Call of Duty players have long called for the addition of dedicated servers in the hope they would reduce lag and other negatives experienced during online multiplayer, but so far these wishes have fallen on deaf ears.
But with Call of Duty: Ghosts, due out on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well as PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U, there is renewed hope that dedicated servers will become a reality.
So, will Call of Duty: Ghosts feature dedicated servers? Watch this space.
"I can't talk about it yet!" Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin teased when quizzed on the subject by Eurogamer at the Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer reveal event in Los Angeles today.
"We're not talking about anything dedicated server-related yet."
That's two mentions of the word "yet", suggesting we'll get an answer either way sooner rather than later. Gamescom next month, perhaps?
"We're not talking about anything dedicated server-related yet."Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin
Respawn Entertainment's online shooter Titanfall uses Microsoft's cloud platform to run dedicated servers, among other things, as engineer Jon Shiring explained shortly after the E3 trade show in June. Shiring discussing the benefits of dedicated servers over player hosted servers, which are associated with lag, host advantage, cheating and disconnects.
Microsoft has made much of its 300,000 server platform, called Azure, which will support the launch of Xbox One. And Respawn is able to use Azure to host Titanfall's game servers, meaning dedicated servers for PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360 and faster matchmaking.
"Right now all the games are using it in the ways anybody would think they're using it, basically: dedicated servers. But I'm hoping there's more that comes from that."
Infinity Ward's Rubin declined to say whether Ghosts will make use of Microsoft's cloud for dedicated servers, but he was willing to discuss cloud computing more generally.
"Cloud-based computing, or whatever you want to call it, is a really interesting territory that games... even the games that are using it now are just barely looking under the covers," he told Eurogamer.
"There will be a lot people will do with that technology in future games. I don't know what, necessarily. It's the new unexplored territory. So I'm really interested in seeing what comes out of it.
"Right now all the games are using it in the ways anybody would think they're using it, basically: dedicated servers. But I'm hoping there's more that comes from that. I don't know what that will be in the future, but I'm excited about it. It's a really cool feature."
Xbox One exclusive racing game Forza 5 will use Azure to study your driving style in order to create custom AI that behaves like you do. For Titanfall, the cloud means Respawn can concentrate on development as opposed to worrying about servers and ISPs.