Modern Warfare 2 Server Response

Game Informer were first in line with the responses from Infinity Ward, with this peculiarly unpleasant article by Adam Biessener. The Game Informer writer says of the general outcry about the news that MW2 would not support dedicated servers for online play: “Predictably, nerds across world took to the Internet with a wailing and a gnashing of teeth that would make the Left 4 Dead community proud.” Or perhaps we – nerds or otherwise – were justifiably upset about a change to a proven way of doing things, a change no-one seems confident will be to our advantage. The article goes on to quote Infinity Ward’s Jason West saying “”We’re just prioritizing the player experience above the modders and the tuners… we thought maybe it would be cool if the fans could play the game.”

There’s a more detailed breakdown of what IW are proposing over on Robert Bowling’s blog, which makes for a clearer response. I’m a little dubious about the anti-cheating claim, however, since dedicated server admins have gone a long way to self-policing the community, and I feel like IW’s claim that they’ll be able to deal with it might be a little bold.


  1. Thiefsie says:

    ah who cares… I won’t be buying it.

    • dartt says:

      I don’t care you won’t be buying it.

    • Senethro says:

      Replying to Thiefsie because I want to be at the top ;o

      Heres an important point which many aren’t aware of for how this is fucking us over outside of the US.
      Do many countried in Europe even have ISPs which give them 512k upload or more?
      Hosting a 16 player server for an hour (6kb/player/s) uses about 300MB. How many of you have bandwidth caps in the low double figures (15GB or less)?

      I know mine (BT) throttles my upload between 5pm-9pm, but those of you who were considering hosting should think about it.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      matchmaking sucks, I completely by-pass it in L4D by playing on community servers/with friends.
      I totally love pwning guys and gals above my skill sweet

    • Andrew Dunn says:

      You should care. This is the thin end of the wedge.

      It’s a despicable move by the developers with a complete disregard and contempt for the community. I wasn’t even planning on playing this game in multiplayer, was just going to buy it for the singleplayer (which I’m sure I’d enjoy, as I loved CoD4’s). However, I can’t support any company that acts like this.

      There’s been an awful lot of ridiculous boycotting and outcries recently (Left 4 Dead 2, the storm in an exported-from-Carnatica teacup over Empire: Total War DLC), but this one is actually justified and righteous. Voting with wallets won’t make much different – 2 million copies of CoD4 sold on PC, and most of those never went online – but we can’t take this lying down. The removal of dedicated server support from a game like this is a big indicator of the shite that’s to come.

    • Gap Gen says:

      There’s an article on Eurogamer that suggests that the kind of tactics MW2 uses (specifically, the price rise) aren’t going to be easy to mimic – MW2 will sell well whatever they do, but most games don’t. Most games can’t afford to alienate large groups of customers, particularly the most dedicated customers. So I suspect that where Activision can afford to weather losing some sales over this by making an unpopular decision, most publishers/developers can’t.

    • XM says:

      You should care if you are a PC or console gamer, This could effect the future of other online PC games and currently stops consoles having a fair online experience.

      We need to stop this now before other devs do the same. As I said below this explains why it’s important. link to

    • Thiefsie says:

      OK I take that back… I do care in regards to consolification and the death of Mods, ded servers etc of course… that is why I love PC gaming… but frankly it’s flogging a dead horse. IW have seen the console light and others will follow them to $alvation. This is a dark moment for PC gaming.. and I am fully aware of that.

      Fortunately… nifty parts of CoD aside… the series is kind of all the same and way too scripted for me. Give me a Stalker/Borderlands (or dare I say it F3) any day over CoD. So I don’t care about MW2 going this route… kind of like Dragon Rising.

      Hopefully there will be a large fallout and low PC sales won’t so easily be blamed on the piratez0rs.

      Capitalism can be a cunt sometimes…

  2. Vinraith says:

    I sincerely hope this costs them sales, but I don’t hold out any real hope that it’ll be noticeable amidst the obscene amounts of cash they’ll rake in regardless.

    Oh, and pro tip to developers: mod makers tend to be among your most enthusiastic fans and, in most cases, most vocal advocates. Perhaps insulting them isn’t the greatest way to advertise your upcoming title. It seems clear enough that IW’s sole interest has become developing for closed platforms, if that’s the case maybe they should just stick to console games and be done with it.

    • Subject 706 says:

      This little quote from the article :

      “all they lose is the ability to customize the game on a deeper level with mods and such”

      makes me wonder if they really are stupid enough to think anyone will accept that reasoning.

      “Hey guys, we wanted to give you a better experience so we took away one of the biggest selling points of our game”.


  3. Hermit says:

    They’re also using VAC for their cheat detection. This would be the same VAC that utterly failed to deal with the speed-crit hacker that spent weeks terrorising the PCG TF2 server.

  4. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    What West says is more of an insult to people who run dedicated servers than anything else. I can’t fathom why they’re against dedicated servers (alongside official ones).

    Ah well, I’m with Thiefsie here.

  5. Tei says:

    “We’re just prioritizing the player experience above the modders and the tuners… we thought maybe it would be cool if the fans could play the game.”

    This is what “Streamlining” is all about. Make a simpler game so everybody can join. And Is his game, so these guys have the right to do that.

    On the o ther part, as a modder, I feel that this comment is unfair. Modders are another name for dev’s. We make stuff not for ourselves, but for other people to play. If you fuck modders, you fuck Team Fortress, Capture The Flag, Counter-Strike, Desert Combat (and probably Battlefield 2?). Withouth modders, Counter-Strike would not have been exist. Is somewhat like a BIG LIE, or a STUPID THING TO SAY, that Counter-Strike was created and benefict only his creators, I think a bit more people have benefict from Counter-Strike. Ex… me, I am not a dev of CS, but I remenber looong hours playing the MOD.

    For bad, or for good, modding is part of gamming today. I feel uneasy with the hands of Infinity Ward on my neck, tryiing to stop the oxygen….

    • pepper says:

      I agree with you, and companies havent been making it easier for us to mod there games, many times giving us tools that are half finishd or bug ridden. Bad documentation and engine parts we cant reach but make up a for a fundamental part of the gameplay.

      Yes, i mod Battlefield 2…

      What they dont realize is that opensource/freeware engines are becoming more and more powerfull, one day modders will say fuck you and move what they got to these engines. I think the Spring RTS engine is a good example.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “This is what “Streamlining” is all about. Make a simpler game so everybody can join. And Is his game, so these guys have the right to do that.”

      This isn’t streamlining. TF2 is streamlining.
      This is dumbing down. Big difference.

    • Vinraith says:

      An issue that’s occluded by the fact that developers like to call dumbing down “streamlining.” You’re entirely right that there’s a difference, and an important one, but I can understand why people are starting to be very skeptical of the term.

  6. Ging says:

    It won’t cost them enough sales to really make a difference to them – the console version sales will be unaffected and they will be halfway to the moon on the day of release. Losing a 100,000 (hah) PC sales? barely a ripple in their projected sales.

    Just don’t bother reading any of the comments on the blog post by Bowling, it’s lots of pages of vitriol and poorly targeted rage – he’s “just” the mouth piece of IW after all. My biggest issue with this isn’t the loss of control, I don’t play competitively so am not bothered about being able to control every aspect of the server, but the loss of community created by dedicated servers is a major issue.

    Match making / private games just can’t engender the same build up of common faces – certainly on the 360 it’s pretty rare to see the same face night after night except by some bizarre twist of fate (or, you know, if you’re partied up with them).

  7. trunkh says:

    I’m so incredibly frustrated with the intellectual dishonesty on display from infinity ward and the journos and commenters the mach to the beat of Infinity Wards drum.

    If it truly is superior and people truly are just whiners. How about you give us the technical details on how it works and will be an improvement to support your argument and view point. Rather than just saying it will be, when all evidence of current matchmaking systems employed by consoles and other games demonstrate otherwise?

  8. Irish Al says:

    It will put you in the game that will give you the smoothest gameplay possible without you having to manually find a server with the best ping.

    What’s wrong with a filter or sort button on a normal server browser list ?

    • Clovis says:

      More importantly, why can’t you just have both?

    • JKjoker says:

      isnt it obvious ? they want the sheep together so they can DLC their ass, and of course modding is a big no when you are trying to sell maps that the community could make *for free* in 30 minutes

    • Psychopomp says:

      And this is the difference between Bioware’s DLC, and IW’s current plan

      Bioware is making a game that’s almost 100% moddable, and putting out an editor that looks to be better than NWN’s editor. The DLC they’re working on didn’t get in the way of letting the fans make and share their own creations, and ignore the official stuff if they want to.

      IW, at the moment, is trying to lock us in, so the can get more money.

  9. Wisq says:

    Well, they just successfully abolished my nagging doubt that maybe they just underestimated how much these things meant to the PC community.

    It seems they knew full well all along, and just don’t care.

    I was years late to COD4 and very much enjoyed the SP campaign, even if I found MP a bit lacklustre. I planned to grab MW2 at some point for the same reasons — mainly for the SP, with MP as a possible bonus if it was any good. But they’re definitely on my “go back to ignoring them” list now.

  10. Gap Gen says:

    The argument “It’s a little dubious. Some of the people complaining are complaining with their pocketbook” misses the point a little, although obviously some people will lose potential server sales over this. The dedicated server market isn’t in competition with IW’s sales (unless, of course, they’re planning to release their own dedicated servers for a price in the future, and want to prevent being undercut).

    The argument that having both dedicated servers and a matchmaking facility is divisive might make more sense – people might neglect one or the other if given a choice that a lot of people wouldn’t understand. And while abandoning dedicated servers is going to lose IW a lot of their more involved fans who form clans, etc, Activision’s entire strategy is based around capturing the semi-casual market, rather than the hardcore – their actions, such as the lawsuit against Double Fine and using words like “exploit” with respect to games aren’t designed to endear them to people who are involved enough to read the gaming press.

  11. Bananaphone says:

    Operation Flashpoint 2 doesn’t have dedicated servers and that is an absolute pain in the arse, you just get booted offline without warning when the host decides he’s had enough.

  12. derFeef says:

    Did this guy call me a nerd? Holy crap.

    • Vinraith says:

      What kind of video game developer uses “nerd” as an insult anyway? People in glass houses, anyone?

    • Alec Meer says:

      Whoah, non-readers: the Games Informer writer uses the term, not the developer.

    • derFeef says:

      I know – a videogame journalist calls a gamer a nerd. He may die in a fire now.

    • Vinraith says:

      Now see, I even read that, this is what happens when I post at 4 AM. Not that games journalist is what you’d call a “non-nerdy” profession exactly, present company excepted. :)

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Please don’t pretend that Game Informer actually has journalistic integrity, nor the people who write for it.

  13. Flimgoblin says:

    Because we all know how utterly impossible it is to cheat on games with completely closed servers like MMOs… never any hacks or cheats on those…

  14. Mashakosha says:

    The only problem I see with this is he flat out labels everyone who’s not happy about this as PC gamers. I’ll grant you that many of them are, but it’s not like there aren’t console gamers who, though they won’t be affected by this, think it’s unfair. We’re PC gamers, we have our way of doing things and that means dedicated servers. Console gamers have their matchmaking and are happy with it.

    But regardless, I’m no longer buying it. So much for queueing up at midnight outside Gamestation.

  15. Quercus says:

    So, if a clan wants a match, who hosts this private server? One of the clan members? That is never going to work as the latency will be too variable between those playing the game.

    I am a member of a loose clan that play together for fun. We don’t take part in leagues and indeed came together playing Battlefield 1942 because of like-minded players playing on a specific dedicated server on a regular basis.
    IW’s decision means that existing clans would only be able to play in a much-reduced way and that new clans or communities will be impossible to form.

    Their comment that “We’re just prioritizing the player experience above the modders and the tuners… we thought maybe it would be cool if the fans could play the game.” is wrong.
    What they are actually doing is catering solely to the player experience of casual gamers by extinguishing the online communities.

    Console players don’t have the same level of communities when they play games so they won’t feel the pain, but for PC gamers it is a big step backwards.

  16. Mashakosha says:

    Mind you, we’re “nerds” in the same vein as the L4D2 boycotters. So what do we know?

    • derFeef says:

      Nonono – the L4D2 boycott was a joke from the beginning (complaining about daytime, new survivors) but Infinty is killing a fundamental PC multipalyer feature.

    • Gorgeras says:

      Please point out just where in the Boycott manifesto it complained about THAT?

  17. Bravedave says:

    I agree with Ging. There is something beautiful about having a long and protracted rivalry with complete strangers.

  18. Falwell says:

    “West takes a shot at the motives behind some of the outrage, noting that there’s money to made by selling dedicated servers and adspace on them: “It’s a little dubious. Some of the people complaining are complaining with their pocketbook.”

    Oh this is rich. Coming from the guys who slapped a 60 dollar price tag on their PC version for absolutely no justifiable reason.

  19. Shadowmancer says:

    “we thought maybe it would be cool if the fans could play the game.”

    Obviously IW have no idea how pc gamers operate, most of us search for servers and often play on either the lowest ping or a specified modded one, again they have alienated their fanbase.

    Also there’s the question of how long the IW servers will last a year or two then theres no multiplayer for anyone, this isn’t an MMO IW its a quick round based fps lack of dedicated serves will mean there will be no competitive play between clans unless they do a lan instead.

    • Falwell says:

      There’s also the fact that when the IW servers inevitably shit to bed, the game’s multi player component is completely down.

    • nakke says:

      But by then IW’s masterpiece, Shoot People With Guns 9 (the best game ever made) will be out. Who’d want to play some silly ancient 3-year-old game then?

  20. ThePinkNinja says:

    “a change no-one seems confident will be to our advantage”

    I am

    Anything to balance out skill levels is grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat

    I’m tired of being fodder for the amazing top three players all teams in every FPS has

    • Bhazor says:

      And another side of developer controlled servers? Less control for the players in booting out douches. Welcome to next generation servers!
      link to
      link to

      I mean the PC servers aren’t perfect. But we can at least rely on a moderator stepping in.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Bhazor

      Those vids are disgusting, but not really surprising.

    • ThePinkNinja says:

      “I mean the PC servers aren’t perfect. But we can at least rely on a moderator stepping in.”

      What promised land of servers are you playing on?

    • Psychopomp says:

      Baron’s Pub, for me

  21. Bhazor says:

    “Clans can set up private matches to do their training or what have you; all they lose is the ability to customize the game on a deeper level with mods and such. Infinity Ward sees the addition of solid matchmaking and community support like IW-run tournaments to the PC as a huge win, and not something that could be done under the old system.” ever heard of Valve or any other PC shooter in the world ever?

    Now I don’t even care about this game and probably won’t play it till it’s in the bargain bin. But this really is a worrying trend for such a big developer to start. Essentially they’re removing the mod tools and selling us the mods.

  22. Heliocentric says:

    Excellent, so it wasn’t just an out of touch community manager but a whole company who doesn’t understand pc gaming.

    MW1 is still great, actiblizzivision will still make a killing on this game. Hell, they might even reduce piracy (i’m not suggesting that will result in sales) so they’ll feel justified.

    Of course, no one pirates things they don’t actually want.

    When sales are weak they can blame piracy (i know, inverse logic) and abandon the pc for good and sing cumbyar holding hands with microsoft and sony.

    • JKjoker says:

      everyone keeps throwing the “reduce piracy” line around, for your info every single freaking game released in the last few months was cracked inside the first week, a LOT were released several weeks before official release (probably because they delayed release date but the boxes were already shipped, a google-translated Stalker COP has been floating around for a while now), console versions are released even faster than PC copies, they are not reducing piracy and i very much doubt they are stupid enough to try, they only use it to justify other goals, dont let them fool you

  23. SanguineAngel says:

    Well, I have to agree fully with Ging. I am not a modder, I rarely play on modded servers, and I am not part of a clan. However, I have been playing CoD4 since release and this is solely because I have been playing on the same handful of servers. These people are not my direct friends but I know them well enough to enjoy playing the same game over the same handful of maps for years whilst enjoying friendly banter and a sense of community.

    This matchmaking service will be similar to the faceless, random match selection to be found on almost all console multiplayer games. This is a problem, because I cannot guarantee where I will end up, what group of people I will be playing with and really, I have no control over the experience at all. I play Battlefield on my PS3, but I only play for brief periods of time because I do not have a clue who any of the people i am playing with are. This creates further problems when complete and utter strangers attempt to play a game where team tactics are at least relatively important to success and/or enjoyment.

    Dedicated servers were great mostly for the sense of community that you will NOT find in a simialar way on consoles.

    ALSO, that article was absolutely terrible. It’s so stupidly biased it almost took my head off. My particular favourite part:

    “Zampella downplays the obvious piracy prevention angle (IW has cited numbers of people online playing illegal copies of Modern Warfare up to 60 percent). “The Steam stuff helps with the piracy. I don’t know that the matchmaking stuff does,” ”

    So, the guy says that matchmaking does NOT help prevent piracy, and the writer STILL attempts to make it an “obvious” piracy issue. beautiful. The guy is a real tool.

  24. Garreett says:

    They can feed us as much “IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD” garbage as they want, but as soon as the next COD game comes out, they’ll pull the plug on the MW2 servers, leaving you forced to buy the next in the never-ending cash farming series or be without multiplayer.

    Either way, I won’t ever be purchasing a IW game unless they clean up their act.

  25. Adam says:

    On the other hand Punkbuster is so easily evaded it may as well not exist, and if it wasn’t using VAC it would almost certainly use Punkbuster. Anyway, VAC bans aren’t instant, they’re delayed.

    • Adam says:

      Gah that was supposed to be a reply to Hermit’s comment on VAC

  26. XM says:

    I can’t understand why IW spend all this money developing this IWnet software before asking the PC community first. Plus the cost of massive servers, the bills must be sky high. Now I see why the game costs so much. What a mess how the hell are they going to get out of this one. They are going to need a lot of game sales even on PC just to break even.

    The first thing I would have done is a quick internet survey the second I came out the meeting about this major new feature. How simple would it be for a quick survey to say: Do you want dedicated servers in the next COD game? YES or NO

    Then before any money was spent they would see all the YESs right before their eyes.

    This is why I’m not in business because if you speak sense you just get laughed at.

  27. wintermute says:

    People are focusing on the wrong things here.

    MW2 is an elephant in a china shop for dolls; a massive, precedent setting game that will influence the market and other developers.

    The main problem, that people have already swallowed and forgotten about is the pricing. Nothing in the trailers seen so far suggests any groundbreaking innovations that could possibly justify this price increase. You are paying for hype, no more, no less, but be sure other developers will take notice. Anyone sitting on a franchise that sells regularly, or a title with a big following that <might> turn out to be good, will perk up and rub their hands together with glee.

    Queue money being poured into marketing, as well as reviews withheld until release day.

    The other big issue is the lack of mod support. This paves the way for paid DLC <only>, which, while usually well executed and cheap, is still an overwhelmingly big price to pay. There is no rational justification except moar $$$ for this move. Look at Fallout 3, a game that integrates modding and DLC perfectly. The two are not exclusive, and in fact are intrinsically linked with every DLC pack spawning fresh mods that take advantage of it. The point is, the DLC packs are not selling less because of mods, but the game improves massively because they exist.

    What IW and also, especially, the gamers need to understand is that they have the power to shape the future of the industry here. So far, it seems like the accountants, the corporate suits and marketing "gurus" are winning. IW needs to start listening to the gamers, and the gamers need to stop fawning and sucking their sweet MW2 balls just so they can possibly play an overpriced and possibly overhyped FPS. There <will> be better games.

  28. Dev says:

    petition for dedicated servers 118k currently

    link to

  29. Arsewisely says:

    Might this be a publicity stunt to incite a little nerd-fuss and internet chatter about their new game? Only for them to patch it and replace the old server browsing feature? It does seem like a bit of a daft move, almost designed to piss off the pc market. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.

  30. oceanclub says:

    What an annoying article – I had to reg to Gamesinformer to respond to it.

    The first principle of any journalist should be to question authority on behalf of their readership, not suck up to it.


    • DarkNoghri says:

      Apparently not when your parent company is Gamestop (or so I’ve heard), where your priority is getting people on consoles anyhow.

  31. Quercus says:

    Arsewisely, you may have a point.
    I have replied to FourZeroTwo’s blog with the following:

    “I’m sorry but your justification for doing this just doesn’t match the detrimental effects this will have on PC gaming.
    Let’s look at your comments above:

    Listen, if a PC gamer can’t use a server browser they really shouldn’t be playing.
    Matchmaking itself is a cool idea but PC gaming is all about choice. Fine, have an “automatch” button that allows you to leap into a server with players of the same rough level and a low ping, but don’t do it at the expense of letting a player choose where to play.
    What you are doing is catering exclusively for casual gamers.
    And what happens if I don’t want to limit myself to playing with people of the same skill level?
    I know several people that have had to reinstall CoD and have lost their level so needed to start again.

    Playlists are just filters under a different name. Filters exist on server browsers as well. Where is the benefit?
    Private Matches? Okay so who exactly is hosting this private match? Where are the CPU and broadband resources coming from? IW? How will a clan be able to arrange a clan match if one of their own individual members has to host it? Surely the variation in latency between the host and the other players would preclude such a thing?
    You say that *you* can start a private match “which is essentially like running your own private server”. NO IT ISN’T. The very reason that dedicated server programs were created in the first place is that you can run them on a server with more processing power and more bandwidth, rather than expecting a client PC to shoulder the burden. How exactly is your system going to match that?
    I don’t host games for more than a few people because my system and connection cannot cope with it. That is why I prefer using dedicated servers. How will your “Private matches” help me?

    Nothing wrong with either the Party System idea or the Friendslist idea (which has worked fine in Call of Duty: World at War alongside the server browser), but there is still the problem of resources – both processing power and bandwidth of client PCs.
    And by the way, if a “casual” gamer joins a server where they get thrashed by a more organised opposition because a load of clan members are all playing as an organised team, how is that any different to current experiences for casual gamers?

    This is pure rubbish. The number of cheats in COD:MW and even COD:WaW are fairly low and even though we know PB isn’t the best system out there, VAC is not imperfect either. I have seen someone complaining of a player running rampant on TF2 servers for weeks with a hack that VAC did not detect.
    No anti-cheat software is fool-proof, which is why the best form of cheat detection is always AC software backed up by active policing of a server by responsible admins. Your system does not allow for this.

    In conclusion:
    Your decisions will have two very serious effects that none of your explanations deal with.

    By removing the option to mod the game, you are removing one of the main advantages PC gaming has over console games. As PC gamers we do enjoy the option to play mods for games and indeed some of the best playing experiences I have ever had are with mods (that tweak the games to deal with flaws or limitations left by the developers), or total conversions that completely change the feel of the game and often give it a new and extended lease of life. Counter-strike, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Forgotten Hope, Desert Combat; these are all seriously good mods that apart from anything else, kept the games being played (and purchased) long after the original game became stale Most of them are still being played in one form or other now, many years after the original game was released. This means extended life and popularity for the game and extended sales.

    One of the other main advantages PC games have over console games is the community support. Not just clans, but entire communities of gamers thrive based upon players being able to visit and revisit regular, trusted servers.
    I am a member of a friendly clan that play together for fun. We don’t take part in leagues and cannot be considered “hardcore”. We came together playing Battlefield 1942 because of like-minded players playing on a specific dedicated server on a regular basis. We knew the server, we knew the admins and we knew the other players.
    We wouldn’t exist under your system and neither would any other clan or community.

    Your decision means that existing clans will only be able to manage a second-rate version of what they were able to do under the original MW and that forming new clans or communities will be virtually impossible.

    The comment that “We’re just prioritizing the player experience above the modders and the tuners… we thought maybe it would be cool if the fans could play the game.” is grossly misleading and inconceivably flawed.
    What you are actually doing is catering solely to the player experience of casual gamers by extinguishing the online communities, clans and modders altogether.”

  32. Quercus says:

    Oops. Just spotted the “imperfect” typo. I have corrected it in the original response but I can’t edit my comment here.

  33. DarkNoghri says:

    My mind still boggles where they talk about how there’s supposed to be less hacking/cheating on IWnet. Without admins. VAC is a delayed banning system, for goodness sake! That’s usually several weeks that a hacker can run around before VAC catches him. And they want to remove admins from the picture?

    I’m told that the host is allowed to kick people in the Xbox version of COD4. Maybe this will still be true. But does your average (casual?) player know how to spot a hacker? Or is he just going to kick people better than him? I get hacking accusations in L4D every once in a while from people who just don’t know any better.

    How are they going to keep the player experience good? Are they even going to release details?

    • Spann says:

      …So you get accused of hacking…

      In a team game?

      PC gaming is fucked.

    • Dr Ham says:

      I assume he is talking about survivor mode….

    • Thermal Ions says:

      He’s talking about versus mode in Left4Dead – 4 survivors against 4 special infected.

  34. Dr Ham says:

    I would love to know if they had any plans on releasing this information before they released the game. It came out because of an off-hand comment, imagine how unhappy you would be if you had to buy the game before you found out….

    This is a really unhappy development, both for this game and for developer / community relations in general.


  35. TotalBiscuit says:

    Infinity Ward are a bunch of pretentious, disingenious jerks with delusions of grandeur who haven’t made a truly good FPS since CoD1. Fuck them, if you buy this game you are supporting cancerous development strategies and flagrant disrespect to the platform that got them where they are today.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      PS : Gameinformer are not to be taken seriously, they’re a wing of Gamestop for god’s sake. You’d have to hold a gun to their head to make them remove IW’s collective dicks from their mouth.

    • Dracko says:

      idk man modern warfare was pretty rad

  36. Garreett says:

    This is also screwing over the dedicated server hoster companies – last week, I got an email saying that some server hosting company I used to use (Warservers? Something like that.) were taking preorders for MW2 servers – meaning they’ll have to refund all of the servers.

  37. subedii says:

    @Pink Ninja:

    So tell me, how exactly does matchmaking EXCLUDE server support? Left 4 Dead seems to manage both. Albeit non-skill based, but that’s because Steam doesn’t have skill based rankings yet.

    Sorry, the response was really, really disingenuous, and talks about issues in black or white exclusives that they aren’t. You agree that it’s a good thing, but only because you don’t understand enough about how this works (please understand, I’m really not trying to insult here, and I apologise if I come off that way) to discern that it’s not a “one or the other” situation that it’s clearly being written as. Comments such as:

    “It’s a little dubious. Some of the people complaining are complaining with their pocketbook.”

    Are pretty incredible to be honest. Is he honestly suggesting that the fans are fighting because they want to pay more on servers? Or is he merely suggesting that this is organised by a powerful server lobby of some sort?

    Servers are expensive to run. They’re expensive and a pain. BUT. People still want them, and still pay for them, and still run them. And it’s not because they’re stuck in their ways, they’re genuinely valuable and important aspects of a community. You may laugh, but games communities of like-minded gamers genuinely do build up around these. When I load up TF2, I don’t just jump in with random people of a similar skill level. That would be terrible (bear with me). I hit up our community servers and play with a group of people that I’ve known for years now. We all play on the same server because it’s where like-minded individuals go to play. We talk and communicate, we don’t treat the game seriously and we have fun. That’s the thing, I am by no means the best player on there. Heck, on a regular basis I’ll get thrashed by dudes higher in skill than me. But whenever I join that server, I know I’m going to have a good time. And that’s the important part. Because I’m playing with other people who’re likeminded, and don’t go on rage-sprees, who’ll talk and goof off and just have fun

    And the server, being part of the community, adapts itself too the community. You get community made maps and server scripts and mods that will never see the light of day for any other people. That doesn’t matter, because it’s stuff that we like to have, so it’s there for us. If there’s a map we don’t want to play on, it just gets removed from the rotation (to forestall, no our servers are not “2Fort” only).

    I’m just trying to give you an insight into why we feel servers are so valuable. Without them, there’s no real community. You genuinely can’t do the same thing with just a friends list. You ESPECIALLY can’t if it’s all hosted off of someone else’s connection. Ever tried hosting a 24 player game of TF2? I’m guessing it wouldn’t be too pleasant for you, it certainly wouldn’t be for me, or anyone else without a massive upload connection.

    Scroll up to the very top. What do you see?

    * home
    * about
    * FAQ
    * advertise
    * hey, developers!
    * subscribe
    * steam group
    * twitter
    * podcast
    * rss
    * forum

    In that Steam group, we’ve got our own RPS server. Personally, it’s not my community. But every now and then RPS will announce an event, Something like “TF2 midnight madness!” wil crop up in the corner of my screen, and I just jump in. And the thing is, winning or losing, I know I’m going to have a good time. Which is more than what ever happens when I’m just playing with random dudes on the internet, even if they are ostensibly of the same “skill level”.

    I’m not against matchmaking. I’m against removing community servers. Without them there really isn’t a community, at least not to the same degree.

    • ThePinkNinja says:


      Don’t give me anything about an internet community.

      People suck and that goes for the internet twice as hard and online gaming ten times as hard.

  38. Pidesco says:

    I’d like to point out that all arguments they make for matchmaking in favour of dedicated servers are rendered moot by the fact they are not mutually exclusive. The game could support both if they wanted it

    The only reason dedicated servers were cut from the game is that they think is going to be a big source of revenue, and dedicated servers would encroach upon that revenue. It’s all about the money, nothing else.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      And anyone sceptical of this point of view should bear in mind that we’re talking about Activision here, the same company that is attempting to monetise, a traditionally free matchmaking service and is forcing WoW users onto the system in order to facilitate that. Activision under Bobby Kotick are more anti-consumer than EA ever were.

  39. Schiraman says:

    Frankly the developers’ explanation of their decision is very weak, even ignoring all the potential problems with matchmaking or the potential advantages of dedicated servers that might be lost, the big question really is why not include dedicated servers as an option?

    If matchmaking is just something to make things easier for casual gamers, then fine – include it as an option (the default option even). It only makes sense to actively prevent the use of dedicated servers if you have some ulterior motive, and the fact that they’re trying to hide that motive worries me – since it tends to suggest that it’s something that PC gamers will be even less happy with.

    Honestly I don’t really care about MW2 itself, but this is definitely a worrying play by Activision – I can only hope that there’s enough bad press as a result that other developers don’t follow suit.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Developers certainly won’t. Just look at the mockery Activision/IW are getting from the guys at DICE now. EA are going to lap this up as an opportunity to win brownie points with PC gamers and push BF1943 and Bad Company 2, both of which have mod support and dedicated servers.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I agree with TotalBiscuit. It appears that they just don’t care. “We’ve decided to make our game like this. Tough luck.” At least, if EA doesn’t follow suit, there is less chance of more of this. But still. The best way this could turn out (other than them changing their position) is if it doesn’t sell at all. That might teach them.

  40. HybridHalo says:

    This move suggests perhaps a lack of understanding as to what makes PC games great – the mods and silly little game modes that spring out of and require dedicated servers root access. TF2’s Prop Hunt and HL2’s GarrysMod are prime examples of this.

    The L4D Matchmaking was controversial when it was released, though with a 4 player match there is at least a level of sense to the idea. Though to be honest – I’ve never used it and have always hosted matches with friends largely because it’s often unreliable/too busy.

    Trying to have a larger scale deathmatch game run without dedicated servers sort of kills off a lot of possibilities with community, professional clan gaming and silly, fun game modes which don’t play exactly by the games rules. I hope Infinity Ward create an alternative to allow PC gamers to run things they want them.

    *sigh* Bad times. I think I may be getting this one on 360.

    • Garreett says:

      Why get it AT ALL?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Exactly, why do exactly what they want you to do, ie. buy the more expensive version? They clearly don’t give two shits about the playerbase in general and seem to be of the belief that you will swallow whatever load they give you to swallow. Buying it only proves that they were right in that belief.

  41. eazzy says:

    Is it just me or are the developers/journalists deliberately trying to dodge the real issue?
    I don’t care what motivation Inifinity Ward had for deciding these changes and i bet most of you don’t. Imo, it’s primarily the RESULT in gaming and user experience those deicisions will have that outrages most people. However all they keep defending are their REASONS for these changes; aside from making promises and the ‘everything’s going to be alright, just TRUST US’ attitude of course.

    It is indeed a sad day when even the journalists can’t see the irony in themselves resolving to calling the critics ‘n3rds’ just because they don’t agree with their viewpoint and have probably confused the real issue.

  42. [21CW] 2000AD says:

    Regarding anti-cheating things is there any reason why they can’t use both VAC and Punkbuster?

  43. Cheezey says:

    All the decisions, that they’ve stated, for such a system make absolutely no sense. In fact 90% of it is beginning to sound like thinly veiled spin.

    I just find it astonishing that they didn’t even consult the community prior to implementing it. It’s turned the whole MW2 affair into the straw that broke the camels back.

    Gutting the multiplayer in such a fashion will just hurt them, because who is really going to spend £35 on a 5 hour single player campaign?

  44. Spacewalk says:

    A first person-shooter on PC with no mod support? Do they want any sales on PC at all?

    • cliffski says:

      The majority of casual FPS players don’t use mods. I played hundreds of modded maps for COD 2, but I never came across any for COD 4, and tbh still loved the game and chalked up hundreds of hours on it,.
      I’d prefer free modded maps for MW2, but if there arent any, I’ll still be buying it, and tbh, Activision know that from a business POV, if I buy it less eagerly then I would have bought it, it matters not, because it’s a binary /buy/don’t buy decision.

    • Dr_Ham says:

      Thank goodness, someone to stick up for the poor developers….

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      I am literally crying a river for poor, down-trodden Infinity Ward.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I don’t think he’s sticking up for the devlopers. But what he says is true. The majority of gamers these days ARE casual gamers and they will buy this game regardless. Heck, even the majority of gamers who disagree with IW’s “policy” here will still probably end up buying it. From their point of view, all they will see is that regardless of the price hike and content cuts, thay still sold x number of units and made £xxxxxxxxxxxx.

      It ain’t right, but is how it’ll go down.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Yes, the majority of gamers can be considered casual, but when it comes to the majority of gamers who have rigs capable of running Modern Warfare 2 on PC, that’s a different matter entirely, with a significantly larger demographic of ‘hardcore’ gamers and folks who seemed to have no issue what-so-ever dealing with dedicated servers in any of the previous CoD games, so why should it so suddenly become an issue now? Do all this nonsense on the console, that’s fine, it’s to be expected. Deliberately handicap the PC and then smirk and laugh about it in some trashy gamer rag after the fact and expect to be hit in the pocket.

      I would be more than happy for Activision to abandon the PC platform all together, they will not be missed and there are plenty of publishers and developers out there willing to step in and fill the gap.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Oh yeh, don’t get me wrong, Biscuit, I totally agree. And in fact, I think the developer’s comments were increadibly insulting, dismissive and unsanctionable. Not to mention that his explanation was so much balony.

      Actually, I think you would be surprised at the number of medium – high rig owners who could be considered “casual gamers” these days. But you are right. I mean the petition alone shows that there are a significant number of people out there who care about this, and that petition will actually only be the fraction who are being vocal and in the right place at the right time to see and sign the petition.

      Personally, I think this whole thing is ass backwards. We should not be dragging the PC backwards into mindles, random matchmaking services from the 90’s. Rather, we should be giving the console market a helping hand toward dedicated servers for themselves, giving them the space for community now that online gaming is apparently the be all and end all of console gaming.

      My main point, though, is that it’s genuinely appalling how Jason West and Vince Zampella got so personal. pre-emptively too. But these guys are supposed to be professionals. Money grubbing or not, that ain’t good behaviour and they HAVE negatively impacted on their sales through these insults.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Yeah, I normally like when PR guy drops all the corporate talk and just says it like it is, and calls fans out on their bullshit, but to out and our *insult them,* is fucking ridiculous.

      I had no intention of ever getting MW2 in the first place, but I’ll be surprised if IW ever meets with success on the PC again.

  45. XM says:

    This explains why we all have to sign the Modern Warfare 2 dedicated server petition to save the future of PC gaming and communities.

    link to

    This also explains to the console player why devs should be looking at dedicated servers for consoles not forcing it the other way around.

    PC is still the king of online gaming because of dedicated servers. We (PC gamers) are getting less fair gaming experience with non-dedicated servers.

    If IW are going to hide by the fact “it’s only dedicated server companies that are upset” think again.

  46. rocketman71 says:

    So, we have Biessener, West and Zampella insulting PC Gamers, and Bowling thinking that we’re stupid enough to believe that bunch of bullshit.

    All in all, a great day for Infinity Ward. Way to kick in the balls your most ardent fans.

  47. EBass says:

    Everyone keeps citing L4Ds matchmaking as a precedent. One massive massive difference (actually several but I’ll keep this breif) L4D matched you up in a lobby and then put you onto a dedicated server that was available. No possible.

    Anyhow I bought CoD1, 2 and 4 for the PC. I was going to buy this, even though I think the series has gone a bit stale. *sigh* I don’t like being a pirate but companies that act in this way get pirated, a yo-ho-ho for me.

    • frags says:

      No I disagree. You shouldn’t pirate. Piracy only shows people still play their games. And Activision will take it as a sign for more draconian shit. You should ignore it. Do not buy or get it any other way.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Exactly. Are you short on good FPS games, so much so that you have to pirate an average-at-best pseudo-realistic game like Modern Warfare 2? It’s the PC, we have the biggest FPS back catalogue on the planet, go and play any one of a number of fantastic titles and support those developers instead. Don’t give Infinity Ward the time of day.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Your trolling is shrivelled and flaccid.

  48. Spoon says:

    The thing that IW is really missing here is that the people that are protesting this change are NOT a vocal hardcore minority. The thing they need to remember is that console gaming is almost universally cheaper than PC gaming. If I wanted to play a game with console functionality, I would buy a $300 console, and not a $1000 PC. We are on this platform specifically for the functionality that PC games provide and are traditionally different than the console versions. Do they really think that we pay the difference in platform costs solely for better graphics and mouse+keyboard?

    It is really sad that they just don’t see it, especially since CoD got its start on the PC. Oh well, my gaming schedule was getting pretty packed and crossing this one off of it helps out some.

    • XM says:

      I’m with you there we have so many good games to play I can give this a miss until they sort this out if possible.

      I’m even getting back into Battlefield 2 with the new patch.

    • Quercus says:

      Absolutely true.
      Consoles are geared more towards casual gamers in the same way that PCs (especially the sort that would be used to play MW2) are geared more towards what IW call “hardcore” gamers.
      So as far PC gamers are concerned, casual gamers are the minority.

      If all developers did this it would kill the PC gaming platform dead. If that is really what IW want, I hope they choke on their blood money.

  49. Fuu says:

    I don’t know why “browsing through a Server List for a server with the settings / ping you want” is portrayed as a bad thing. In CoD4 I, presumably like most, will ‘favourite’ servers that I see are run well and use rules that I enjoy playing. I don’t just mean hardcore vs regular, TDM vs SD. I mean no martyrdom servers, no grenade launcher servers, no abuse servers and so on. The kind of thing that makes your gaming experience more enjoyable outside of the rigid rule template that IW want to impose. I can’t see this decision being good at all, from this perspective.

    On a related note I remember reading something a while ago about the martyrdom perk being included in the new game, desptie its generally unpopular nature online. Sure IW themselves might love it, but removing the ability of players to disallow it (and other weapons etc) seems like a step in the wrong direction to me.

  50. Jim Rossignol says:

    Everyone should buy Borderlands in protest.