So today on Digg, I came across this article about what's happening with the PC version of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. Essentially, Infinity Ward has announced that it's going to take away private servers for multiplayer and not allow user-created maps and mods.
Personally this doesn't bother me all that much as I'm strictly a console gamer; I gave up on PC gaming a long time ago. While this really doesn't have any effect on me, I get where the PC gamers are coming from and I think Infinity Ward is making a big mistake. What I think they are really doing is trying to get players to buy their own content, namely in the form of maps, instead of letting users create their own. Additionally, the server connections will only be IW's in lieu of allowing private ones.
The server mistake is a really boneheaded move. When Modern Warfare came out, Microsoft's servers went down during the holidays rendering the game unplayable from the multiplayer standpoint on the 360. This created a huge fiasco and Microsoft responded by giving out free cards for Live, if I recall correctly. They simply couldn't handle the load on their servers. So I can't understand why Infinity Ward wouldn't allow private connections when Modern Wawrfare 2 is already anticipated to be the Game of the Year. The preorders for the 360 alone are already listed at over 1.6 million copies. In fact, it's being touted as being the "biggest entertainment launch of all time." So it's all but certain that there will be outages in the multiplayer. I can't understand why they wouldn't let matches be connected directly to each other for the inevitable case of their servers going down.
Taking mods away is also a boneheaded move. While mods are not really important in the console scene, except for maps, they're hugely important in the PC scene. Personally I have no problem with paying $10 for some extra maps if the levels look interesting enough. But I think it's clear that the reason for IW doing this is just because they can. The PC community thrives on user created mods. In the PC version of games the mods aren't just maps, but also characters, weapons, costumes, physics engines and more. They're really popular and can completely change the game. In fact, several games, such as Counter Strike (Half-Life) and Team Fortress (Quake) have come back from near obscurity to be completely revived by modders. These games are still being actively played today, despite their age. So it's really just a slap in the face to some of Modern Warfare's biggest fans. These are the people who are taking time to modify and improve the game, the people who are so passionate about the game that they take time to create things for it.
Then there's the issue of distributing it over Steam, but I'm not going to touch that for now.
There's even a petition going around to boycott the game. As I said this doesnt affect me in any way and I absolutely cannot wait for the game. But I do think IW is being a bit foolish in excluding a core group of devoted fans.