Infinity Ward responds to Modern Warfare 2 PC backlash

Call of Duty developer fights fan fire as petition passes 100,000 mark

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.

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Latest comments (2)

Mat Bettinson Business Development Manager, Tantalus Media12 years ago
130,000 now, strong feelings alright.

Infinity Ward's argument isn't entirely invalid. It's definitely true that hunting through lists of servers to try find ones with a good ping, and good game settings etc is a negative. On the other hand there is absolutely no situation where hosting a game on someone's PC is better than running it on a server, and truly P2P systems are vastly worse than that.

Bowling strangely acknowledges Valve's VAC as a solution to cheating (almost implying that they needed to do it this way to use VAC...), but then ignores the infinitely superior solution that Valve delivered with L4D.

Eg game servers hosted by ISPs around the world which spring up to host games that players set up in a separate match making lobbies. The benefits of true client-server with the benefits of match making too... Even possible, I'll warrant, to bolt on the hand holding skill matching mechanisms IW seem keen on.

Not so much value in doing it the right way versus trying to build an IWNet brand though eh? Groan, how many of these sorts of things have PC gamers been subjected to in the past?
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Nah, its all bollocks IMO. There is absolutely no need for IWNet on the PC version, the past Call of Duties have done very well with dedicated servers and there is no other need for it. As for the match making excuse, isn't that what the player rank is for? So if you join a server and see players with ranks way above yours, its pretty much a very good indication that you're out of your league, therefore log out and find another server. Dedicated servers are almost 100% reliable, far far more reliable than peer-peer networks. I totally agree that the only reason IW are implementing this is to charge for downloadable content. Well good luck to IW, you've alienated the community that made you what you are today. I can see sales of the PC version (potentially the most profitable platform for COD) being hampered by this as the PC community may just continue playing MW instead.
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