Released this coming week, it's no secret that the biggest game of this year was always going to be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Most other publishers have pushed back their big titles to next year partly to give this game room away from theirs.
So there was always going to be high expectations for this game. However what has transpired in the past few weeks has not just disappointed, but horrified hardcore PC gamers.
It has been revealed in recent weeks that many of what most would regard as 'standard' features of PC multiplayer FPS gaming has been stripped from this game. No dedicated servers, no mods, no communities, no 'lean', and the list goes on.
Let's get this straight: this wouldn't be a budgetary issue: Infinity Ward (the developers) would have had a black cheque to develop this game. Plus it's not like it's 'extra' features that were omitted; these have been a standard part of PC games for 10+ years, a copy and paste of the functionality in MW1 would have been more than sufficient. What we're really seeing here is a 'console-isation' of PC gaming: attempting to make PC games more like their console versions.
This absurdity should be opposed.
PC gaming has come under threat in recent years as publishers and developers attack on the platform in various ways: stupid forms of DRM, half-assed ports, and more recently stupid stuff like this. Piracy is not an excuse, and these actions only serve to disenchant loyal money-paying customers, and in my opinion actually increase piracy of certain titles.
In the end, this specific incident doesn't affect me much, because I don't really play Modern Warfare for the multiplayer, and probably wouldn't play MW2 for the multiplayer much either. But I do understand and support why a lot of PC gamers are feeling downrightly betrayed by Infinity Ward right now. I find it absolutely astonishing that a developer previously so highly regarded as Infinity Ward were are attempting to pass this crap off.
Hopefully this is only a temporary situation and Activision and Infinity Ward will come to their senses and patch the PC game to restore these standard 'features'. Let's hope that they, and all other publishers and developers stop trying to console-ise the PC platform.