Though Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 maker Infinity Ward recently told us that "PC [multiplayer] will be the same as it always was," the company has now revealed that the war-torn shooter will not make use of community-run dedicated servers. "We've been building up this system on the backend called IW Net, to allow matchmaking for our PC users just like you have on the console," Infinity Ward community manager Robert 'fourzerotwo' Bowling explained on podcast BASH 123.
"You're completely reliant on IW Net and there's no dedicated servers or server list. You rely on IW Net for your matchmaking and finding games, but then you also have the private match, much like the other platforms, where you can go in and...customize the game rules, all via private match, and invite people to the server that way."
Bowling added: "The mentality is making it much more accessible to the PC community as a whole and making it where it's a lot less cost burden for our community members."
He also noted that the PC version will make use of some integrated Steam functionality, such as Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) technology, but offered few specifics beyond clarification that "our matchmaking is not through Steam."
While Bowling says Infinity Ward is trying "looking at ways we can improve the multiplayer game on PC and make it easier for everybody," the community is not happy.
"The silence that you hear is because we've got a community right now that is structured in such a way that relied on having dedicated servers," said one of the podcast hosts. Others expressed concern regarding latency, as games will now be hosted on home internet connections and machines instead, as well as the fate of mod support.
An online petition demanding dedicated servers popped up shortly thereafter, and currently has over 100,000 signatures. Bowling later told Appetite2Kill admin Peeter that "the response will not be ignored. I'll ensure everyone at IW sees the petitions."
"Hardcore PC players lose very little to this change relative to the returns that casual to moderate fans will see," wrote Game Informer after speaking to Infinity Ward.
Citing a conversation with studio head Jason West, Game Informer explained:
He points toward the mounting feedback IW has received from PC fans of Modern Warfare who couldn't find a decent server to play on between all of the cheaters, the insular communities, and huge skill level disparities that the original game's community fractured into. "We thought maybe it would be cool if the fans could play the game," he laughs.
[...]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.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 hits PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 10. Expect to hear more on the game and its integrated Steam functionality before then.
In related news, new footage of the game has emerged via retailer GameStop:
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