Infinity Ward at war with PC gamers

 

Favela Shootout

MW2’s unprecedented coverage continues to cast a glowing light, but what or who’s being left in the dark?

 

Now I know you probably don’t want to read more about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. But this is important. Some PC gamers are up in arms about developer Infinity Ward’s decision to do away with dedicated servers and force players on to their own IWNET matchmaking system. The major practical upshot of that is that the number of players in online games will be capped at 18 – it was 36 in COD4.

 

Now the people who pay attention to these things are the kind of people who get online, get on forums and make a fuss. Infinity Ward came back and said, “trust us, you’re still going to get a good game.” What he actually said on a call with financial analysts was, “We’re, of course, watching this very carefully and paying attention to it.”

 

“But we’re not overly concerned about it,” he continued. “One of the problems with our PC SKUs in the past is that it has not been as friendly a consumer experience in terms of matchmaking and online play as the consoles have allowed it to be. Our solution here improves that consumer experience overall by a significant margin. And so we think that the benefits we will see are going to far outweigh any negatives that seem to be surfacing.”

Cliffhanger  Hot Pursuit

It seems to make sense. But it will also prevent tinkering and hand control over the online experience to IW. Given problems with games like Borderlands – games are fiendishly hard to join – it’s understandable why players might want the ability to host their own servers. PC gamers might question whether they’re being sold out as games become a bigger and bigger business, developers rely less and less on a hardcore of dedicated players.

 

Another aspect to this is the streamlining of PC versions of games to make them more compatible with their console cousins. We’ll be writing more about that in issue 5 of the magazine so be sure to check it out.

Ian Duncan

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