According to reports, THQ Nordic is partnering with Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries to bring Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 to retail stores worldwide via physical packaging release. If you purchase a physical copy of Halo Wars 2 on Windows 10 you will be given a code for the digital access to the Xbox One version of the game, along with the discs for the PC version and a download code. Apparently, on PC, you will only need to be online one time for validation which leaves one to wonder if this is the first signs of Microsoft dealing with the constant DRM and online-only nightmare of buying games from the Windows 10 Store.

The physical copy treatment will be applied to both the Standard and Ultimate Edition of the game. The Ultimate Edition gets you 4 days early access to Halo Wars 2, a Season Pass, and Halo Wars: Definitive Edition, an visually and technically upgraded version of the original game released on Xbox 360. The Halo Wars: Definitive Edition will also be a Play Anywhere title to be played on both Windows 10 PC and Xbox One.

“After working on so many titles together with Microsoft in 2016, we are stoked to start the year with another partnership. Being able to deliver such a big franchise to RTS and Halo fans alike, the opportunity to buy and own this game in a beautiful physical shape is something we appreciate a lot.” – Lars Wingefors, founder & Group CEO of THQ Nordic

“For fans who love to own the box, we’re excited to partner with THQ Nordic and bring Halo Wars 2 to physical release on Windows 10,” stated 343 Industries Studio Head of Strategy Games Development Dan Ayoub. “THQ Nordic has been great to work with and we look forward to the game’s release on Feb. 21, 2017.”

It’s hard to understand why now Microsoft is going with a physical release on Windows 10 PC and not realizing how this breaks their initial Play Anywhere strategy. It was touted that the Play Anywhere functionality only applied to digital releases, but this proves that doesn’t have to be the case. At what point will we see physical Xbox One games come with a code for the Windows 10 PC version in the box? I think the biggest question is, why isn’t that the case here? Shouldn’t I get the Windows 10 version in my Xbox One physical copy, especially if I purchased an Ultimate Edition. This move just shows it more possible than they have lead us to believe.

Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition includes four-day early access, releasing on February 17, 2017, retailing at $79.99, and the Standard Edition will release on February 21, 2017, $59.99.

Are you picking up Halo Wars 2 either on Windows 10 PC or Xbox One (or both, lol)? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

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