Just a day ago it was reported that Modern Warfare 2 smashed sales records all across the globe in a matter of hours. The most anticipated game of the year had certainly got off to a great start but at the Newbury Racecourse hundreds of gamers would beg to disagree. Advertised as the first ever Modern Warfare 2 tournament in the world, this would be the first of many competitive Modern Warfare 2 tournaments. Held at the famous i-series LAN, organizers Multiplay were confident that this was going to be a success story from the start. Signing a deal with Activision to hold this tournament, the community was geared up for the prospect of a great competitive game and a decent prize purse.
Today, however, at the second day of action in Newbury, we couldn’t be further from the truth. After Activision’s announcement that there would be no lean, console and dedicated servers in the game, the tone was set and it became quite clear that Activision has little to no interest in supporting the PC community. That fact has become even clearer this tournament as Activision has failed on all fronts. They have yet to announce a prize purse for a tournament already in motion and failed to notify people of an age restriction until a week before the tournament, leading to several teams travelling to the event with players under 18, thus being banned from playing in the tournament. Even players travelling from Finland and spending hundreds of pounds coming over were refused from playing due to the age restrictions in place. In direct contrast with this is the Activision booth where people from all ages are invited to try the game both on XBOX360 and PC. The only thing Activision did right was support Multiplay and the Iseries but left them with a game unsuitable for competitions and a list of restrictions.
But that aside, Activision have also failed with the game itself, making it completely unsuitable for competitive play and designing everything for a more mainstream console community, as opposed to the PC community which made the game what it is right now. Neglecting its roots, Activision has turned the PC community against them and seems to be moving over the Call of Duty franchise towards a complete mainstream, console based environment with a new release hitting the shelves every year. With downloadable content, which will present players with further costs, that might be stretched to a new release every two years but with millions and millions buying the game the decision makes sense from a business point of view. However you can’t help but wonder if Activision’s move with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 has set the tone for the future of PC gaming as a whole. Paid downloadable content, monthly subscriptions, no dedicated servers and matchmaking seemed something only for the console community; it now seems that this might be the future of PC gaming as well. Because as long as the PC community keeps buying the games which enforce these new features, despite loud and public initial objections, they are giving Activision and any other company that wishes to set this agenda, the right to do as they please.
First ever LAN footage of Modern Warfare 2 - Dignitas face Fnatic
The tournament has clearly indicated the problems the PC version of Modern Warfare faces when you want just a little bit more. One obvious problem is that the matchmaking system requires you to connect to the internet to have your LAN games, something which can cause problems at many events. Luckily Iseries is blessed with a great internet connection for all the players but even with that you could see some lag appear here and there with players using the lagometer to detect this. Without an internet connection in place you aren't even capable of running a tournament or game.
The multiplayer maps are also too cluttered and big for competitive play, making a balanced game virtually impossible. This already lead to the main gametype changing from Search & Destroy to Capture the Flag but even this didn't help the matches and actually made them rather dull. From interviews and talks with the players most of them are already bored with the competitive aspect and with the lack of mod tools it looks like new usermade content isn't going to be something for the distant future. Infused Chenson "It needs mods to be competitively viable"
Reason Lighters "Everyone should go back to Call of Duty 4"