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Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2’s physical disc isn’t actually big enough to hold Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

A 150 GB download awaits players who attempt to buy a physical copy of the game

Ghost from Modern Warfare 2 (2022) stares at the camera through his skull mask while a green flash of light appears to the left of his head Image: Infinity Ward/Activision
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In classic Call of Duty fashion, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will require a ton of storage space. However, the physical disc may not even carry the game’s data, and is almost completely useless. How useless? It only comes with 72 MB worth of data printed on it.

Twitter account “Does it play?” — which catalogs game accessibility by determining how friendly it is to those without internet access — posted a screenshot of Modern Warfare 2 disc’s information panel on Wednesday. The 72 MB worth of data on the disc isn’t enough to play any of the game’s content. It’s unclear what those 72 MB on the disc are; Polygon reached out to Activision for details on what is included on the disc and for additional comment, and will update when the company responds.

According to PushSquare, the base download for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is 151.4 GB, with co-op and multiplayer packs that can add a handful of bonus gigs. Even those that own the game on disc will need to wait for this massive download before they can play.

The decision to still release a physical version of the game has its well-cited issues. First, the game boxes and the discs are bad for the environment, destined to take up more space in a landfill. The disc’s sole purpose is to signal to the PlayStation or Xbox store that the player owns the game, allowing them to initiate a massive download. The physical release is also an issue for video game preservation; without a true hard copy, there is no way for players to experience Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 if Activision eventually delists it from stores.

Players who buy the disc specifically because they have slow or limited internet access face difficulties post-release. While those players were never going to be able to engage in the game’s multiplayer modes, their potential inability to download 150 GB means they won’t even be able to play the game’s single player campaign either.

Those who plan on picking up a physical copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 when it launches on Friday, Oct. 28, should prepare themselves for a lengthy download. The game will debut on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.