Earlier this week, retailer Best Buy sponsored a developer chat with Infinity Ward where players got the opportunity to ask a few designers present about Modern Warfare 2. Among the questions asked, many of them revolved around the IW.Net and the PC version of Modern Warfare 2. “PC has no common provider of matchmaking like on xbox360, so to have match making on the PC we had to create IW.Net, kind of similar to the match making networks created for RTS games on PC. This was not a trivial undertaking, although it’s understandable that these days consumers may take match match making for granted.” An Infinity Ward designer said, “I’ve been playing mainly with around 100ms ping and it was great.”
In the chat, the developer confirmed an abundance of changes to the version. The max player limit on the PC will be 9v9, a decrease from previous Call of Duty titles on the platform where the official max player limit was 32 but was sometimes exceeded due to the presence of dedicated servers. Leaning, a staple of the PC versions of the franchise that allowed players to peak around corners, has been removed with a IW designer citing, “The game is not balanced for lean.” Also removed is the developer console, a tool often utilized by players on the PC platform for several functions ranging from modifying in-game variables to smaller tasks such as displaying framerates. Near the end of the chat, when asked if the PC version was merely a port, Infinity Ward responded with, “No, PC has custom stuff like mouse control, text chat in game, and graphics settings.”
The announcement of the changes has done little to alleviate the vocal resistance against the title. When asked a question pertaining to the petition requesting Infinity Ward to review their decision regarding dedicated servers, Activision president Mike Griffith said that the company is closely watching the situation, “But we’re not overly concerned about it.” Griffith continued saying, “One of the problems with our PC SKUs in the past is that it has not been as friendly a consumer experience in terms of matchmaking and online play as the consoles have allowed it to be. Our solution here improves that consumer experience overall by a significant margin. And so we we think that the benefits we will see are going to far outweigh any negatives that seem to be surfacing,” reports Kotaku.
“We make a fantastic PC game,” Infinity Ward Creative Strategist Robert Bowling said. “Modern Warfare 2 is our most feature-rich PC game yet.” Bowling downplayed the concerns of the PC audience saying, “We have 14 million players on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The hardcore gamers make up a smaller core of that, and PC gamers are the smallest group of that core.” While Infinity Ward is somewhat known for keeping their community informed Bowling admits, “Our community gets so invested in our games, therefore they feel, and rightfully so, that we should justify every design decision to them. I think that it’s very important to understand that you should be very involved in your community and work with them, but not to be held prisoner to their demands.”
Whether or not the studio’s direction with the PC version of the upcoming first-person shooter is seen as one that the PC audience will adjust to, one thing remains certain, it was a busy week for the developer and it may just get a bit more busy when Modern Warfare 2 lands on stores next week.