Angrytank Time: COD:MW2 PC Delayed

By Alec Meer on October 5th, 2009 at 7:59 pm.

raaaaaaage

Come on everybody! Climb aboard! This is the Angrytank Express, headed direct to Stop Screwing Over The PC You Massive Bastards city. Like pretty much every fuggin’ thing that has a multi-platform release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on PC has, it now transpires, been delayed. Only by a fortnight, but still – for God’s sakes. Toot toot! The Angrytank Is Go!

The facts – Modern Warfare 2 is released on November 10th for the consoles, but November 24th for PC. LOAD THE RAGE TORPEDO.

On its own, it’s not something I’d be firing up the Angrytank for, but the number of other games that have been delayed, most especially their PC versions, means us merry bunch aren’t going to have the merry time that those merrier console types will in November. No official reason’s been given for this betrayalette of the platform that launched Call of Duty, but it’s horribly easy to conjecture wildly and recklessly.

Bitter Theory Number One, Activision-Blizzard doesn’t really give a monkey’s epiglottis about PC, compared to the mega-sales it’ll surely lure on PS3 and 360. That we at RPS have essentially never had any communication with anyone at Actard about any of their games certainly makes me reach for my tinfoil hat in this regard. They don’t do much these days to suggest the PC is an important platform to them anymore. Could it be a case of get the console launches as right as possible, and grudgingly finish up the PC version and whatever packing/DRM/whatever is necessary once that’s all done?

Bitter Theory Number Two, could it be fears of piracy – making sure leeched launch-week copies of MW2 PC don’t disrupt the -ahahahahah – torrent of console sales? It’s possible, and a theory that’s frequently raised in response to this kind of news. Forever a contentious argument, but not one that looks like it’ll go away in a hurry.

Or is it to ensure MW2 PC is absolutely, bang-on perfect right? I’d hope for the latter – and it’s certainly fair to say Infinity Ward have never let down this platform in that regard. Even MW1, for all its barnstorming console success, had a robust and beautiful PC version rather than a case of Pull The Magic ‘Port’ Lever. Hopefully we’re on track for a similarly shiny experience, and perhaps that extra fortnight is necessary to ensure it. So if MW2 turns out to be a wobbly port, I’m adding an extra turret to my angrytank.

Or it’s just a manufacturing/distribution snafu, in which case I’m being quite the drama queen. Still, this is the biggest games publisher in the world – surely they can work out how to make a bunch of plastic discs on time?

And so the Angrytank pauses for a moment, unsure whether or not to roll furiously onwards. What should it do?

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178 Comments »

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  1. Some Guy says:

    let me on, i dont smell that bad.

  2. Duffin says:

    will there be a buffet carriage?

  3. CMaster says:

    I pretty much never get things on Launch, so not a big concern for me (HL2 and Defcon being the only exceptions that come to mind). Still, it does seem rather ridiculous the amount of very short PC delays out there.

  4. Jorlin says:

    Well, since MS killed “Games for Windows” at the E3 by not supporting it in any way… who wonders that PC does not play the role in games it should deserve?

  5. Senethro says:

    Can we get a confirmation its been actually delayed? Someones been saying Activision is retracting this in some places.

  6. jsutcliffe says:

    This means that I will have to boycott the internets between console release and PC release because, and I never thought I’d say this about a feckin’ video game, I don’t want to see spoilers.

    • Jad says:

      I hear you on that. I’ve been avoiding most promotional videos and previews for this game — I know I’m going to get it, so why spoil the surprises? Especially because the couple of big twists for COD4 were some of my favorite parts of that game.

  7. jsutcliffe says:

    Also, angrytank is my new favourite concept. Maybe I need to re-dub one of my orks’ tanks.

  8. subedii says:

    Can’t say I really care. Although to be fair, I wasn’t really interested in MW2 in the first place.

  9. Jon says:

    Before you guys reach Full Travelling Speed, which I suppose depends upon the number of people inside, I submit that our platform requires rather more testing and optimizing than our homogeneously hardwared brethren do.

    • Shalrath says:

      Actually, removing TRC’s and language issues alone makes PC actually take less testing. A good half of console testing is TRC violations, followed by about a quarter for LOC.

    • Stuk says:

      For anyone else: TRC = Technical Requirements Checklist. Had to look it up.

  10. Greg Wild says:

    Care much?

    I know I don’t.

  11. Alexander Norris says:

    Alec broke my sarcasm detector by turning it all up to 11. :(

  12. mezz says:

    Perhaps it’s because Valve asked really nicely? So CoD is now a week after L4D2, rather than a week before. :)

    • subedii says:

      Left 4 Dead is NOT going to have a nice time releasing in the same window as CoD4. I’m guessing the console release of L4D2 is on the same day as the PC release, which would mean it comes out one week after CoD4.

      Still, PC specific delays or not, everyone else has delayed their game into next year in fear of the big bad cod, so aside from that it shouldn’t be facing too much competition.

    • Shalrath says:

      Keep in mind that Valve games sell on a more plateau sort of line, as opposed to a COD style ‘90% of sales in the first month’ kinda thing.

    • subedii says:

      True, but that’s on the PC where they control the distribution (Steam). On the consoles it still very much follows the 1 month sales period.

      On the PC side it’s not just that PC games tend to have a naturally longer tail, Valve are very intelligent in how they market their games. There are constant and meaningful price cuts and snap sales, each time bringing in a new raft of buyers who were interested but not keen enough to buy before. When L4D1 had its first weekend sale (half price), Valve actually made more revenue during that week than the opening week of sales. Plus anything they sell on Steam is something like 50%-90% profit, as opposed to something more like 30% from standard retail.

      However, on the console side, Valve don’t have the power or control to affect pricing like that. They can’t announce snap sales or combo deals with other games. So it ends up following the standard retail model of the game going down to a trickle of sales over time where the Steam revenues are still earning them significant money.

  13. Rohit says:

    This is ridiculous.

  14. Ben L. says:

    The COD games will interest me if they start to move away from the cinematic, carefully scripted shooting galleries that they are. Until then I really don’t care too much.

    But about the delay, I mean come on. At least you’re getting a port. You wanna play console games, you gotta wait.

    • Shalrath says:

      I think people have really interesting ideas of how ports work, and what a ‘console’ game is.

      If it’s on the 360 and PC, they’re identical games essentially. Differences are almost solely removing constraints on RAM/etc usage. Basically, if you’re making a game for 360 and PC simultaneously, there’s no need to ‘port’ anything, really.

      The PS3, however, is a whole other bag of suck, I mean worms.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Pfft, only idiots believe that these games are developed on PCs running development kits…

      Seriously, it’s fun writing computer code on a PS3 or Xbox360 pad!

    • Clovis says:

      @Shalrath: Please explain how awful GTAIV was when it first came out then. It seems that it is much more complicated. Maybe something to do with the near infinite combinations of hardware that exist.

  15. Legionary says:

    Delaying PC launch so people buy legitimate copies on console rather than being able to download it on PC instead. That’s their logic, but it has the opposite effect by alienating PC gamers and damaging good will towards developers.

    • Tei says:

      I could be, maybe, that console games are more expensive, so this delay if for these of you guys that have both PC and Console, so you guys buy the Console version (and maybe the PC version latter?).
      I could be that numbers show this is the best strategy.

    • subedii says:

      The console versions usually cost around $10 IIRC, but that’s because devs need to pay the system owner, and that ends up increasing the price of the unit being sold.

      Funny thing is that even if it’s being sold cheaper, DD still usually provides equal or better profit margins per unit sold, simply because you’re not giving a large chunk of cash to third party retailers to stock it on shelves. DD isn’t big enough yet to make that meaningful though, ultimately it’s still a fraction of the sales on the platform with the lowest sales numbers.

    • subedii says:

      Bah, $10 more I meant to say.

  16. cyrenic says:

    It’s the piracy reason, almost certainly.

    A release This Big doesn’t sneak up on you, the suits probably saw some projected dollar signs on what Piracy could possibly do to their console numbers, and decided on the two week delay. There’s no way they’d let quality concerns delay the game at this point.

  17. ChaosSmurf says:

    That’s some proper rage you got there sir *tips hat*

    You might wanna add PC-Exclusive SC2 and Diablo 3 to the list of cares though.

  18. Wooly says:

    Angry tank is GO! I’m thinking I’ll be getting L4D2 instead, and waiting till MW2’s price isn’t 60 *twitch* dollars.

  19. Sir Forkington says:

    Angrytanks: Like very angry houses?

    To be honest, I can’t be surprised. PCs just don’t seem to be respected as a gaming platform. The problem I see is this though, the recent adverts I’ve seen for the PS3 (the only consoles in my house is the wii quickly gathering dust after the rest of the family disregarded my advice, and an old PSX. Somewhere) are promoting the idea of it being a multimedia platform. Which just seems to me like they are trying to make the PS3 into something to rival a computer, with less functions, more expensive etc. And for a price tag of somewhere around £250, which is about the price you could use to upgrade the household computer to something able to play games…

  20. Shalrath says:

    If you add another turret, does that make it a Mammoth tank? ;)

    I think, given who is doing this (activision), and what it’s directed at (PC’s), we can pretty easily surmise that this is due to ‘piracy.’

    Am I right?

  21. klumhru says:

    Ah, well. The console owners have their own share of problems though.

    Like owning a console.

  22. rubntug says:

    I’m very impatient. Thus, if MW2 happens to pop up online before November 24th, I’ll most likely cancel my pre-order and download it illegally. I wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for the delay. I don’t know how many other people will have the same though process, but hopefully it’s enough to make Activision realise that delaying a PC title to prevent piracy is definitely the wrong thing to do.

    • subedii says:

      Um, going this route only reinforces that behaviour. Publishers are skittish about the PC as a platform specifically because of the ease and frequency of piracy. Your pirating the game doesn’t make a “point”, it doesn’t stick it to the man, it just proves they’re right, even if their logic is completely skewed.

      Just buy something else.

    • Senethro says:

      Pah, Activision have personally offended me, so I’ll obtain their product illegally. That’ll show em. Heh.

    • rubntug says:

      I know it’ll reinforce that behaviour, but that doesn’t mean Activision have done the right thing. Surely if they don’t want people to pirate the PC version, they should give potential buyers more of an incentive to pay full price? I’ll be paying for L4D2 because I know how much value for money I got from L4D1, but also because I’m a fan of Valve and hope they can continue to make great games. If Activision want to charge more money for the same franchises again and again, I’m not sure I really want to keep funding that. I don’t know, I’m being hypocritical here – I don’t like being treated like a criminal but when I am I’ll take the illegal route. Piracy hurt brain.

    • Optimaximal says:

      GO PRO-PIRACY ARGUMENT – YOU KNOW WE LOVE YOU, FALLACIES AND ALL!!!

    • Vinraith says:

      “hopefully it’s enough to make Activision realise that delaying a PC title to prevent piracy is definitely the wrong thing to do.”

      Actually it just tells them (and everyone else) not to bother with a PC port at all, because we’re all thieves.

      Thanks for that.

  23. Jad says:

    I am legitimately angry about this. MW2, along with L4D2 is the only game this season that I am looking forward to in a “this will be good, and I will buy it immediately” way (I’m hoping that Borderlands and Dragon Age will be good, but I don’t know).

    The original release date was a few days before my birthday, and I’ve already requested it as a gift. Now its well after my birthday, and I’ll need to think up something else to ask for.

    Think is, I usually don’t care about release dates. I usually laugh at all the “Day One Purchase!”-ers. I usually wait for reviews/demos. But this one was as close as a sure-fire purchase for me as it gets, with perfect timing right before my birthday, and now its delayed.

    Grrrrrr.

  24. Jimbo says:

    “Or could it be fears of piracy – make sure leeched copies of MW2 PC don’t disrupt the -ahahahahah – torrent of console sales? It’s possible, and a theory that’s frequently raised in response to this kind of news.”

    Yes, it’s this one. It must just be industry standard now – I can’t even remember the last big multi-plat game that didn’t end up having a staggered PC release (anybody?).

    Have any journalist types asked the publishers (or ‘sources’) if this is what they’re doing?

    I’m not too worried about it; I can wait a couple of weeks if the alternative is to pay twice as much for a console version.

  25. seras says:

    bah, we’ll get all the map packs for free, i don’t mind waiting an extra week or two.

    plenty of other games to keep me busy in the meantime.

  26. Seth says:

    The theory that this is being pushed back because of piracy concerns sounds totally ridiculous to me. The number of people who own both a console and a gaming pc has to be vanishingly small.

    The much more logical assumption is that these things get pushed back because the jungle of pc hardware is a costly pain in the ass to QA for in comparison to consoles.

    • subedii says:

      It’s difficult to call it a “theory” when other developers have outright said that they’re delaying the PC version because of piracy concerns (Endwar, Bionic Commando).

      It’s rarely a good idea to have staggered releases if you can possibly avoid it. Unless you feel that having a simultaneous release would be more damaging to the product.

    • Optimaximal says:

      The game is essentially a carbon copy of the 360 version – if it works on one, it’ll work on the other, especially as the engine is the same as it was back in Call of Duty 2.

      Also, just how much QA do you think a monolithic blockbuster shooter can feasibly get in 2 weeks, especially when it’s probably gone gold by then anyway.

  27. Rei Onryou says:

    Angry Tanks: Like Angrier Houses?

    This dissapoints. I already wasn’t planning on buying it on release thanks to Mr. Kotick’s new RRP plan, but this just takes the biscuit. I have no doubts that Kotick’s reasoning is to maximise console sales (and “reduce piracy”), but I strongly believe that PC sales aren’t as pathetic in comparison as they make it out to be.

    Give us PC guys a chance, we’re not as bad as you make out. In related news, L4D2 pre-orders are showing a 300% increase on L4D1’s (even with the boycott). That equates to…..shitloads. Look here, a PC game selling many copies! Oh wait, Kotick is too busy rolling in piles of console-gained money. ¬_¬

    • Seth says:

      L4D isn’t a pc game. It’s a cross-platform game that actually sold more on console.

      Guess where the bulk of that 300% increase is coming from.

    • subedii says:

      Sold more initially on the console. Problem is, it dropped off the radar of the console market soon afterwards, where it’s continued to sell on Steam due to some adaptive marketing by Valve.

      An interesting little piece that showcases some of the divergences. This primarily deals with player statistics, but Gabe Newell already stated elsewhere how the snap sales drastically affected revenue from L4D (I can try and dig that piece out as well if you’re interested, IIRC it was to do with the end-or-year sales in general but L4D was a part of the talk).

      http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24112

      More importantly, last sales statistics I saw didn’t include Steam numbers, only retail. Which even at a percentage of overall retail, you must bear in mind that Valves profit margins on L4D are far, far higher on Steam, since they’re the platform owners.

      By all means, I’m not saying that all companies find the PC as a platform more profitable. However, I’m pretty certain that for Valve it is, they own the key DD channel which means they can have their games selling for much longer periods of time with a little intelligent marketing, and they make much larger profits per unit sold as well.

    • Seth says:

      It’s great that Valve has continued to sell stuff with innovative marketing and weekend sales, but let’s just say I don’ think they’re buying tv ads in front of football games so that they can sell the game to a pc gamer on weekend ten months after release for fifteen bucks.

    • subedii says:

      They’re buying that advertising to advertise the game and get more initial sales.

      Doesn’t change the fact that when Valve had the half-price weekend sale they made more revenue (not sales number, actual revenue) than the entire opening week.

      You jest about piffly price points, but Valve really know what they’re doing.

    • Rei Onryou says:

      My assumption is that the L4D2 pre-order stats are based purely on Steam pre-orders as these are the numbers that Valve would have easiest access to.

      I do hope the delay is caused by QA for different hardware, but the way I see it is that they should’ve actually allocated time for it, rather than throwing it on in the end, figuring that no one would care.

  28. Lack_26 says:

    A you sure you can’t pirate games on 360, someone I know, his collection of 360 games were mostly in little white sleeves and looked a bit like those blank DVDs you can buy.

    Anyway, my interest in COD:MW:2 is pretty low, I don’t think I’ll play it for a year or two.

    • malkav11 says:

      Console games can be pirated, sure. (Certainly 360 and Wii games can be. PS3 games are on BluRay, which is not really very practical to pirate at the moment even if you can get the console to run pirate copies, something I could not tell you.) But on the PC, you directly download the game, you install, you copy over a crack. On consoles, you mostly have to buy a piece of hardware that you manually solder into it (voiding your warranty). Or get some shady outfit to do it for you, in which case I for one would run into trust issues, and it’s more expensive. For 360, you also lose Live, which is kind of a big deal.

    • D says:

      Hi malkav11. What you’re saying is that to pirate on Xbox, you need to pay someone to fix your machine first (a one-time thing that pirates do right away anyways) and then just burn a disc and play the single player, whereas when you pirate on PC you need to find the crack (and the right one), maybe use a few technical guides to get it working properly, and you can still only play the single player. Additionally you’re incorrect that the places that fixes your Xbox are unreputable, they are just like every other company in our capitalistic system. Often I think you can buy your pre-fixed Xbox straight from such vendors, with warranty (unless you open it subsequently ofcourse).

      I think the main statistical difference between these two forms of piracy is that to play pirated games on a console, you’ll use a PC to download it first anyways, so ofcourse if it’s already out for PC, pirates will get that instead. This must scewer the numbers on the PC-piracy side.

      After the trailer I had a genuine interest in buying this on launch day, for that crazy amount of money, but now I am on the verge of LOST SALE, simply because this company misunderstood their market once again. Listen more to Stardock plz.

  29. Larington says:

    None of the above.
    If they put the £55 console versions on sale at the same time as the £40 PC version, more people will opt for the PC version.
    That means less ripped off pounds going into the corporate coffers, I have no doubt they wouldn’t like that… Actually, it does also leave me wondering if this is a factor in many PC game release delays.

  30. Dreamhacker says:

    Contrary to popular opinion, the reasons behind the delay might not be a petty desire to piss of PC gamers, rather technical issues related to QA for the metric shitload of differing PC hardware that needs to be compatible with the game

    But by all means, rage-rage-rage!

  31. Seth says:

    I’m not really sure what reality you guys are living in where you think a significant portion of the public is sitting around wondering if they should play a new release on pc or console.

  32. Po0py says:

    I’m gonna echo what Larington just said. Its a cynical ploy to maximise console sales and we all have no choice but to deal with it. I think I’m gonna become a game journo so I can get these games early and free and, more importantly, play these fuckers on time.

  33. Alex says:

    Well, at least that gives me almost another month to finish MW1 – I’ve been playing it in pretty small intervals.

  34. ChampionHyena says:

    Am I pissed that my beloved PC is getting singled out for these ridiculous, nebulous date-changing shenanigans?

    Yes.

    Does it affect my purchase of MW2 in the slightest?

    HELL no.

    You see, I come from a country called America, and here in America, shiny new poorly-understood economic wrinkles mean that college-age white kids like myself have less money to blow on games then ever before.

    So MW2’s coming later in November, which would be a big deal if I were getting it in November. As it stands, it’s gone from a hopeful Christmas item to… a hopeful Christmas item.

  35. malkav11 says:

    As for me, I was never going to play it on console anyway, and I’m not much interested in paying $50 for a few hours of shooting action, if admittedly almost certainly stellar shooting action, so a couple week delay doesn’t affect me much.

  36. Gandy says:

    I have a friend who works for one of the major developers, and he confirmed it’s definitely piracy based. Something like 95-98% of the installed base on PCs is pirated, and they know there’s no way to stop it. So all they try to do is buy them a few weeks of sales for consoles so they can make some money back on their investment. As a non-console gamer, I’d rather wait 2 weeks and still have PC games coming out, rather than the publishers just walk away from the PC market.

    • subedii says:

      That is the other side of the fence. To be honest, even if I was interested in MW2, I don’t think two weeks would make much difference to me. It’s not like the ridiculous 2 month window they put on Bionic Commando (which with all that extra time they still somehow managed to provide a pretty poor port job).

  37. CJohnson03 says:

    Well, $60 is way too much for a video game anyways, so I’m already planning to wait for the Steam 50% off sale, and spend my money elsewhere in the meantime.

  38. dsmart says:

    Nothing to do with piracy I don’t think. No matter when it is released, PC pirates will wait to get their hands on it because I console version is not going to have them going out to buy it because they have to have it on day one.

  39. dsmart says:

    oops, didn’t finish my first post.

    This has more to do with wanting gamers who have a console and PC, to go out and get the more inferior console version if they can’t wait two weeks.

    For me, I’m disconnecting myself from the Internet on release day so I don’t get tempted to go out and by the console version. :D

  40. dsmart says:

    OK listen up, you mofos better bring back the editing button!!! Lazy bastards.

  41. RyePunk says:

    Tragically I only have an angrytrain. It goes choo-choo! and is fueled by coal that has been forged from pure rage.

  42. GlennS says:

    MW2 stands for Mechwarrior 2 damn you people. Don’t forget the classics.

  43. D says:

    What was that really great, really long and thorough website about PC piracy, EU/US pricing differences, rentals, console sales and everything else under the category of current market concerns? Found the link from a previous piracy thread on RPS and lost it again. Would like to read it again now after having suffered through some of the comments here.

  44. BabelFish says:

    Honestly, I’m kinda happy about it because this means it’s delayed a couple days past one of the big 300 man lans I attend.

    More TF2 and less CoD at lan parties is never a bad thing in my eyes.

  45. Monkeybreadman says:

    I’m on the SlightlyMiffedTrain going to Fuck It City

    • futage says:

      I’m on the not really fussed train as this game looked a bit wack. But Fuck It City sounds like a nice place so now I’m wondering whether my ticket is transferable and whether I’ll have to pay to cancel and whatever.

  46. XM says:

    M$ wants PC gamers to buy a 360 to win the PS3 battle.

    I will not be pushed around, you cannot, I repeat “cannot “play a FPS with a gamepad.

    Intel, Nvidia and AMD should kick off big time to show PC gaming will not be pushed around like this.

    And the sales crap is what really gets to me, FFS the figures do not include downloaded games. I have not bought a PC game in a shop for years as they pushed them out the back door years ago. If you want a PC game then online stores or services like steam are the only way.

    The cost of PC gaming is cheap look at how much the games cost. Each game you save at least £10. If you buy 100 games every 3 years you save £1000 to put to your kick ass PC every 3 years.

    Intel, Nvidia and AMD should have a simple PC game spec that works without driver updates. This will win everyone back to PC gaming.

    There’s not one thing I can think of that’s not better on PC. I even have a PC in the lounge hooked up to the TV for after pub gaming with mates. Look at all the years worth of games to choose from too.

    The game industry needs a big wake up call and stop M$ and Sony’s money ending good games.

    I do not care how long I got to wait for CODMW2 I’ve got lots of kisk ass games to play, PC gaming is far from dead Activision remember.

  47. gulag says:

    Is Borderlands still coming out at the end of the month? Grand, then I don’t care.

  48. Bantros says:

    Who cares? I’ll be playing Borderlands and L4D2 which I will purchase through Steam

  49. OutOfExile says:

    Thank god I’m not buying this.

  50. Dagda says:

    I’m guessing it’s to work against piracy, and I rather suspect it’s justified. Remember how insane the piracy numbers for COD4 were?