Modern Warfare 2 + Site News

Good news for all those paying attention, I’ve redesigned again! I’m going to be moving this blog away from its original in-depth total eSports content to encompass mostly topics concerning web design, web interfaces, marketing and other digital media topics. Additionally, I’m also in the process of formatting all my work into a more concise portfolio to make things easier to find. The good news is I think for the most part things are done in the design end and any changes will be mainly functionality upgrades with a few aesthetic altercations now and again. So without further ado I will attempt to give my take on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and no I do not own the game (and I’m not boycotting the game, my computer cannot run it). This is probably the longest eSports related post you will see here in while.

I saw a post on the forums the other day where my good friend Logan “badfish” Newell made a post basically calling out people in the CoD community who went out and bought into the MW2 craze. Interesting to say the least, but ultimately useless. Every competitive CoD player could refuse to buy MW2 and I can guarantee you IW wouldn’t blink twice, heck they probably wouldn’t even blink once. Now maybe if this was 2001 when CoD1 originally came out they would, but not today. The reasoning is simple; the current competitive community provides no return on investment (ROI) for IW. Competitive gaming is a merely a fraction of the shadow it once was, anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves. It was much better when CoD1 originally came out and CPL hosted their winter CoD event. Things were even better when WSVG hosted a CoD2 tournament at their Dallas event.

Today’s community lacks a professional structure and influx of revenue between gamers, sponsors and organizers it once had. Worse yet, IW and other game development studios know it. I saw this video on Jock Yitch’s site BASHandSlash (curtsey of catcher6250) a few days ago and there is a line Robert Bowling says that is absolutely hilarious to anyone in the competitive community.

“…and then if they have criticisms and feedback after that then we’re totally open ears and listening to them…” Jock pointed out how well Robert spins this topic and I’ll point out another: anyone remember all the CoDTV feedback back in 2001? While they might have open ears IW never promises to actually do anything. Furthermore, whenever GaretJax comes up with random news about how close IW is to CoDTV everyone gets all excited and then we don’t hear anything for months. Bottom line is CoDTV does not provide a positive ROI for IW, even if someone else like GaretJax basically hands them the code and explains specifically how to make it happen. The only way IW makes money implementing CoDTV is if CoD was a popular competitive game across multiple professional tournament events that reach the mainstream audience.

Wait a second! Why does IW need to reach the mainstream audience? They already have the mainstream audience lining up hours before release just to get the game. Point is, competitive gaming was a way for game developers to reach the mainstream audience. IW got smart and realized it didn’t need to waste money in a hurting eSports industry and instead directly targeted every gamer nerd who plays Halo. And heck, can you really blame them? They spend less money by not having to deal with competitive gamers, expand their brand, get more ROI, and knock off Halo as the #1 Xbox game as a side bonus. That seems pretty good to me.

So what does this mean for the competitive community? Well, the way I see it you have three options. 1) Continue this stupid boycott stalemate with half the community for MW2, half against and get nothing done. 2) Fully dedicate yourselves to try to make MW2 work as a competitive game, potentially realizing there might be flaws that you have no control over. 3) Give up on MW2 and either move to a different call of duty game or another game all together. If you are sitting here reading this about to ask me what I would do, please don’t. I don’t know what I would do nor do I really care; I’m not involved anymore. If you decide to try to make MW2 work as a competitive game you’re looking at roughly a 3-6 month period before the game is relatively stable to play competitively if you’re lucky. CoD1, CoD2 and Cod4 all took roughly around this time period before we finally got it “right” and even then we were still making changes.

The last thing that should happen is the community remaining split on whether to play MW2 or not, because the bottom line isn’t necessarily about whether the game is good or not, it’s about fear. Fear of trying something new, fear of moving on to another game that isn’t call of duty, fear of losing your identity as a unique gaming community. Well I got a good cliché for you: fear makes you do stupid things. Continuing in this current direction is just going to hurt any potential MW2 may or may not have competitively. It also just may happen to be not very fun, which is why I thought people play video games in the first place.

…Until next time

– Ted