Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is Splitting Windows Players Up

COW IW E3 Ship Assault Zero G Combat WM
Call of Duty: IW image via Activision

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is coming out tomorrow and it turns out that players on Windows will be split depending on which digital store they buy the game from. If you buy the boxed copy you get a Steam code and can only play with other players who bought the Steam version. If you buy the game from the app store built-into Windows you can’t play with Steam players. This is according to an FAQ on Activision’s support site for Call of Duty, via IGN, and goes for both Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer as well as the remastered version of Modern Warfare.

If you’ve been playing Call of Duty on Windows for a few years you’ve probably seen what I’ve seen, it feels like there are fewer players in multiplayer than ever, and it’s impossible to find anyone playing any modes except for team deathmatch. I can’t believe anyone would splinter the smallest of the three groups of players (Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows) intentionally.

Rocket League has cross-platform multiplayer across Xbox One and Steam, so it doesn’t seem like a policy prevents multiplayer from functioning between Microsoft-purchased games and other platforms. Really strange move on Activision’s part.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Announcement Trailer

Speaking of which, here’s the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare announcement trailer. It features the worst cover of a David Bowie song I’ve ever heard. In the year he died, why not pay out the bucks and license the real thing instead? Awful.

At least it has something closer to gameplay footage, but the Modern Warfare remastered footage at the end looks more interesting than Infinite Warfare. But you’ll have to buy the special $80 version of Infinite Warfare (“Legacy Edition”) to get a crack at the remake of MW on November 4th for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows.

I’m not expecting much at all from Infinity Ward after the mediocre Ghosts. Thank goodness it’s Raven working on the Modern Warfare remaster, even though it’ll only contain 10 of the multiplayer maps and the single-player campaign I’m definitely looking forward to playing that again.

Also note the VTOL jet flying clipping through the building as it comes in for a landing at 1:14. They must have noticed it late in production of this trailer and added the lens-flare to cover it up.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Multiplayer for $15

shooting is fun

Activision and Treyarch are competing directly with Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive by releasing a multiplayer-only version of Black Ops 3 for $15 exclusively on Steam. The same price as Global Offensive. Activision is calling this version of Blops 3 the multiplayer starter pack and it’s only available until the end of February. There’s a FAQ here that details what you do and don’t get with the starter pack versus the full game, and also the hilarious branding that starter pack players are subjected to:

17. Why is there an icon next to my name in the lobby?

It’s been difficult to find players for anything but team deathmatch, so I hope this starter pack sticks around and brings more people to the best Windows version of a modern CoD yet. 

Last-Gen (PS3, 360) COD:BLOPS 3 Dropping SP and CO-OP Campaign

The Call of Duty blog has details on the Black Ops 3 letdown, but it amounts to Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 players getting a download code for Black Ops 1 and a price drop to $50 as a pittance for the deficit as the game is now multiplayer and zombies-only on those platforms. The multiplayer will also be lacking various features like the weapon paintshop and others compared to the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows versions. The Linux version will continue to lack all features and not exist.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Windows Multiplayer Beta on nuclearmonster.com live

I got a chance to play the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 multiplayer beta on Windows today. Here’s the footage from the live stream of my first hour or so with the game. It looks like Treyarch has done a great job with the Windows version. The FOV and FPS police should be happy with the options in-game, but I’m sure they’ll find something else to complain about.

Here’s my suggestion: Linux/SteamOS support.

Raven Software’s 25th Anniversary

Judy Newman in the Wisconsin State Journal:

In a place like the Madison area, where people supported home-grown businesses way before the phrase “Buy local” became a battle cry, it’s not all that unusual to find companies that have been a mainstay for decades.

But in the highly competitive and ever-evolving world of video games, it’s much more rare.

Raven Software is one such survivor.

Launched in 1990 by brothers Brian and Steve Raffel, Raven, 8496 Greenway Blvd., Middleton, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

[…]

Raven is one of several studios working on any particular game for Activision, its parent company.

Daniel Suarez, vice president of production for Activision, called Raven “an impressive developer with a wide range of experience.”

“As the primary studio on ‘Call of Duty Online,’ Activision’s free-to-play product for China, and as a supporting studio on the last several ‘Call of Duty’ games, the team is an incredible group of talented designers, engineers and artists whose contributions are invaluable to Activision,” Suarez said from company headquarters in Santa Monica, California.

[…]

Raven is responsible for 10 to 25 percent of the “Call of Duty” games, he said, a series that has drawn more than $11 billion in worldwide revenue since it launched in 2003. “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” was the No. 1 console game, worldwide, in 2014, Activision said.

“Yeah, we’re part of the success,” Raffel said.

The company that made Jedi Knight, Jedi Academy, Elite Force, Soldier of Fortune, Heretic, Hexen and so many other great games has been reduced to a B-team working on a free-to-play Call of Duty redux, and 10-25 percent of assets and code for other Call of Duty developers at Activision. 🎉

How To Fix Call of Duty

Tyler Wilde:

I’d bring the multiplayer back to the basics. Good ideas introduced in CoD 4—the ideas that had me obsessed with it for months—have been added to and iterated on and it’s out of control. CoD 4’s unlock system was just about leveling. It was easy to set goals (I worked hard for the Barrett .50cal and was ecstatic when I unlocked it), and loadout decisions felt a lot more meaningful—they weren’t overwhelming, at least.

The last few Call of Duty games have been somewhat disappointing. Super convoluted. Nobody liked Ghosts but Advanced Warfare’s multiplayer still isn’t that fun. The DLC system has been insulting to players, paying for loadout slots and personalization packs? Come on. Look at this shit:

Look at all that juice

I can’t even get my browser window tall enough on my laptop to show them all in one screenshot.

EA’s Response to Activision’s Call of Duty Shenanigans?

The lawsuit did not name the rival company, but Electronic Arts Inc. is based in Northern California’s Redwood City and is thought to be who Activision is referring to in its filing. Asked whether this was the case, EA spokesman Jeff Brown said, “We don’t have the time to comment on the many lawsuits Activision files against its employees and creative partners.”

via Activision fires back at ex-Call of Duty developers, calling them ‘self-serving schemers’.

Call of Duty: World at War (PC) Map Pack Released

As alluded to earlier, the PC version of the Call of Duty: World at War DLC has been released, for free (aka we’ll probably see some powered-by-Intel war machines), alongside patch 1.4:

Through a partnership with Intel, we are pleased to announce that the Call of Duty: World at War Map Pack 1 is now available on the PC platform, completely free of charge!

Nightfire, Station, Knee Deep, and Verrückt are the 3 Multiplayer maps and Nazi Zombie level (respectively) that are included in this Map Pack. For more information about the DLC, click here.

The important thing to note is that PC Patch 1.4 is the actual package that includes Map Pack 1. For more information on what Patch 1.4 addresses with the game, visit the PC sub-forums on CallOfDuty.com. Patch 1.4 will update installations of Patch 1.2 or greater.

For download information, please find a full mirror list at our PC Updates page. See you online!

Changes in version 1.4:

  • 3 new Multiplayer maps: Kneedeep, Nightfire, Station!
  • Nazi Zombies map with more weapons, Perks-a-Cola machines, and electroshock defenses: Verrückt!
  • Improved spawning logic.
  • Auto balancing improvements. Players are no longer auto balanced while completing objectives.
  • Mods: IWD’s can be placed in the usermaps folder.
  • Mods: Hold Breath / Sprint functions as intended.
  • Mods: MissingAssets.csv is generated when maps are run with developer set to 1.
  • Fixed lag caused by shooting at tanks.
  • All rifle grenades fired during the first 15 seconds of Search & Destroy will be duds.
  • Players who equip a Bouncing Betty and melee teammates in Hardcore game modes are now credited with a team kill penalty.
  • Players are now deducted 200 points for team killing the bomb planter/defuser in Hardcore Search & Destroy.
  • Martyrdom no longer causes direct impact deaths in Hardcore modes.
  • “Bayonet jumping” has been disabled.