway

      • jezcentral says:

        I can imagine some #NeverSteam people doing that.

        • Rich says:

          Why would even a die-hard Steam-hater choose Windows Store as the alternative?

          • Alfius says:

            I used to know a few of those, the last one rolled over in 2007 with the release of TF2. What’s the excuse nearly a decade later?

          • mattevansc3 says:

            Because its not on GoG?…nah, I’m stumped. Though I don’t think anyone hates Steam THAT much.

  2. StAUG says:

    Given the budget and number of people that went into making this… just… how? Multiplayer is the backbone of this franchise. How could they have something as idiotic as DRM/origin of purchase interfering with matchmaking?

    • April March says:

      Their user base is so stupidly huge that any indie house that’s made a multiplayer game would literally kill to have the fraction of a percent of users that will buy the game through the Windows Store. That is how.

      • Don Reba says:

        Is there something about indies that makes them all potential murderers?

  3. Janichsan says:

    And why exactly are people surprised by this? CoD used Valve Anti-Cheat in every of its iterations since Modern Warfare 2. And VAC requires Steam.

    So, no Steam, no VAC, no multiplayer compatibility.

    • StAUG says:

      I was wondering how this could be an issue in practical terms and that cleared it up nicely. Thanks. I mean, it’s still retarded, but I get how it happened now.

    • durruti says:

      so you’re saying cheaters will get a windows store key when caught by vac? :D

    • Emeraude says:

      That’s he funny thing isn’t it? The whole thing is a byproduct of something some of us have been complaining about for a long time, Valve’s forced integration of shop and service infrastructures – you’re tied to one, you’re tied to the whole package.

      But I gather people will blame MS for it, not Valve.

      • iainl says:

        It’s Microsoft’s decision to not allow Steamworks on Windows Store games, mind you. Valve allow other parties’ things like this, which is why you can get some Ubisoft titles on there.

        • Emeraude says:

          Which I’m finding funny myself. It’s amusing to see MS on the receiving end of its own strategy.

      • sneetch says:

        I thought that previous COD games handled their own matchmaking and friends lists on PC and didn’t use steam’s services. Seems like they’ve abandoned that and replaced it with this bs. Seems like the people to blame are the devs/publishers not valve or Ms.

        Regardless, there are countless other games that are sold on other stores but register on steam to use steams friend lists matchmaking etc.

        • Optimaximal says:

          Keep up – they’ve been exclusively Steamworks titles on PC* since Modern Warfare 2.

          * – Mac versions have been mostly standalone Aspyr ports.

      • mattevansc3 says:

        You are right, this has been going on for a while. Even before Origin there are EA games that have Steam specific DLC. There are also a rising number of games on GoG not getting multiplayer, DLC, patches, etc that you can get on Steam.

      • SuicideKing says:

        If i’m not wrong this may have to do with the xbone-PC compatibility of the Win store version, as well.

        • frymaster says:

          They have confirmed there’s no xbone/pc cross platform play either

  4. Soylent says:

    This is stupid, they are both on Windows. It’s not like we’re talking about Xbox and Playstation cross-platform.

    I wonder how much of this is political, knowing that Valve is not a fan of Windows. And why was this released on the Windows store at all?

    • Bull0 says:

      It’ll be down to the different route to live for patches and updates between Steam and Windows Store, I guarantee it. It makes sense really. Best off just not buying anything from the Windows Store if you can get it elsewhere, all told.

    • Leonick says:

      Actually, that’s kind of exactly what it is. Sure, both Steam and Windows store version run on windows Windows and same hardware but the online platforms are different. They’re using the online services of Valve and Microsoft, there’s no communication between them just like there isn’t between Microsoft and Sony.

  5. drewdawg101 says:

    I quit playing after MW2 when IW made the very anti-player decision to squelch dedicated servers. They obviously wanted to make the game unplayable by the time next year’s COD came out. This doesn’t surprise me at all.

    • StAUG says:

      As someone old enough to remember scrolling through the thousands of severs in the list while playing Team Fortress Classic or Counter-Strike 1.whatever-came-before-the-riot shield, I try to imagine telling a 16 year old me, or just the gaming world in general, that in 15 years multiplayer shooters wouldn’t have dedicated servers or LAN functionality as a rule rather than the exception. And then I imagine everyone laughing amongst themselves and calling me an idiot.

  6. A Wanderer says:

    The real question is :
    who the hell thought it was a good idea to make it available on the windows store ? It’s not like people will suddenly prefer it to steam for one game, especially if they can’t play with the 90% of player or so who bought the game on steam. If Windows store was THE big store on pc, why not, but it’s far from being the case. It’s just stupidity.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      I suspect there was originally a push to get it onto Microsoft’s play anywhere program.

    • Leonick says:

      It’s a great idea! The more places you can get the games from the better, you shouldn’t want one store to have end up being the one and only option.

      The problem is selling on multiple stores using online services hosted by and specific to the stores, that’s obviously quite dumb idea…

  7. bfar says:

    Wow! How many more ways can Windows store mess up games? It seems there can’t be a single launch on windows store without exposing some other flaw. What else has MS overlooked? At this point it’s hard to see any reasonably experienced gamer buying anything off that store. The message is clear – AVOID!

    • Leonick says:

      Microsoft didn’t overlook anything. The split comes from the fact that the Steam (and retail) uses Valve’s online services for multiplayer. The Windows Store version can’t do that for reasons that should be quite obvious and instead uses Microsoft’s.

      Activision should run their own online service or only use one of the services and skipping one of the stores.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        other games use steamworks and work through the Microsoft Store like the Gwent beta.

        This is purely on Activision.

        • Janichsan says:

          You are unfortunately wrong: the Gwent beta does not use Steamworks – which is fact only useable when the game runs under Steam – but CD Projekt Red’s own networking technology.

  8. khaoselement says:

    Really, this can just been seen as punishment for being dumb enough to use the Windows Store. Have fun with the four others dumb enough to do that.

  9. Laini says:

    I wonder if it’s somehow related to the Windows Store version being tied to Windows 10, whereas the Steam version wouldn’t.
    But, I dunno, would that make much difference to how those two interact with one another?

    • Leonick says:

      No. The problem is that the Steam version uses Valve’s services for multiplayer, can’t do that with the Windows Store version so it uses Microsoft’s services. Answer is for Activision to run their own multiplayer or to only release on one of the stores/services.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        You’re actually wrong.

        Microsoft store games aren’t locked to it the same way Origin, Uplay and most Steamworks games are. You can use a Microsoft Store game with other services by design.

        • Leonick says:

          Yes, I know. The Windows Store version isn’t required to use Microsoft’s services, but I’m fairly certain it can’t integrate with Steamworks, Valve/Steam doesn’t allow that.

          Just the same the Steam version isn’t required to use Steamworks, the problem is that Activision chose to go do so while at the same time also selling on the Windows Store. Pick one online service (their own for example) or stick to one store and service.

  10. jonfitt says:

    Well this is some terrible negative press for the Windows Store. It’s probably not their fault, but now one of the largest games of each year is sold there with the caveat “you get a worse game”.

    That’s not the kind of impression you shake easily. It’ll always be “oh Windows store, isn’t that where the multiplayer games don’t work?”

    • kud13 says:

      Let’s be honest: the memories of the abomination that was GaFWL is all the bad publicity most people need.

      Every time I wanted to play Bioshock or the early Arkham games, I’d have to waste 3-5 hours of my life trying to coax GaFWL out of an update loop, and this usually involved reinstalling GaFWL, cursing at the broken site that had no working links for updating GaFWL, as well as a host of other unpleasantries. I’m fairly certain that M$oft took my money for Minerva’s Den at one point when I tried to take advantage of the marketplace sale, but I never actually got to play it until it was released for free on Steam.

      The farther M$oft stays away from “making gaming convenient” the better, as far as I’m concerned. I prefer “platform-less” gaming, which is why I’m re-purchasing most of my Steam library on GOG as it becomes available there, right now Steam is way lesser of the 2 evils.

  11. Leonick says:

    No blame here is attributable to the Windows Store. Hate it all you like, there are even valid reason, but it is in no way to blame for this.

    The blame is all on Activision and whatever studio made this CoD. The chose to release the game on both Steam and the Windows store and to use the stores own online platforms. They could, and should, have chosen to run their own online service or only release on one of the stores.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Or they could have still used Steam for MP in all versions. Activision just got lazy doing the port.

      Other games have done it. There’s nothing in the Microsoft store games that forces them to HAVE to use Microsoft’s servers.

      • Leonick says:

        Indeed, there’s nothing with the Windows Store preventing it from using an outside service for multiplayer. You can however not use Steamworks for a non Steam title. May not be possible to sell a game on the Windows Store that require Steam.

  12. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I wonder if this will wind up creating a separate community for players of this game. Could be interesting to look into this in a few months time to see if there are any noticable differences in your experience playing on the Windows Store. (Assuming anyone will be playing there at all.)

  13. Fropp says:

    That is hilarious. There are few enough players on PC anyway, and then they split the playerbase even further! Think i’ll stick to BF1.

  14. TunaCat says:

    “Can’t Do Multiplayer”

    Who wrote this?