The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 physical disc contains next to nothing

May as well have bought it digitally.

Image via Activison

While we now live in a time where physical copies of video games usually require a day one patch to be downloaded to get it working properly, they used to come with a game on the disc. In theory, there should be something that can be played directly from that disc. This is not the case, however, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, as fans have discovered.

At the time of writing, the game isn’t out yet for all players (it fully launches tomorrow, October 28), but some who pre-ordered a physical copy of it have been receiving it early. As such, word has spread that the disc actually contains barely anything, specifically only 70 MB of data. That’s not even a fraction of what can be stored on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X disc. In fact, according to Twitter user Destruction Games, Activision is using only 0.07223% of a PS5 disc’s capacity for Modern Warfare 2.

This means that physical owners still need to download what is practically the entire game upon putting in the disc. What’s more, it makes physical copies of Modern Warfare 2 impossible to play without an internet connection. Most games tend to work fine even without an initial patch, but since Modern Warfare 2’s disc doesn’t have the full game on it, you can’t even play the single-player campaign without a digital download. Even if you do have an Internet connection, depending on your connection speed or data caps, it could take an extremely long time to get the full game downloaded.

It’s far too soon to tell if Activision intends on making this the norm for future Call of Duty releases (or even all its games), but there has been a very clear push for digital media to completely replace physical media — not just in the games industry, but across film, television, and music, thanks to the rise in streaming services. While this sort of practice isn’t exactly commonplace, it could be a sign of publishers making physical copies of their games little more than license keys to download them.