Modern Warfare 2 Gets Adult Rating in UK, Loses Dedicated Servers?

Activision’s latest entry in the Call of Duty series has received an 18 rating from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

MCVUK notes that all the previous entries in the series were rated wither BBFC 15 or PEGI 16+. The only statement made in the BBFC’s rating memo was that the game “contains strong bloody violence.”

In related news, it appears the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 will no longer be the beneficiary of dedicated servers. A EuroGamer story states that developer Infinity Ward will roll out a new proprietary service, called IWNet, which will focus on matchmaking.

This news served to irritate PC-based fans of the series, who immediately started an online petition demanding dedicated servers. At the time of this post, there were more than 96,000 signatures on the petition.

Update:  A 13-page thread on the Infinity Ward forums details the cancellation of many pre-orders for the game by those upset over the lack of dedicated server option for the PC version of Modern Warfare 2.

A sampling of comments:

I also cancelled my preorder. I’ve got better things to spend my money on than that. A great Singleplayer? that’s no comfort to me. -.-

I work at EB games in a shopping center here in Australia. We got hit with an onslaught today, 193 total preoders for Modern warfare 2 on PC, today alone we lost 78!

Four of my co-workers went to GameStop at lunch yesterday to cancel their pre-orders. They said the guy working told them that there had been a slow but steady stream of people coming in to cancel pre-orders throughout the morning.

And, just to be fair:

I walked into my local game store and… …went ahead and paid for MW2 in full after putting $5 down on it a couple of months ago. You people that are canceling are going to miss out on a great game.

Update 2:
Infinity Ward developer Robert Bowling has taken to his blog in an attempt to further explain/clarify some aspects of the online experience PC users will face.

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  1. FlakAttack says:

    Well, not to be an ass, but this is going to be one overpriced single player game. I really can’t see why you would bother.

  2. Nocturne says:

    In all fairness you’ll be getting a load of angry teenagers swearing and threatening you over christmas just because you work in retail, this’ll just be one more reason that at least will actually make some sense compared to some of the crap you’ll get…… enjoy the job

  3. Andy Hamm says:

    I will still get the game. (PC version.) I enjoy single player. I do not like it being Steam only, nor the multiplayer changes, but I can live with it.

  4. Canary Wundaboy says:

    Oh joy. I start my Xmas contract at Gamestation tomorrow, going to have SO many angry teenagers swearing and threatening me over Xmas because I won’t sell them the most anticipated game of the year without an adult or 18+ ID.

    Just made my Xmas a little more annoying. Ah well.

  5. State says:

    I can’t see what the problem is with the 18 rating on the game, it’s equivalent to an M rating. The headline to the article is misleading as it leads you to believe that the loss of the dedicated servers is related to the 18 rating.

  6. Father Time says:

    "The problem, here, is that it won’t do a thing to affect the company’s decisions about the game. It would be different, if they needed those boycotter’s purchases to turn a profit"

    No, a boycott doesn’t have to be that powerful to be effective. All they have to do is make the developers realzie that they just lost some significant profit/support by dropping dedicate servers. Or to put it more simply ‘you could’ve made more money if you didn’t piss us off’.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  7. Monte says:

     "The problem, here, is that it won’t do a thing to affect the company’s decisions about the game."

    So PC gamers should do nothing?

    and it seem Infinity Ward has atleast noticed the petition

    "[It] definitely made a big wave, and the response will not be ignored. I’ll ensure everyone at IW sees the petitions and responses to it," tweeted Bowling. "

    Not much, but it’s a start



    "but at this point in time, from what I hear, they are already setting records for pre-orders."

    But aren’t these record pre-orders based on all these upcoming weeks, where as this sad and sorry news is only NOW getting out… i mean, how many of those pre-orders come from PC gamers; Will those still be breaking a record after this news starts spreading allowing PC gamers to get pissed off and cancel their pre-orders? 

  8. ScotlandTom says:

    I worry that if they do see poor PC sales because of this issue they’ll just chalk it up to the PC being a "dead platform" and abandon development for it entirely.

  9. DarkSaber says:

    IW may have developed the proprietary system, but I’d put money on it being developed at the demand of Activision.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  10. xMrAx says:

     You have to remember their record setting numbers include consoles. If they make no pc sales someone will notice. So far the pc version has gotten the short end of the stick. No dedicated servers, no speacial editions, etc. Its really sad considering Infinity Ward started on the pc.

  11. Wormdundee says:

    Yours is a common attitude of many strictly console players and I’m not going to hate on you for it, but you really don’t understand. It has been mentioned, but it’s all about the communities that form. No dedicated servers means no communities will form around MW2, fact. That one thing is one of the biggest draws to PC gaming. I can only imagine what TF2 would be like if it was strictly matchmaking on peer to peer servers like MW2, it would be a shitfest. I believe player counts were very restricted on consoles for TF2? That’s the reason why.

    Another good example would be ArmA II. I run with the guys from TacticalGamer and ShackTactical strictly when I play it. That would be completely impossible with the MW2 setup since those 2 groups wouldn’t be able to run their dedicated servers and they would have no way to play together in game, thus they wouldn’t exist.

    It really is a big deal to PC gamers and mods are really a very small part of it. Although of course since we can’t make our maps now, they can sell DLC to us (which is what the whole point of this thing really is, anything they say about it being for the good of the player base is bullshit). And please don’t say that we should just deal with no mods and custom maps because console players have to. There are technical reasons why it wouldn’t work for consoles, doing it on a PC is just a cash grab.

  12. Unruly says:

    One of the biggest advantages, above modding and sense of community, is that a dedicated server is much better performance wise. Dedicated servers are usually hooked up to a much higher bandwidth connection, resulting in less lag, as well as the fact that a dedicated server only handles the exchange of packets. A matchmaking host-as-server setup has to not only exchange packets between everyone, but also has to process the data that that player is using, which almost always results in the host having an advantage since his stuff gets handled faster than anyone else’s.

    But just to show how bad it can be, Operation Flashpoint 2 only has matchmaking like IWNet is supposed to be. Its recommended connection for a host? 15mbps UPLOAD. You simply can’t get that off of a consumer connection like cable/DSL from any provider. The most you can get is something like 5mbps upload right now. You can get 15mbps download, possibly, but not upload. Thus, games are laggy as shit.

    Matchmaking works for small player counts. That’s why on consoles you don’t see games running with more than around 20 people tops. It just can’t handle it without going to shit because of hardware and connection limitations.

  13. DarkSaber says:

    It also means no custom maps, only official ones (I.E. packs you will more than likely have to pay for to play, even on the PC, with no free alternatives.)


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  14. Kabyk says:

    I’m going to sound like a noob, but w/e:

    I’m not a PC Gamer. I play consoles. So I know what matchmaking is and whatnot, but I don’t know what a "dedicated PC server" accomplishes as opposed to this new IWNet that does matchmaking.

    From what I’ve read of comments here and elsewhere, it’s basically going to end up being the same matchmaking as on consoles, as opposed to being able to mod it more than console versions. Well, if that is the case, I say: BAAAW.

  15. chadachada321 says:

    I wish that 360 games had dedicated servers like what many PC games have…I definitely understand why a PC gamer would be pissed about this, as dedicated servers make the PC game go round. So…that means they can either get the console version (as the console version would be just like the PC version, only with a much larger amount of people to play with, etc etc), get the PC version anyways (which would suck), or get neither, and lose out on a great game. Seems like a triple-loss for hardcore PC gamers, and I definitely sympathize. However, I’m still going to get the Prestige edition of the 360 version, as night vision goggles are awesome, and the matchmaking is just how it’s expected to be (though not nearly as fun as dedicated servers).

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  16. Brokenscope says:

    The modding is secondary to the community. Mods live and thrive because of the communities that support them.

    I need to make myself clear. This isn’t about the modding. This is about the community. A community which has always been far more pleasant than the one I have encountered while playing games on XBL with matchmaking.

    This isn’t about clans, modding, maps, or hackers for me and alot of other people.

    It is about the community. A community which will not be able to form in this game because of this decision.


    Also, when activision doesn’t want to continue running servers, the game is dead. That is another issue which isn’t being talked about.


    Also, being a modder isn’t geeky, sorry, but it isn’t. For a while now installing mods has been as simple as running a setup file. No harder than installing a game usually.

  17. Kabyk says:

    Not much of a basketball fan, but I get your point.  I understand now, but I didn’t think Call of Duty was in the same modding community vein as the big hitters like CS (and TF2?). Meh, maybe I just don’t understand the PC community. My friends’ a PC gamer, and we bicker all the time.

    I can see why they would be frustrated, but I can’t imagine that nobody would play the PC version without dedicated servers. Why? Everyone would have to be a geeky modder. If modding is what makes these games, they wouldnt be a hit on consoles. Can’t PC gamers just, ya know, play the game?

  18. Brokenscope says:

    This isn’t about leveling or skill matching.

    Though I think I enjoyed plaing with better players more than every asshat on my "level". Since I’d actually learn strategies and get you know, help from these better players.

  19. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Matchmaking makes sense  on one hand you drop players into a level environment on the other you have a system in place to do the leveling, matchmakeing should only be forced onto rookies, then those who have better/scores/rantings/time can go where every they want outside the kiddy pool.

    It seems to me they have completely the wrong focus here….

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!!

  20. Brokenscope says:

    Another issue I have with this system is the lack of longevity.

    Once they stopp running the servers, you don’t get to play online anymore, I doubt you can even play on lan either.

  21. Brokenscope says:

    It isn’t necessarily a boycott of the games as much as it that the game doesn’t support the style of community they have. They really don’t have any reason to play it now.

    For the most part, I started playing tribes 2. Good times, found a community that hosted several servers with different mods and maps added.

    Great community, lots of regulars, people were friendly, ass hats were kept at bay by a small but diligent group of admins. Great times were had by all.

    After tribes went south I moved to counterstrike, once again found a group of dedicated servers, good times ect, however I quickly realized the error of my ways and started playing Day of Defeat, found a great community, however it fell apart when DoD got replaced with DoD:S.

    The only games that have ever delivered a sense of community that matches some of these FPS games have been MMO’s.

    Games based on matchmaking have never been able to create the same type of communities for me. It’s frustrating.

    The best metaphor for the dedicated server is a basketball court. Two or three basketball courts at the local park where everyone goes to play basketball. If no one is there, you can shoot hoops till a few people show up and start a game. If you show up during a game, join in and play. You have a lot of regulars, but sometimes a random guy will show up, he  might play a game and leave, but he might come back again and again. Some of the folks will help keep the place clean, and keep and maintain the courts. You ahve rivalries and inside jokes, and shared experience. I know dedicated server communities that host barbecues that people from all over too.

    With matchmaking? There isn’t an single court to go to. They put them all over the place, and you can’t even agree to meet at one. You ahve to go talk to a guy who will assign you to a random court that may or may not have the best surfacing, heck to take the metaphor all the way, you may only have one hoop. You want to play with your friends, you have to call them all up before hand and go to the guy who picks the courts for you as a group. Want to play with special rules? can’t. You have to use the rules picked by the guy who picks the courts for you.


    Matchmaking is killing the town square.


    /get of my lawn.


    That being said, I wasn’t going to buy this for the PC. I preordered it for my xbox a while back. Still I understand the frustration, and I really have no reason to buy this for the PC at all anymore sicne this announcement.

  22. Valdearg says:

    The problem, here, is that it won’t do a thing to affect the company’s decisions about the game. It would be different, if they needed those boycotter’s purchases to turn a profit, but at this point in time, from what I hear, they are already setting records for pre-orders.

    A few thousand people deciding they wont buy it won’t affect a thing. There are already too many kiddies out there with thier parents money who don’t care about cost or value. They just want to get the shiny new game so they can pwn some noobs. That being said, you know those boycotter’s will break down and buy the game anyways, within a week after release.

  23. aIM hERE says:

    Not just the petition, there does seem to be the beginnings of a boycott in place too. Last I saw, there was talk of PC gamers cancelling their preorders, and a there was a thread on the IW official MW2 forum composed entirely of cod4 clans stating that they wouldn’t support or play mw2.

    Which is a good sign. PC gamers seem to be learning to organise themselves, which should be just the sort of thing that you Gamepolitics people shoule approve of. Just a few days back, I noticed what appears to be a concerted campaign of 1-star ratings on the Amazon entry for Red Alert 3 against the absurd new-fangled DRM system that game had. EA has now caved and patched it out within a year.


    Now if we can just work out how to stop the industry screwing over PC gamers before PC gaming dies out, we might be onto something…


  24. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Ummmmm…its nto that hard to have a sever run matchmakeing…… why not add IM stuff to it and easy vocie chat and make those extra features a preium service?….idoits….

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!!

  25. IanC says:

     Surely theres no need to get games rated by the BBFC anymore? I thought it was PEGI only from now on…

  26. spyrle says:

    That’s actually nothing new here. It’s about 5 pounds more expensive than a regular game (the standard edition is about the same price as the special edition of uncharted 2). The Hardened edition is a bit of a rip off mind you, at 70 quid for some bonus disks and a steel book case considering halo 3 "cat helmet edition" cost the same

    EDIT: Ack that was supposed to be a reply to

  27. Valdearg says:

    I have a few friends who were complaining that the PC version won’t feature dedicated servers and won’t allow mods.. They seem pretty damn pissed about it. I, personally, don’t care.. Never liked the multiplayer component of CoD, didn’t feel nearly as wide and varied as BF2 did. So whatever..

  28. DarkSaber says:

    Not to mention the fact that it’s being priced at $90 in the UK.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

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