The PC version of Modern Warfare 2 is being taken on a rollercoaster ride today in what will be seen as a game changing announcement by fourzerotwo. Aside from declaring earlier that Modern Warfare 2 for PC isn’t delayed, fourzerotwo also spoke on the webcast BASH 123 to reveal IWNet, a new matchmaking service for the PC that will eradicate dedicated servers and place the possibility of mod support in question.
The system will run in conjunction with Steam, which explains the hours spent on the game by developers in the official IW Steam group. Bowling said a formal announcement will come from Valve soon regarding the Steam integration of Modern Warfare 2. Meanwhile, the player will be completely reliant on IWNet, removing the dedicated server and server browsers (both were the primary methods of playing multiplayer in Call of Duty since the original). The matchmaking system will match players against others of the same rank and it will also feature private matches, where players can customize match settings such as changing weapons available to players. Modern Warfare 2 will not use Punkbuster for anti-cheat like the previous Call of Duty titles but instead Valve Anti-Cheat or VAC.
According to Bowling, the move had little to do with the level of piracy with the original Modern Warfare. Needless to say, the absence of dedicated servers will be a major change in a Call of Duty game. Communities that were developed through dedicated servers will have to figure out another means of growing and expanding to new players. Bowling pointed towards the player’s need to invest in dedicated servers as one of the many reasons the system is being implemented and claims that the system is supposed to help the PC community as a whole.
Bowling had little information on how it would affect the modding community however, with IWNet giving more power to the developers, many are questioning if mod support will be a possibility. The system has lead to speculation that it will be a method for Infinity Ward and Activsion to properly distribute DLC to PC players. The interview with Bowling can is now available.