Modern Warfare 2 killed PC gaming
Infinity Ward makes a bad decision
If you are into your first person shooting games, then you will no doubt be familiar with the popular Call of Duty series for the PC. This hugely popular set of games was originally developed for the PC and set the standard for all FPS games of the future.
The developers worked with the PC community to continually update their product culminating in one of the biggest selling titles of all time "Call of Duty Modern Warfare".
It was not then without eager anticipation the gaming community looked forward to the sequel and soon to be released Modern Warfare 2. The hype and drip fed press reeleases were followed by millions of on line gamers as their hunger for information drove a frenzy toward pre-ordering the game through various online and retail outlets. Pre - orders were massive....then came the bombshell.
In a webcast interview Robert Bowling, the voice of Infinity Ward dropped a flippant comment that would stun the gaming community. There would be no dedicated server support for the new title.
No big deal - right?
Very wrong. No dedicated server support means that as a PC gamer you no longer have choice. You cannot choose which server you want to join. This has been a long staple of successful online games. You the player has the ability to choose which server you want to play on for whatever reason.
Infinity Ward want us to believe that their matchmaking system is in fact what we all want. They believe that it is too much trouble to troll through a list of servers trying to find a game we would like to play.
Sure, you quite often have to play a few servers to find the one you want to regularly play on that suits your gameplay and lets face it, even with matchmaking, you are still going to have a lot of games you don't want to be part of for whatever reason. The problem is twofold though. Firstly, if you don't like the game your in, chances are that if you disconnect to try another one, their system will hook you right back up to the one you just left. Secondly, if you find one you do enjoy, there is no way to get back to it next time you play.
Here is something that may shock parents. Whilst I admit this is badged as an 18+ game in the UK, this does not mean that pester power and peer pressure will not stop under 18's playing the game, only purchasing it.
With dedicated servers, there is a need for some admins to police the server and the players in it. Generally this leads to warnings and bans for bad language and a set of rules for players to follow. What will happen with the new game is countless bad language both through the keybaord and the mic. Infinity Ward get round this by stating that the online play will significantly change and cannot be held responsible. However, if they are deciding to run the show then they are ultimately responsible. There is no way they can police every single on line game.
I for one do not want to expose my kids to this. We currently all enjoy playing on a well run server that automatically bans players for bad language, reference to drugs, alchol, porn etc and does not allow posting of web links etc. This will not happen with MW2 and I will not subject either myself or my kids to potty mouthed abusive players.
Loss of PC games altogether
Infinity Ward are now forcing PC gamers to turn to consoles as they effectively put in place the same systems for multiplayer as the console gamers use. This is seen as a precursor to losing the PC gamer altogether. If we examine some of the rammifications of withdrawing Dedicated server support from an online PC game, you may be able to understand why this may lead to a loss of PC games altogether.
Dedicated servers need to be rented from a third party supplier. They then invest heavily in support for the players, in hardware capable of running it and in fast internet connections to ensure stable and lag free play. With a massive title like MW2 removing that, there is a real and present danger that these companies will reduce their investment and move into other areas like storage. This prevents growth in the gaming world as less and less providers want to risk pre-empting big game titles.
Hardware manufacturers make gaming equipment for PC's. Graphics card manufacturers release ever more powerful cards specifically to improve the pC gamers expeience. These in turn push developers to make better games. Likewise, faster PC's are driven by the gaming communities needs. By forcing PC gamers out onto consoles, this development will become uneconomical and PC gaming will die.
Finally, dedicated servers allow modding to take place. Modding has seen the longevity of titles extend well beyond their initial capabilities. Games like Grandprix Legends have endured over 10 years of support and been reintroduced into back catalogues because of the modding communities. Call of Duty is no exception. Much of what you see in todays games are as a direct result of what the pC community has modded and is only made possible with dedicated servers.
What can we do?
My advice, is vote with your wallet and regardless of whether you play console or PC do not support the game. Do not buy MW2, currently the petition has well over a 100,000 signatures. Thousands have cancelled their pre-orders. $60 for a 6 hour single player game is not value for money.
The worse thing....Infinity Ward were not going to tell you about this, their suggestion was...buy the game and then make a decision as to whether you like it or need it changing, maybe then we will listen to you.
And now the killer blow
Here is the worse bit. Not only do Infinity Ward want you to buy the game to figure out whether you like the new multiplayer set up...once you have it your stuck with it.
Essentially as soon as you take the wrapper off your new purchse you will no longer be able to return it. But just to make sure you can't off load it on ebay or any where else, you need to register a Steam account to activate the game...yes even the single player version. After that the game and its keycode is registered to you and you alone. This means you cannot trade or sell your copy on unless you give your Steam account with it.
Now tell me you want to buy the PC version.........thanks Infinity Ward.
Leaked footage of the game shows that one playable mission is a first person massacre of innocent civilians. Yes you play the terrorist and mow down men and women (no confirmed children) in an airport and in very graphic detail.
Now this has been shown out of context but in what context is massacre of innocent civilians right? Infinity Ward have responded to confirm the footage is legitimate which only confirms more people will not buy this game.
Infinity Ward have spoilt a fantastic series with massive controversy. The press will have a field day and condem video gaming once again. IW have provided the bullets for the press gun. I'm afraid this is something that does not sit comfortably with me or many other gamers.