Posts Tagged ‘Infinity Ward’

No Fireworks: Activision Infinity Ward Lawsuit Settled

The sounds that gun is making are not bangs. No, they are whimpers.
Apologies, lovers of metal-mangling, flesh-rending trainwrecks. I’ve got some bad news for you. The no-holds-barred modern battlewarfront of words between Activision and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella – which has been brewing since 2010 – won’t be going to court. After the lawsuit reached a fever pitch of $1 billion in demands, Polygon‘s reporting that the two sides have opted to settle.

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COD: It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Rag Of Times

Sepia FTW

My digi-sighing about the initial marketing tease for the latest Call of Dudebro reminds me of a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (Somerset, at least) when I was still conjuring genuine excitement about what a new CoD might entail. Before they were cranked out anually, when the series’ creators still had full creative control, when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s singleplayer turned out to be an ambitious, spectacular and occasionally surprising epic and not an unsmiling, absurdist, arrogant snack alongside DLC-crazed multiplayer. When the series was relaxed and playful enough to include an unlockable ragtime mode.
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Wot I Think: Modern Warfare 3 Single Player

Follow follow follow follow follow follow follow.
Yes, this is a touch late. As you’ll know, Activision aren’t really ones for providing review code ahead of launch to the likes of us, and then by the time we had it to play, Skyrim was out. You’ll understand. But I’ve persisted, and now finished the campaign for the third of Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare games, and thus shall tell you wot I think.

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Modern Warfare 3: Steamworks, LAN, VAC, Etc

Try to look cool!
Infinity Ward have posted a heap of information regarding the PC version of Modern Warfare 3 over here. Highlights include some details on how the dedicated servers will work – “Dedicated Servers, allowing players to find and filter via an in-game server browser or set-up their own Dedicated Server for complete control, without being restricted by any 3rd party hosting requirements. If looking for a Dedicated Server to join, if you choose not to set up your own, you can filter and favorite by Ping, Map, Gametype, Hardcore Variants, Voice, Password, and many other options” (such as RCON) – and also graphics: “including enablingand disabling of new rendering features such as SSAO, you’ll also be able to modify DOF, Shadows, Anti-Aliasing, Texture Resolution and more.” It will have Steamworks integration, with VAC as the anti-cheat system, and will also support LAN play.

That is a lot of stuff!

MW3 Multiplayer: I Feel So Old

Yeah, I can't hear now either

Oh my word, I need a nap after this. I feel like an octogenarian who’s just been played a Lil’ Wayne record. It’s so noisy, so fast, so violent. COD multiplayer has become increasingly excessive over the years, and Modern Warfare 3’s looks as though it’s thrown in everything it can think of – it looks so very far away from simply sniping dudes in one-storey buildings. I can’t keep up with all that! I’d need to mod DX3’s invisibility aug into it, just so I can hide in the corner, terrified and weeping.
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Call Of Duty: MW3 Allows Multiple Players

It's all so modern
There’s a lot to be gleaned from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer World Premiere Trailer, though after typing out the cumbersome title I’m loathe to write anything else due to intense fingercramp. I’ll say this for it though: it manages to make combat look exciting, dramatic and bloody horrible, sometimes simultaneously. There’s lots of shooting, which I expected, lots of killing, which I also expected, but also large, spinning fuchsia dogtags, which I certainly didn’t expect. Admittedly, it is mostly man-shooting though. There’s evidence of all kinds of new as yet unexplained details, from strike packages to proficiency. What does it all mean? I’m going to say that men will use packages to strike other men in their proficiencies. Or some other combination of those words. You heard it hear first. Discuss and dissect below. Oh, and do look out for the particularly unpleasant Claymore-alike, the Bouncing Betty. Ouch.

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InfiniRaveHammer = Modern Warfare 3?


Oh look, another headline with a question mark in the title. That’s journamalisming for you. Can we have some less ambiguous news now please?

So – Black Ops 2, World At War 2, Modern Warfare 3 or some other two to three word summation of conflict? Until now, we had no idea what this year’s Call of Duty game would be. We also had no idea there would be another Call of Duty game this year. It just seemed so very unlikely that this series would continue. Apparently it will, despite catastrophically low sales, rock-bottom reviews and perennially empty servers. Whouldathunkit. The LA Times thinks it knows what’s up. Modern Warfare 3 it is, allegedly. So who’s making it?
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Infinity Ward Staff Sue Activision For $125m

A scene outside the courts earlier today.

A while back, on a slow news day, I wrote a spoof story about there being only one man left at Infinity Ward. I’m started to wonder if it was prophecy. The Modern Warfare developers are rapidly running out of employees as more leave, many to join Respawn Entertainment, the new studio started up by former Infinity Ward top dogs, Vince Zampella and Jason West. The total number of IW employees who have now jumped ship or been pushed, at the time of writing, is 28. That leaves 75 remaining. And now things are getting even more strange, with 38 Infinity Warders, calling themselves the Infinity Ward Employee Group, filing a lawsuit against Activision for up to $125 million.

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Very Modern Warfare: Respawn Partner EA

It's as if I designed a website. Except I'd add nob gags.

Shortly after the news of the legal barrage starting, news breaks that the ejected Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella have formed a new company – the wittily named, minimialistically site-d Respawn – which will partner with EA to produce their next game. Eurogamer’s long interview with West and Zampella reveals few facts – there’s much they can’t comment on, either due to legal reasons or because their company hasn’t even offices or staff yet – but manages to entertainingly capture the mood of the pair right now. The key fact is: whatever they create will be theirs, rather than the publisher’s. But what to expect? “Well, we hope that it will be a fresh and new experience that will surprise people, but we’re not going to make Boom Blox or something, it’s going to be a big huge game,” says West. I dare speculate that it’ll involve a weapon sticking out of the bottom right of the screen.

Activision’s Modern Wardfare Continues

You’ll probably have already picked up on the ongoing fallout from Tuesday’s Activision-Infinity Ward oh-so-modern warfare, but as the talking point du jour we should probably cover it. The story so far: Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West didn’t turn up to work after a meeting with the developer’s owner Activision – but some hired muscle did. Shortly afterwards, Activision filed suit against the pair for “breaches of contract and insubordination”, a charge that is yet to be explained. Since then, Zampella and West have filed right back at ’em, with accusations of withheld royalties and “Orwellian moves” to construct a case for their dismissal. Activision have duly refuted the claims, but it’s increasingly looking like this stems from a tussle for control of the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare franchises. Oh, why can’t more happy things happen in the videogame industry?
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Activision Decapitates Infinity Ward?

Our artist's impression.

This is, I suspect, only the start of a story which is going to grow and grow. G4 broke the rumour yesterday that “a bunch of bouncer types” had showed up at Infinity Ward, following the Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West’s reported meeting with Activision in the morning – which they hadn’t returned from. Kotaku picked up that Jason West’s facebook account claimed to be drinking and no-longer employed. G4 uncovers that morning Activision had an SEC filing stating investigation into “breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward.” And now VG247 are reporting rumours that unpaid royalties to Infinity Ward was part of the cause of stress. Oh – and Tim Schafer says the best one liner about the whole thing.

Really, all we’ve got right now is theories. Though, like Rock8man at Qt3, Bobby Kotick’s hailing of “skepticism, pessimism, and fear” does tend to leap worryingly easily to mind.

Infinity Ward May Not Make Modern Warfare 3

Anyone who slags off Treyarch, go play the PS2's Big Red One.

Rumblings in the Call of Duty world. Or the World Of Call Of Duty, as seems inevitable at this point when so many teams appear to be invested in the franchise. You may have heard back in November that Activision had apparently added a third development team onto CoD making duty, alongside Treyarch and the main bods, Infinity Ward. It now seems, according to rumours reported by VG247, that those main bods may not be the people responsible for Modern Warfare 3. Which becomes an interesting story when you realise it frees the team up to potentially work on a new project.

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Inevitable Call of Duty MMO Rumour

Yeah, this is totally blowing my cred from yesterday.
Yeah, this is the definition of people spinning out a story from very little, but Massively report the LA Time doing an article the LA Times did on MW2’s launch. Fairly standard fluff. Except at the end a source close to the company say that they’re considering an MMO. Which is an interesting idea, especially tied to news that a third company are now working on Call of Duty franchise games. Of course, “considering” is a word which means little. You’ve got a franchise like Call of Duty? You at least consider it.

Wot I Think: Modern Warfare 2

A videogame has been released. Also, the Beatles have split up and Kennedy’s been shot. Hadn’t you heard?

I haven’t hurried, as such, to get my thoughts on this omnipresent game up on RPS, as it’s not like it’s going to affect anyone’s buying decision after all that hype and backlash, is it? But here they are now, after having had some time to digest and absorb now the shouting’s died down – for the singleplayer campaign, at least. Thoughts on the multiplayer will be along next week. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, then. Probably one or two things to say about it, I’d have thought…
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A Videogame Was Released Today

You might have noticed. You might have queued up at silly o’clock to get a copy. You might even have got some sort of tattoo to commemorate how excited you are about the prospect of shooting virtual men of assorted ethnic origins. Aye, today was Modern Warfare 2 day – a game that, for a lot of the industry and its consumers, has managed to become pretty much the only game of the year. I was at the UK launch last night – some thoughts on that and some of the rolling PC version problems follow.
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Today’s MW2 Mass Sigh: 18 Max Multiplayer

5 whole players here. Man!

You know the scene in the Hobbit where they arrive at Beorn’s house? Rather than the whole mass of ’em going in at once, they just send a couple in first, and then gradually reveal exactly how many dwarves are going to be scoffing his honeycakes. The idea being, that he’d tell them to sling their hook if they all marched in at once. Since the number of how many smelly, bearded bastards are going to be staying in his gaff creeps up on him, he rolls with it. I’m beginning to suspect Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare PC PR tactic is inspired by that. I’m also beginning to hope that the PC Beorn turns into a bear and eats them. Yes, it’s been confirmed that the PC Multiplayer will be capped at 9v9. Perhaps predictable with the removal of dedicated servers, but yet more dwarves in our house. In brighter news, Zombiecow are trying to ease the wait for the faithful with a 50% discount off their Time, Gentlemen Please until it comes out. Go gets.

Oh – fancy seeing the launch trailer? Here you go:
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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.

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?

Special Operations Within Special Operations


The all-seeing vid-eye of GameTrailers has nabbed some more Modern Warfare 2 footage, with explanatory chatter from the devs. It focuses on Spec-Ops mode, which is the co-op mode which consists in a whole bunch of independent missions that boast a modicum of internal variation. Not sure I quite understand what this chap is saying about alternative difficulty setting, however. He says the difficult effects the AI most, and yet you can both select different difficulty levels in the same co-op game? Hrm.
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