Call of Duty will be available to buy on the Steam platform for the first time in four years, starting with Modern Warfare 2.
The newest Call of Duty instalment, Modern Warfare 2 has topped the sales chart for the Steam platform during the second week of beta playtesting. The game is the first Call of Duty available on Steam since WWII released in 2017.
Players had previously been forced to buy the game on Activision’s own platform Battle.net, but flexibility in purchasing options has returned to the franchise.
Modern Warfare 2 managed to top the global steam charts for the week of the beta, moving up 19 spots to sit at the summit. Other games on the list include Apex Legends, FIFA 23 and Slime Rancher 2.
FIFA is another game that is available through other platforms, with EA encouraging fans to pre-purchase their game through their own native application.
The sales success of Modern Warfare 2 builds on the fantastic numbers that Infinity Ward‘s previous effort did for the franchise. Modern Warfare (2019) became the highest-selling instalment of the franchise. In 2020, Activision claimed the title had sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, buoyed by the release of the revolutionary Warzone experience.
The 2019 iteration of the game surpassed $1Bn in revenue just over a month after release. As a result, Activision-Blizzard will be hopeful for a repeat of the same kind of performance with the new title. If the pre-release charts are anything to go by, they should be in good stead.
Solid playtime on Steam charts
Alongside the mass pre-ordering of Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty can boost over 100,000 concurrent players during the second week of the MW2 beta. The game peaked on Steam at 109,425 simultaneous players. That number only counts players who were playing on the Steam version of the game.
The daily peak for Call of Duty managed to beat out established Steam games such as Rust and Team Fortress 2 for peak players. Battle.net does not publish their player numbers in the same way as Steam does. That makes it hard to gauge the true number of players on the MW2 beta, but nonetheless, it remains impressive.
It’s also hard to know what to compare the numbers to. That being said, looking back through Call of Duty Steam history, it’s interesting to note that the last title to be released on Steam (WWII) didn’t even break the top 20 in worldwide sales on the week of that game’s beta test.
That game did eventually top the Steam charts but not until its release on November 3, 2017.
MW2 Steam beta issues
With the non-native nature of purchasing the game through Steam, several players encountered issues in launching the beta version of the game when it released on Thursday, September 22. A phone number verification bug meant that many were locked out of their version of the game.
Pre-ordering a copy of the game or entering a valid code for the test on the Call of Duty website should have granted access to play for the whole weekend.
Several players also encountered issues with their controllers not registering on the Steam version of the game. The game appears to struggle to recognise different inputs.
Players can fix the issue with controller recognition by changing their settings on Steam. Right-clicking on the game in your library will allow you to check the properties of the game. Go to the controller section and disable Steam input for your gamepad. That should prevent any other interference with your controller by Steam.