No Dedicated Servers for MW2?

Hmm! Over at BashAndSlash, a Call Of Duty community website, Infinity Ward’s community manager, Robert Bowling, confirmed there would be no dedicated server option for excruciatingly-anticipated super-shooter Modern Warfare 2. Really? Apparently so: dedicated servers will be replaced with a match-making service called IWNet. This will place you against players of your own rank, and remove dedicated server lists. There will also be options for a private matches. Take it with a pinch of salt, however, because the fact that it’s the community manager making an announcement two hours into a fan-podcast suggests there’s going to be some clarifying statements to follow. Bowling makes clear he’s not totally clear on the tech aspects, but he does seem certain that everything will run through IWNet, in conjunction with Steam. That seems to imply no mod support.

On the upside, the game isn’t delayed on PC after all. Ooh, what’s that noise?


  1. Sparvy says:

    Wow, that would be really stupid, definite lost sale of this is true.

  2. SprintJack says:

    It’s sad. They forgot theirs roots.

  3. Glove says:


  4. Paul says:

    It’s like they never heard the backlash over no dedi servers for Dragon Rising or something.

  5. Mr. Eh says:

    That sound is me yawning. Again. Seems like I’m the only person in the universe who thought MW sucked and couldn’t care less about this one.

    • Stupoider says:

      Don’t worry, you’re not alone. :)

    • sockpuppetclock says:

      Well, there are plenty of people who enjoyed the multiplayer in MW.

      I don’t see why you have to come in to a topic you don’t even want to talk about to announce you do not care about the topic!

    • Mr. Eh says:

      I care about the fact that I don’t care, which clearly I do want to talk about.

    • JKjoker says:

      actually i was just playing it for the first time yesterday (never played it before and i got a copy with my new vidcard) and it really sucks

      it sacrifices fun for realism and it doesnt even manage to draw you into the “war experience” like the old COD games because you get killed 100 times a minute while the game seems to never autosave before real danger, it either saves 10 minutes before danger or when you are already screwed plus i made the mistake of taking veteran without knowing that the difficulty gets screwed up near the end, in older CODs you could always use your allies as bulletproof vests when things got too hot, in MW most of the time you dont have allies or they just wont move from cover

      i did like some parts of it tho, the “first person coup d’√©tat + execution simulator” level was well done (the *other* death scene was not as good, it felt like a waste of time, i dont know why ppl praise the second one and not the first, i bet its because the second one is a us dude) and the “get to the snipping point without being seen” level was excellent (too bad it gets ruined by the you against 200 omniscient enemies part, why cant you just hide ? or take shelter in an easier to defend location like a building ?), but still, not enough to pay for it, maybe ill get it for free again with my next vidcard

    • Dracko says:

      Haha! You think Modern Warfare is a realistic simulation of its namesake.

      What next? Die Hard as an accurate depiction of hostage negotiation?

    • JKjoker says:

      actually by realism i meant that you get killed by 1-2 bullets and that its almost impossible to identify friendlies from enemies

    • JKjoker says:

      hmm, that sounds like i said its realistic again, its not, what i mean is that it *tries* too hard to be realistic and sacrifices fun by doing so

    • Senethro says:

      Joker, you played on Veteran which is the Unfairly Hard Challenge mode for the masochistic, so all your comments on difficulty don’t really apply because you played the game in the wrong way. I suspect that you spent so much time being dead that the intended flow and experience of the non-scripted bits was somewhat lost on you.

    • JKjoker says:

      @Senethro: yes that sounds about right, of course there is no way to change it without restarting, the game recomended veteran to me thats why i picked it

    • Ado says:

      Indeed, you ain’t alone mate. I’ve already had enough of the hype for this one. This just goes to show how much IW seem to have sold out to the console crowd now…

    • Dracko says:

      Yeah man, I hear you. They’re no longer interested in the good stuff (i.e. making money), now being shills for the Man (for money).

      JKJoker: Yes, Veteran difficulty is an unflattering aberration to the game, no doubt there. I’d avoid it at all possible costs.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Oh, I also thought the first one sucked, and Activision sure aren’t doing anything to convince me that number two is going to be any better…

  6. Evangel says:

    He’s an idiot if he said that stuff and wasn’t sure.

    Infinity Ward are idiots for not keeping a tighter leash on him.

    Infinity Ward are even bigger idiots if they think this is going to net them sales.

    • cliffski says:

      Infinity ward are incredibly successful games developers with close to zero staff turnover, very high morale, making the exact games they love and getting huge sales and critical acclaim for doing it.
      But clearly they are in fact idiots, because one guy has said something that may not be 100% accurate on a podcast.

      I’d happily be as stupid as infinity ward in return for their freedom, success, and sales.

    • rocketman71 says:

      Cliffski, if IW are doing the exact games they love, and they’re cutting the mapping, modding and server community’s with no influence from upstairs, then they not only are idiots, they’re also saying FUCK YOU to all the people that put them where they are.

      I’m certainly not buying their game now, same as I’m not buying SC2.

      And all of this because a million of idiots where willing to pay $10 for 4 stinking maps. That and Kotick, and these is the result.

  7. Bogie says:

    Everyone please go sign the petition here:

    To: infinity ward

    Get Infinity Ward to review their decision not to allow fully dedicated servers for their forthcoming game release CoD:MW2. Remember that this Call of Duty was made popular by PC Gamers who have supported the series throughout.


    The Undersigned

    link to

    It going up exponentially, 7000 and rising!

    F**k IW. F**k MW2.

  8. Magnus says:

    Let me get this straight…

    It requires IWnet, as well as Steam? (and no doubt, Windows Live will be tacked on)

    And after all that, you won’t be able to play on a dedicated (say clan) server?

    It’s like they don’t want my money at all…

    Oh and isn’t this one of the games Activision decided to increase the price of, but just for us in the UK?

    • Theory says:

      I don’t think IWNet will be a separate program. Since, according to this guy, it’ll be run through Steam it’s presumably a Steam-exclusive too, which unless IW cock it up removes the need for a separate user account too.

      No DSes though, yuck!

  9. Gl3n says:

    Bit rubbishy isn't it? I don't really understand why developers seem to be trying to impose console matchmaking onto PC versions. Laziness?

  10. Tony says:

    A lot of people are saying “fuck this” over this.

    I’m probably not going to pick it up either at this rate.

  11. Sheol says:

    It’s the singular sound of a million facepalms in the distance…

  12. teo says:

    Well to top it all off
    There will be no mod support

    • Buemba says:

      No dedicated servers, no mod support and a pricetag of $ 60.00.

      What’s next? No mouse and keyboard support, forcing you to use a 360 controller?

  13. HexagonalBolts says:

    we’re an army of three

  14. Dan says:

    Strangely, MW2 isn’t listed on steam yet… how would they use Steam if they don’t sell it through it (yet)?

    I played almost exclusively on a single MW server , which was populated by people who I’d gotten to know, who weren’t complete douchebags, that had a good ping to me. I really hope that whatever they’re planning, they’re not going to mess up that side of the game.

  15. Xercies says:

    It doesn’t matter what us PC Gamers say about this,, the thing is it will sell billions of the consoles and IW and Activision couldn’t care less about us. 7000 signatures is a very small minority to them.

  16. SirKicksalot says:

    I only care about the SP in Call of Duty.
    Were there any important/good/well-known mods for a COD game?

  17. merc says:

    Looks like I won’t be buying MW2.

  18. Grunt says:

    I don’t normally care much for this sort of thing but there is an online petition to get them to support dedicated servers. Over 7k names in less than 24 hours so maybe it’s worth noting.

    link to

  19. MrWolf710 says:

    Interview on Shacknews says exactly the opposite…basically.

    Shack: By the way, have you changed the way multiplayer games function on the PC at all?

    Robert Bowling: PC will be the same as it always was.

    That was from Sept 22. Less than a month ago.

    Link: link to

  20. Fat says:

    That’s daft, especially considering the price they’re asking.

    Are they still asking that ‘inflated’ price? I haven’t cared to check. After i saw how much they wanted i wrote it off my ‘DO WANT’ list.

    Either way, it sucks.

  21. Baris says:

    Thank god, I was having trouble fitting all the games I want into my ‘To Buy’ list.

    It’s sort of like when you run out of HD space and can’t think of anything to delete, then a 10GB game throws a brick wall at you. Sure, you’re frustrated, but on the inside, you’re glad you can uninstall it now.

  22. Heliocentric says:

    If the match making is awesome i don’t care about dedicated servers. But every game i’ve ever seen dependent on p2p is a mess of hacking and laggy servers.

    But, maybe they have some coding genius in place, who knows.

    • subedii says:

      Well according to the podcast they’re dropping punkbuster but instead going with VAC, which in personal experience has been pretty decent with getting rid of cheaters.

      Then again, Valve are also smart enough to know how important dedicated servers are. Heck, even Left 4 Dead supports dedicated servers, and that’s for a game that has 4-8 players max.

  23. Tei says:

    Any serius player of multiplayers games play on dedicated server. Not having dedicated servers for this game mean the multiplayer part is no serius. What is strange, because it has been advertised as a good multiplayer game. But It seems that the MP part is not important enough, so has ben sacrificed…

    Maybe this game is just a “XMax” hit, and the dev’s don’t expect people to play it from now on in 4 months.

  24. Dmitri says:

    Not piracy, a platform for delivery of for pay DLC.

  25. mrrobsa says:

    This is foolish. Piracy will still be rampant on the title so they’re giving us a worse experience for no good reason. Didn’t they sell over 10 million copies anyway?! Christ, I guess some people aren’t satisfied unless they sell 20 million.

    • lumpi says:

      As always, pirates will be the only group not affected by this since some hacked dedicated servers will be available a week from release.

  26. Mooglepies says:


    I think it’s going to be interesting seeing how they justify this choice if the implications are correct.

  27. tapanister says:

    Yeah, I already tried playing Gears of War without dedicated servers, I won’t make that mistake twice. Fuck IW if they pull this off, and fuck their IWNET too. This treatment towards gamers has got to stop.

    • subedii says:

      Oh come now, host advantage wasn’t that bad.*

      * It really really was.

  28. Hoernchen says:

    Let’s face it, the multiplayer part is the one and only reason why most of the people spend money on a game. Combine this lackluster multiplayer part which will alienate any potential buyer interested in competetive mp with a short singleplayer campaign and you get the receipe for piracy.

    • Baris says:

      Actually, a large majority of people who purchase games play single-player exclusively.

    • JKjoker says:

      I play only single player in games, i never care or consider about the mp component when i buy a game, i used to touch MP for LAN play only maybe once a year (but that stopped after i got into university and lost touch with my highschool buddies)

      ppl assuming “multiplay is everything” pisses me off

    • Alexander Norris says:

      People assuming that single player is everything or multiplayer is nothing in a game that is clearly designed to be primarily the vector for an online multiplayer game (you know, using CoD4’s six hour campaign and multiplayer that is still popular down the line) piss me off.

      If you only play single player on “core” titles, you’re in a dwindling minority of people.

    • JKjoker says:

      i didnt generalize, i said “i” as in “for me” mp is worthless, sp is everything, so ppl that handwave problems with the sp like nothing are killing all that is fun for me, im not blind enough to ignore all those ppl playing multiplayer, but you should consider that sp-only players tend not to be online as much as multiplay oriented ones so we tend to be less visible but we exist and we are quite a lot

    • Alexander Norris says:

      I have no doubt that there are SP-only players, and I have nothing against SP-only players. My point is, if we use CoD4 as an example (tiny campaign, multiplayer that I have been playing for two years), then it seems fairly obvious that MW2 is multiplayer-centric with the SP campaign thrown in as an extra.

      I’m not really ranting at you so much as people who feel that their point of view is obviously superior to everyone else’s or to the facts, I guess. :P

      (Not saying that that’s your opinion, just that that’s sort of what it came across as.)

  29. subedii says:

    Well in the podcast he does say that piracy didn’t really factor into the decision, and I’m inclined to accept that. It’s doubtful such a structure would affect piracy in any way.

    That said, no servers = no real mod / level support. Also, host advantage. Also, no possibility for community servers. Heck man, I don’t know where I’d play TF2 if it wasn’t for dedicated community servers.

    Throw in the fact that they raised the price to match the console version and yeah, dumb all round. I’d be getting my rage on except, eh, I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t really interested in the first place. For those that were though, yeah, this sucks.

  30. subedii says:

    No that’s just childish and stupid, not to mention NSFW so it shouldn’t even be here in the first place.

  31. NubeMassive says:

    and with the iw’s peer to peer you don’t choose where you play and is based on how good you are is bogus, like even if we have private games what is the fun in that with no promods and shit, and if me and a few clan members want to play together online we have to be of the same skill level is just bullshit, thus now im really considering taking off my preorder and probably just download, saves me paying overpriced garbage

  32. coupsan says:

    I can’t wait to not buy this.

  33. Nathan says:

    The internet rage machine is not happy.
    And nor am I :(

  34. Ash says:

    Aside from anything it’s a big step to killing off the community that naturally grows around these games.

    People find a server which tends to fit their style of play. Those servers will mostly likely attract like minded people. Sure you can create a system to match player “skill” but what about player prefeences? What happens If you’re the kind of person who wants to play everything completely dead pan seriously or you’re more a social gamer who wants to have a bit of a laugh? How can you matchmake that?

    The communities that grow around these desires die with this. There is no formation of friendships based around a community, somethign I cherish about my online games.

    I play TF2 a lot and I have my favourite community server. Most of the time I hop on there and you know what the nice thing is? I say “Hi everyone” and about ten people will greet me personally. How can you have that with this idiotic system? everyone becomes the faceless gamers of yesteryear. It’s this kind of community atmospehre I feel which has helped reduce the amount of 12 year olds screaming fuck at everyone and turned PC gaming into, in my opinion, a much more mature and friendly place thn the consoles.

    The only thing they can hope to achieve is that the developers will hold a tighter leesh around the community. either you buy into their way of running things or you don’t get any community structure. I don’t want that. I love playing the games on the PC because of the community aspect. I’ve met some great people online through our shared passion for playing games and having a laugh. There wont be time or insentive enough to do that if this statement is true.

    The sad thing is if this is true the PC market will mostly likely either not bother with the game or just pirate it out of defiance (and I don’t really blame them) This game will of course sell stupid amount on the consoles so when it comes to the next COD game and they see massively deminished PC sales compared to huge console sales. Guess what their next move is?

    • merc says:

      RIght on.

    • oceanclub says:

      That’s an excellent point. Dedicated servers aren’t just for clans. I’m a very occasional TF2 player, but still have a list of servers in my favourites (including RPS and PC Gamer UK) because I know that people there aren’t usually muppets.


    • oceanclub says:

      And the irony is, COD4’s game browser was great – incredibly fast. One of the reasons I liked having a quick COD4 multiplayer game was because from the time I clicked the launch icon to being in game was a matter of 20 seconds or less – much faster than Valve’s games. And they’re getting rid of that?

  35. TheSombreroKid says:

    looks like an attempt to combat the absolutly rife cracked servers, lol cod4s network stuff was aweful anyway, and it never had mod support, it went as far as to not have a map rotation setting in game and to delete your config files every 5 minutes meaning a manual edit job got your map rotations deleted everytime you shut down.

  36. Gl3n says:

    Jim Rossignol said:


  37. jeff says:

    Could have predicted this. I remember recently using the server browser in CoD 4 and thinking how it was unique to the PC version, and kind of wondering if that meant it wouldn’t be around much longer. So I’m not surprised. If I had to guess I’d say they removed it purely so that the code would be more portable and they wouldn’t have to spend as long doing additional work on the PC version. Yes, my guess would be laziness is the reason for this, resenting having to do extra coding for the PC version when it doesn’t sell as well and the platform is beset by piracy.

    Anyway, personally I don’t care that much, server browsers are definitely nicer than matchmaking, because it’s usually very simple to find a low-ping server with lots of people on, and matchmaking always seems to take longer and result in less reliability, but as long it doesn’t take too long and isn’t too unreliable I’m sure it will still be possible to have fun this way. Still, it is a shame they are getting rid of dedicated servers, for sure, it’s just seems like dumbing-down. So no, IW, this is not cool, it’s lame!!

  38. suibhne says:

    “Matchmaking” killed any community growth in both Gears of War and L4D. (Look at the differences between the L4D “community” and the TF2 community – and that’s with dedicated servers in L4D.) Add this to the fact that Bowling already told us, point blank, that PC multiplayer would work exactly as it had in the past. This is unmitigated bullshit.

    I rather expected IW to treat the PC version of MW2 with some version of benign neglect, as they arguably did with CoD4. This approach, however, is far worse.

    • deer says:

      L4D is different it is coop (or versus coop) game, it is more about playing with friends so building community is rather hard still there are dedicated servers for it. Matchmaking in L4D is not working as it should but with latest patch I see some progress. I hope L4D2 will have better matchmaking (4 vs 4 matchmaking) . But with games like tf2, bf, cod where 16(24) to 32 plays on a server it is easy to build community and befriend with some people. I don’t understand why IW is trying to kill this.

  39. Smurfy says:

    ALTHOUGH, they do say it’ll have Valve Anti-Cheat and Steamworks integration :D

  40. Kingmarzo says:

    Infinity Ward made its name from Pc games so it hurts that they’ve decided to do this. So many previous games tried this and failed. I just wonder how much the drop in Pc sales will affect them?

    12000 have signed a petition already.

    • Cit says:

      But what if your petitions are a PR stunt and a clever way to avoid receiving 12,000 emails/letters instead?
      Aha! :P

  41. Crush says:

    I just find this highly amusing, Infinity Ward publicly poo-pooed Games For Windows Live and now they are implementing their own version.

  42. Pundabaya says:

    I much prefer matchmaking, just because everything is nice and simple, you aren’t wandering into someone’s ‘hallowed domain’ and you aren’t going to get kicked for daring to get into a vehicle, or using the wrong gun or whatever.

    I hate looking at long lists of servers and trying to work out which servers are A) run by fucksocks B) download shitty soundeffects C) are likely to be inhabited by screaming elmos, griefers or any other multiplayer gaming twats, or D) all three, and avoiding the hell out of them.

    I much prefer the ‘band of brothers’ neutral battleground style online experience that matchmaking creates, compared to the ‘this is our land whatever happens’ style engendered by dedicated servers.

    Anyway, who cares, I’m getting this on 360, like I do for most games nowadays.

    • Psychopomp says:

      You need to find, and favorite, servers.

    • Cit says:

      But a gaming twat sounds like a perfect match…

    • coupsan says:

      I didn’t think anyone could be such a fucking zombie.

    • CryingTheAnnualKingo says:

      You make good points. I’d still rather have it the old way, but I do find a measure of joy that these power tripping admins who get off by lording their ability to kick/ban people at their whim over everyone’s head are having that power ripped from their grubby little hands. It’s quite pleasurable to think about, actually.

  43. Psychopomp says:

    Why in the name of hell would they do that?

    L4D barely got away with this, no way a competitive game is going to get away with this,.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Technically, L4D does have dedicated servers, which is probably the only thing keeping the community from imploding totally. The matchmaking, though, is still borked. So your point still stands. There’s still rage-threads flying back and forth on the Steam forums about too-modded dedicated servers vs too-laggy official Valve servers.

  44. gryffinp says:

    Good gods.

    I have no interest in Modern Warfare or any of it’s sequels, and I never have. Even I am angry at these people for being so stupid.

  45. FaceBash says:

    This is going to end badly.
    I am in accomidation with a NAT type that doesn’t allow me to connect to such things of GameSpy (no RA3) and some local hosted games.
    CoD4 mulitplayer, ur in a game in seconds with all the options u wanted to play with.
    Why do they think they can make something better when its already perfect?
    Also . . . .


    if it has improved it (which im douting) then IW well done u geniuses, <3 u!

  46. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    I’m glad I got The Three Musketeers: The Game instead…. :D

  47. Susan says:

    It’s like they’re *trying* to make people not buy it.

  48. Forscythe says:

    Console high price. Console matchmaking. No mods.

    This isn’t a PC game, it’s a port.

    Nothing wrong with that. I do expect this is going to be a superb game on its home platform, the Xbox 360. I certainly wouldn’t buy it on PC, though.

    • Senethro says:

      Its not a port, but it is an attempt to gain control of how people play on the PC platform. That makes it worse in a way, as they’re going to extra lengths. You’d have to be that little bit extra corporately evil to leave out features present in previous games.

    • JKjoker says:

      They took out mods probably because they work against DLC, which is funny considering a few years back they were relying on the modding community to “finish” games

  49. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    “People, we’re getting many complaints about the pc being delayed! What must we do!?!”
    -“Uh, I dunno. Maybe we can just do a quick port and remove the dedicated server support, that should save us some time, right?”
    “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
    -“If it fails, we’ll patch it up anyway.”

  50. guisim says:

    Dedicated servers are the very heart of PC multiplayer games.

    • Spoon says:

      Agreed. I know IW is just trying to stop pirate servers from being made, but this is not the answer. I doubt it would be cost effective for IW to maintain more than matchmaking servers, so does that mean that MP will be peer-hosted like the console versions? Ten dollars more for a peer-hosted multiplayer is not my idea of appealing.

    • JKjoker says:

      so is LAN but a lot of ppl were defending Blizzard when they gave us the finger about that

    • K says:

      Were they?
      I seem to recall lots of complaints. And a petition. It doesn’t get more serious than that, man.

    • po says:

      Activision/Blizzard didn’t provide a dedicated server for WoW, and that didn’t stop pirates/people who wanted a game with GMs you don’t have to wait 24 hours for/more gameplay options/prompt solutions to problems, from making their own private servers.

      Yep, Actard is a very well suited amalgamation for such a stupid company.

    • Starky says:

      LAN is a minor issue compared to dedicated servers…

      No LAN would be fine, if you could host a dedicated server in the same room as you at a LAN party.

      That’s what most of the LAN’s I’ve been to in the last 5 years do anyway, because it allows a few people to connect from the internet and play, I’ve never been to a LAN party in those 10 years that didn’t have a decent broadband connection.
      Hell if you don’t have a decent (10meg or so) connection you shouldn’t be hosting a LAN at all these days.

      Besides, I’m still wagering that SC2 will have LAN, just that it will require you to be connected and logged into battlenet to set it up through their service – using a LAN peer to peer setup.
      Which is just LAN that requires an internet connection + account to use – which is fine imo.

      Peer to peer is fine for up to 8 players, but I like to play 16-a-side cod4… and I know that without a dedicated server that isn’t going to be a reality.

    • JKjoker says:

      @Starky: i doubt it will work peer to peer, that would make cracking it and using hamachi too easy, im pretty sure packets will have to go though bnet so youll get lag even when playing in the same room