Developer Infinity Ward has been attempting to calm fan anger over the announcement that the PC version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will not feature dedicated servers, although so far to little effect - with the online petition against the decision currently at over 110,000 signatures.
The lack of dedicated servers is due to a new propriety matchmaking service called IWNet, which was announced by Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling in a podcast over the weekend. The response was immediately negative, leading to Bowling posting a new more detailed overview of IWNet on his blog.
Bowling insisted that Modern Warfare 2 is "the biggest investment Infinity Ward has ever made into the PC version of our games. It’s also the most feature-rich PC version we’ve ever made." Although the franchise began as a PC exclusive, in recent years the focus has moved more onto the home console versions of the games.
"IWNet takes the benefits of dedicated servers and allows them to be utilised and accessed by every player, out of the box, while removing the barrier to entry for players unaware of how to maintain a server on their own," says Bowling.
In describing IWNet's other features Bowling insists that it will still offer many of the benefits of being able to choose games from a specific list of servers, while making the process more accessible for new users.
Fans though have suggested that the new service is merely an attempt to gain greater control over the use of fan modifications and to facilitate the use and sale of downloadable content.
The response has been so negative that even PC Gamer editor Tim Edwards has weighed in against Infinity Ward's decision, claiming that peer-to-peer networks such as IWNet are less reliable, inherently biased towards the hosting player, less customisable and less effective at creating and policing a community.