Modern Warfare 2 Won't Have Dedicated PC Servers, New Footage Emerges

By Chris Faylor, Oct 20, 2009 10:19am PDT 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, a new commercial for the game has emerged via retailer GameStop:

Thanks to everyone that sent this in.

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  • The Cons:

    * 5min Matchs! "The match making gets rid of the idea that I can stay on a server for a few hours. With the new system in place Ill have to 1: find a match, 2: wait for it to fill, 3: wait for everyone to vote on a map, 4: wait for everyone to ready up, 5: wait for the 30 seconds before the match starts. Is it me, or is that WAY to much effort and time to play for a 5min match!"

    * Ping! "Get ready for a world of hurt when they replace the ping Integer with red/yellow/green bar, green meaning you'll get about 150ping at most. I wouldnt be surprised at all if they removed it all together and just said you where getting a good connection like in Gears of War 2, and yes I love console games, but heaven help us if they think that the matchmaking is smoother gameplay! With this system, the host will always have an advantage. Look at every other game that uses the matchmaking! L4D, Far Cry 2, Operation Flashpoint 2, Gears of War, Gears of War 2, GTA IV, etc... all of these game are impossible to get a good connection with their p2p connection, you will never get around 40ping, which in my opinion, is SMOOTH gameplay!"

    * No dedicated server! "Dont tell me that a private match is the same thing! Lets say I treat it like one, Im not about to start a private match and wait for 20 of my friends to get online every time I want to play a custom Hardcore match! And Im pretty sure I wont be able to browse private matches hence the word PRIVATE, not to mention Im pretty sure you wont be about to rank on a private match."

    * Charged Map Packs! "For us PC gamers we had to wait a month or two after the release of the map pack on the xbox 360. And Infinity awards response was "were working around technical issues…" In other words they were trying to find a way to charge pc gamers. Finally when the map packs came out for PC the only reason they did was because of support of other companies for their advertising, such as you see in the cornnor of the screen when you load up a map from the map pack on PC. Well thanks to the new system they found a way to charge us, which is ridiculous considering pc gamers have to pay extra up front for a beta of a system that hasnt been tested yet. And coming from a 5 year software engineer, this is NOT a way to test a new system thats going to hold millions of clients over p2p connections!