Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is now on the Xbox One backwards compatibility list and, as you'd expect, is also on sale this week.
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Activision wants you to know that 100 million people have played Call of Duty since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007 - the game that fired the series into the stratosphere.
Jason West, he of the West & Zampella Infinity Ward saga, has reportedly left Respawn Entertainment - the studio he co-founded after leaving Activision and Call of Duty behind.
The Favela map has returned to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Activision's developers have aggravated a portion of the Muslim community by hanging a painting above a toilet in Modern Warfare 2.
Next generation graphics will be even more believable; violence and gore even more real. If Parliament debates Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 today, then what can we expect tomorrow?
EA has weighed in on the Activision vs. Zampella and West trial following the out of court settlement announced earlier today.
UPDATE: Activision has confirmed the confidential deal and made the following additional statement, suggesting it has indeed paid-out to Zampella and West:
Activision's high profile courtroom showdown with sacked Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella has been postponed by a few days.
As bona fide stop-the-press moments go, the events of 1st March 2010 stack up impressively. With Modern Warfare 2 smashing sales records across the globe and cementing the Call of Duty brand's claim to 'biggest gaming franchise ever' status, Activision announced out of the blue that its creators, Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, had been relieved of their posts with immediate effect.
The damages pay-out sought by sacked Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella has swollen to over $1 billion, according to the pair's former employees Activision.
Activision attempted to hack into email and phone messages belonging to Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella prior to the pair's dismissal in 2010, according to documents pertaining to the forthcoming court battle between the two parties.
UPDATE 2: Even though Activision has settled with EA, its argument with Infinity Ward founders Zampella and West still stands and will go to court later this month.
Activision has awarded a former Modern Warfare staff a collective pay-out of $42 million (£26m), as part of the publisher's ongoing legal wranglings with Infinity Ward.
Robert Bowling, ex-creative strategist at Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward, has founded a new game studio, Robotoki.
A US superior court judge has denied EA's request to throw out Activision's $400 million contract-interference suit relating to the departure of Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella last year.
Long-delayed Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection has finally launched on the EU PlayStation Store this week. The compilation contains 2D classics Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 in one bundle.
The game had originally been due for an August launch alongside its Xbox Live Arcade counterpart, but continually failed to appear, something Sony blamed on a "technical issue".
Back to Karkand, the first Battlefield 3 expansion, went live earlier this week and contains four maps from previous Battlefield instalments. PlayStation 3 gamers get it a week before their PC and Xbox 360 friends.
MW trilogy in one tin.
Working on Modern Warfare 3 following the departure of studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella in early 2010 was "an extremely tough time" according to the game's producer Mark Rubin.
Activision has sold 18 million Call of Duty: Black Ops map packs, the publisher has announced.
A major Norwegian retailer has announced it is to remove 51 games from its shelves following the tragic killings in Oslo and Utøya last week.
Modern Warfare creators Jason West and Vincent Zampella's case against Activision will now likely go to trial, following a ruling in the pair's favour this week.
Amid the ongoing Sony hack furore, Activision has pledged to ensure that Call of Duty: Elite, the new multiplayer-focused service set to launch alongside Modern Warfare 3 this November, will help rid the game of cheaters.
UK gamer rights group Gamers' Voice has attacked notorious anti-video game MP Keith Vaz for tabling an "amateurish" early day motion.
Modern Warfare 3 will not suffer from its predecessor's lack of post-launch support, Infinity Ward has insisted.
Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling tweeted that constant patches would be a top priority for the developer.
"That is a major focus of mine and the entire team since the feedback from Modern Warfare 2," Bowling wrote.
Some, but not all, of the info leaked on Modern Warfare 3 earlier today is accurate, so says Infinity Ward exec Robert Bowling.
A new report suggests the story of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - thought to be codenamed Project Collossus [sic] and due out 8th November - will be of a much grander scale than previous Modern Warfare games.
As the story unfolds, multiple countries will be drawn in to the conflict, Kotaku heard from a source - creating a potential World War III scenario.
As for a time-line, Modern Warfare 3 apparently starts where MW2 stopped. Urban warfare, where tanks rumble through streets used by cars, will be the game's bread and butter.
Eurogamer has heard from multiple sources that the new Call of Duty game, thought to be Modern Warfare 3, will launch on 8th November 2011.
The editor of topical discussion show The Wright Show has defended last month's 'Do shoot 'em up games lead to real violence?' episode in which panellists linked video game violence to real world violence.
Microsoft has warned Xbox Live users of "fishing" attempts on secure data while you're playing smash-hit Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Gamer rights group Gamers' Voice has pledged to write to UK broadcaster Channel 5 after The Wright Stuff linked violent video games to a real life murder.
Sacked Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella could be entitled to hold onto the Modern Warfare brand should their lawsuit against Activision be successful.
The high-profile lawsuit between video game behemoths Activision and EA can move forward, a Californian Superior Court judge has ruled.
The voice over actors who played the terrorists in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's controversial No Russian level were "tearful" as they delivered lines, one of the developers has revealed.
Whereas Battlefield 3 boasts a new engine that gamers are raving about, Call of Duty has made do with a modified, ageing IW engine - version 4.0 was used for Modern Warfare 2.
Fan-made countdown clock not MW3.
UPDATE: Activision claims the countdown timer website is a hoax. "There seems to be a great deal of speculation about the next Call of Duty project," said the publisher in a statement issued this evening. "Let me be clear that we are not revealing yet. Anything indicating otherwise is a hoax."
George "Geohot" Hotz, currently being sued by Sony for cracking the PlayStation 3's security wide open, has denied his actions have led to hacks ruining first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
An all platforms patch for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will launch soon, Infinity Ward has announced.
It will address "security issues that have affected online play", community man Robert Bowling said on the game's official forum.
The patch, which has finished production and is now going through internal quality assurance, will release for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Modern Warfare 2's infamous No Russian stage could have influenced the terrorists behind this week's suicide bombing at a Moscow airport, Russian state media has claimed.
Infinity Ward is still working to resolve hacking issues that have impacted Modern Warfare 2 players on PlayStation 3, which it last week blamed on crumbling PS3 security.
Former Infinity Ward boss Vince Zampella deliberately conspired against his then-employer Activision by holding back the release of a Modern Warfare 2 map pack until after the release of EA's Battlefield: Bad Company 2, court documents made public today suggest.
Frustrated by Modern Warfare 2 hacks? Infinity Ward feels your pain. But don't blame the developer. Blame Sony and the PlayStation 3's compromised security.
He was the guest that no-one expected to see – and yet Keith Vaz MP, Parliament's most hostile critic of the industry, turned out last night at an event in support of gaming, claiming: "I've never been against games".
Infinity Ward's first game since the headline grabbing sackings of early 2010 will be a prequel to the first Modern Warfare, according to insider chit-chat.
Fired Call of Duty creators Vince Zampella and Jason West have claimed the bitter legal battle between themselves and Activision is preventing their new studio Respawn Entertainment from getting going.
Analyst Wedbush Securities reckons Activision will launch a "second tier" of online Call of Duty multiplayer in the next few months – and charge gamers for it.
The increasingly bitter war between mega videogame companies Activision and Electronic Arts levelled up this week when the Call of Duty publisher attempted to drag its chief rival into its countersuit against ex-Infinity Ward stars Vince Zampella and Jason West.
Electronic Arts has dismissed Activision's attempt to seek a whopping $400 million in damages over the sacking of ex-Infinity Ward stars Vince Zampella and Jason West as nothing more than a "PR play".
Activision has filed suit against Electronic Arts seeking $400 million in damages as part of its ongoing litigation against two former Infinity Ward executives.
The friend of an alleged videogames addict who featured in Panorama's recent documentary, Addicted To Games?, has hit out at the makers' selective editing and "exaggerated view of games addiction and its causes".
Modern Warfare studio Infinity Ward is still bursting with talent, owner Activision has claimed, despite the spate of high profile departures earlier this year.
A Manchester teenager was arrested after preventing thousands of players from logging on to Call of Duty using a DDOS program.
Restructuring is complete at beleaguered Modern Warfare factory Infinity Ward, owner Activision has announced.
Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were the two most active titles on Xbox Live last week.
The headline, I'm told, became an all-too-regular mantra for Activision's beleaguered communications team long ago.
EA has slammed bitter rival Activision after CEO Bobby Kotick accused the Medal of Honor publisher of "suffocating studios".
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has defended his decision to fire Call of Duty creators Vince Zampella and Jason West, insisting: "We didn't have any choice!"
A hardcore Modern Warfare 2 fan is attempting to level up to rank 70 in multiplayer without killing a single enemy player.
Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the UK's best-selling game of all time, stats from GfK ChartTrack reveal.
Blizzard's science fiction real-time strategy game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty obliterated sales of all other games released in the US in July, NPD said.
It sold an eye-watering 721,000 units at retail. StarCraft II was released on 27th July, so those sales were achieved in just five days.
StarCraft II is the fastest-selling strategy game ever.
Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward will "rise from the ashes" after the high-profile exodus that followed the sacking of Vince Zampella and Jason West, publisher Activision has predicted.
Activision has so far received 5000 applications to work at Call of Duty developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer following the sacking of Vince Zampella and Jason West.
Poor sales of Bizarre's racer Blur and Raven Software's shooter Singularity between April and June were offset by the continued gargantuan success of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, publisher Activision Blizzard has said.
"Singularity fell short of meeting what is an exceptionally high bar within the shooter genre," said chief financial officer Thomas Tippl during an investor call last night.
"Fortunately, Call of Duty was the title that raised that bar and shortfall of Singularity was offset by Call of Duty's catalogue and DLC performance.
Activision has released a single-player demo of gargantuan first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 some nine months after the game launched.
More than 20 million Call of Duty map packs have been sold, Activision has announced.
The milestone was passed during the quarter ending 30 June 2010.
Note: these map packs span all Call of Duty games, not just Modern Warfare 2.
Valve has restored access to Modern Warfare 2 for "over 12,000" Steam accounts, after the PC players were mistakenly banned from playing the game by the developer's anti-cheating software.
The combined forces of publisher Activision and developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch have told gamers that they will never have to pay extra to play Call of Duty online.
Activision has clarified that the Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Pack has been released on PC already. A PS3 version will be offered tomorrow.
Activision has told a gathering of analysts that Modern Warfare 2 has sold more than 20 million units worldwide.
That's according to a GameSpot report on the event, which also noted that CEO Bobby Kotick has designs on the second-hand market.
According to the report, Kotick reckons there's $500 million of money to be made by working with retailers to take a cut of sales of used Activision titles.
Infinity Ward has announced that Modern Warfare 2's Resurgence Pack will launch for PC and PlayStation 3 on 6th July in the US, with the European PS3 version hitting on 7th July.
Update: Activision has announced that the Resurgence Pack will be available to UK gamers at 6pm (7pm CET).
Robert Bowling has revealed the five Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence DLC maps to be Vacant, Strike, Carnival, Trailer Park and Fuel.
Three of those are new, two are remakes. They'll be available on Xbox Live first from 3rd June for 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20/€14.40). Dates for PC and PS3 haven't been mentioned.
Carnival is the first of the three new maps and the one Bowling told the Major Nelson podcast he was "especially excited for".
Activision has announced that the Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Pack will be released for Xbox Live users on 3rd June.
Activision plans to release its second map pack for Modern Warfare 2 in the "back half of the year" according to CFO Thomas Tippl.
The situation at Infinity Ward is so bad that one analyst has predicted Activision will close the studio in the near future.
A group of 38 current and former Infinity Ward employees have filed a lawsuit against Activision, accusing the publisher of withholding millions of dollars in bonuses related to the sale of Modern Warfare 2.
Infinity Ward has confirmed that the Stimulus Package for Modern Warfare 2 will be released for PS3 and PC on 4th May in North America.
Activision COO Thomas Tippl has said that far from discouraging talent from joining Infinity Ward, the changes at the Modern Warfare studio recently have created a void into which many developers would be happy to jump.
Infinity Ward has lost a further two veteran staffers following Jason West and Vincent Zampella's controversial dismissal by Activision just over one month ago.
Vincent Zampella has admitted to being nervous about his new Respawn Entertainment venture, having been kicked from multi-million seller Infinity Ward back into the arms of old employer EA.
Robert Schwartz, the lawyer representing former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, has described allegations made by Activision on Friday as "false and outrageous".
Activision has accused former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella of "delaying pre-production of Modern Warfare 3" in its cross-complaint against the duo, who launched a legal action against the publisher after they were sacked last month.
Richard Morgan, the sci-fi author currently penning the script for Crysis 2, has taken a pop at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Infinity Ward mouthpiece Robert Bowling has announced the release dates for the Modern Wafare 2 Stimulus Package downloadable content on PC and PlayStation 3.
Modern Warfare 2's Stimulus Package has been bought over 2.5m times in just one week.
That's just on Xbox 360, remember, where the five extra maps cost 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20/€14.40).
Microsoft added that 1 million people had snapped-up the Stimulus Package in 24 hours alone.
From tomorrow, Steam's allowing anyone and everyone free access to Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer.
What's in a name? Infinity Ward's choice of title for Modern Warfare 2's first map pack is telling. It implies an injection of content designed to revitalise an ailing economy of players, stirring up dulling passions and reversing waning success. Despite what community manager Rob Bowling may say, Activision must be concerned by the speed at which rival Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has been closing the gap between the two games in recent weeks, both in terms of sales and online engagement. So is this a stimulus package to overwhelm the competition? Perhaps it wasn't originally planned that way, but today, the hope must be there.
Then, of course, there are the financial undertones: the implication that a Stimulus Package is somehow a gesture of generosity for the Modern Warfare faithful in lean times. But many players would contend that at 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20 / €14.40) - a quarter of the price of the full game itself - this pack of five maps (only three of which are new to the series) represents anything but value for the penny-pinched.
And what of the wider context to this add-on? Infinity Ward is now a headless goliath, its two founders and studio bosses fired by parent company and arch-villain-du-jour Activision in a messy, public manner last month. What of the staff left behind to craft and polish these environments, those men and women who no doubt feel split loyalties under their new, and probably unwelcome, management? They will be unsure of their futures, made insecure by the way their leaders were taken out back and shot, and at the same time prevented from expressing discontent in public by enough legal threats to sink a Langdell.
Microsoft has blamed the foul-up that led to hours of misery for Modern Warfare 2 fans on a "process failure" during deployment of the Stimulus Package DLC and its associated Title Update (patch).
Update #6: "The MW2 Title Update is now live! It may take a few minutes for everyone worldwide to get it - our apologies for the delay." Not our words - the words of Xbox Live's Major Nelson. "It may take a few mins for you to get the update, or for it to work properly. Once things get in order all should be fine."
Infinity Ward has revealed that the Modern Warfare 2 double XP event is starting today - and not at the weekend as originally planned.
You have to feel for Robert Bowling. Infinity Ward's creative strategist has over 100,000 followers on Twitter (dwarfing ours, obviously), the press hangs on and repeats his every substantive word, and he's on the phone doing rounds of interviews for the Modern Warfare 2 "Stimulus Package" map pack.
Infinity Ward's vocaliser Robert Bowling has told Eurogamer that "no", he wasn't personally affected by the whole Jason West and Vincent Zampella saga of three weeks ago.
Xbox 360-exclusive DLC next Wednesday.
Robert Bowling has told Eurogamer that he and Infinity Ward have a lot of professional respect for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, despite the marketing prods and pokes.
Infinity Ward has revealed plans for a double-XP weekend for Modern Warfare 2 when the upcoming Stimulus Package DLC goes live.
Former Infinity Ward bosses Vince Zampella and Jason West are heading to Hollywood, following their unceremonious sacking by Activision.
Infinity Ward has detailed the Modern Warfare 2 "Stimulus Package" downloadable content and said it will cost 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20 / €14.40).
Electronic Arts executive John Schappert has had a bit of a dig at Activision over the Infinity Ward lawsuit.
Activision has said that the Modern Warfare 2 DLC announced this week is called "Stimulus Package". It's out on 30th March.
Infinity Ward has announced that the first map pack for Modern Warfare 2 will be released for Xbox 360 on 30th March.
Infinity Ward community man Robert Bowling tweeted overnight that Modern Warfare 2 has racked up a whopping 25 million online players.
GamesIndustry.biz, the trade arm of the Eurogamer Network, recently completed the next step in its evolution toward greater support for the videogames business with the implementation of a full registration system.
The lawsuit filed by Jason West and Vince Zampella against Activision referred to the publisher's "astonishing arrogance and unbridled greed", and claimed that the investigation leading to the duo's dismissal was more of an "inquisition".
The full 16-page filing popped up overnight on IGN and made interesting reading. "This lawsuit is solely and regrettably the result of the astonishing arrogance and unbridled greed of defendant Activision," it began.
After taking credit for "lining Activision's pockets with billions of dollars in revenue", West and Zampella's suit said that the fact they were having to sue for their pay was "not surprising, given that Activision is run by a CEO who has been publicly quoted as believing that the best way to run a videogame studio is to engender a culture of 'skepticism, pessimism, and fear,' and who prefers to pay his lawyers instead of his employees".
Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella were allegedly in contact with the likes of Electronic Arts prior to their dismissal earlier this week.
The emerging spat between Activision and the heads of Infinity Ward may have been caused by unpaid royalties.
Infinity Ward president Jason West and studio head Vince Zampella appear to have been sacked by the studio's owner Activision amid dramatic scenes and claims of breach of contract and insubordination.
Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling has dashed hopes of Nazis or zombies being added to Modern Warfare 2.
BAFTA has announced the nominations for the British Academy Video Games Awards for 2010, with Uncharted 2 receiving the most attention.
Activision, perhaps understandably, is not expecting the new Call of Duty game to top Modern Warfare 2's record breaking performance.
Activision's Modern Warfare 2 has predictably been crowned the best selling game of 2009, in the world.
Microsoft has revealed just how much of a headstart Xbox 360 owners will have with the new downloadable content for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Megastar movie director Peter Jackson has said he's been playing a lot of Modern Warfare 2 lately - and that in fact, he's currently enjoying playing games more than watching films.
An unlikely champion has been found in Ubisoft's Wii game Just Dance, which has ended Modern Warfare 2's nine-week honeymoon atop the UK all-formats chart.
The Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for the 2009 Videogame Writing awards.
As reported by Kotaku, those in the running include Assassin's Creed II (written by Corey May, Joshua Rubin and Jeffrey Yohalem) and Uncharted 2 (Amy Hennig).
Then there's Wet (Duppy Demetrius) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Marc Guggenheim). There may not be room for all the writers on the stage if Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 wins (written by Jesse Stern; additional Writing by Steve Fukuda; story by Todd Alderman, Steve Fukuda, Mackey McCandlish, Zied Rieke, Jesse Stern, Jason West; battlechatter dialogue by Sean Slayback).
Activision's record-breaking Modern Warfare 2 has crashed past the $1bn mark after only two months on sale.
Modern Warfare 2 has unsurprisingly finished as the UK's best-selling game of 2009, according to Chart-Track data.
Modern Warfare 2 is still top of the UK all-formats chart, despite hefty competition from acclaimed newcomers Bayonetta and Darksiders.
Halo 3 was the most popular game on Xbox Live in 2009, but spots 2-4 in the list were occupied by the last three Call of Duty games.
The next instalment in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series will not be developed by old hands Infinity Ward.
Update: We did of course first hear about this at E3 last year. Apologies for the repeat.
Activision's Modern Warfare 2 has dominated the UK all-formats chart for an eighth consecutive week - the longest unbeaten run since Need for Speed: Underground 2 in 2004.
Activision's Modern Warfare 2 has taken Christmas number one in the UK All-Formats chart.
PC gamers may be given the chance to modify Modern Warfare 2 in future, despite Infinity Ward's decision to ditch dedicated servers.
Infinity Ward knows about the unlimited ammo bug in Modern Warfare 2 and is working hard on a solution.
The best selling game of 2009 across North America was the Xbox 360 version of Modern Warfare 2, with a whopping 4.2 million units shifted by the end of November. The PS3 version finished eighth with 1.9m sales.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has failed to break into the UK all-formats top 10, reaching No. 12 after one week on sale.
Activision may beam as poster-child Modern Warfare 2 racks up a fourth winning week in the UK all-formats chart, but newcomer Tony Hawk: Ride landed face-first on the pavement.
Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling has said that a fix for the Javelin exploit in Modern Warfare 2 is imminent on both PS3 and Xbox 360 and already in place on PC.
"#MW2 on PS3 just got update 1.05 which includes some improvements to matchmaking. Patch 1.06 is still coming down the pipeline," Bowling tweeted on Saturday.
"PC has the Javelin update already and is constantly getting matchmaking tweaks," he added a few minutes later.
Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello has said the Modern Warfare games are all starting to look the same to him.
Xbox Live's Stephen Toulouse has mentioned that anyone caught exploiting Modern Warfare 2's Javelin glitch in multiplayer will get suspended from Live.
Former Major Neil Powell has said that in terms of age, gender and background, gamers are "precisely the target audience the British Army wants". However, the establishment is so timid and out-of-touch that it "would never dream" of emulating the US Army, which funds its own interest-boosting game, America's Army.
Activision's Modern Warfare 2 has topped the UK All-Formats chart for a third week and, as December threatens to freeze releases, marches hopefully towards a possible Christmas number one.
Infinity Ward has started clamping down on naughty gamers who flout the rules in Modern Warfare 2 for PC.
Colossal Modern Warfare 2 sales have nudged Activision's Call of Duty franchise over the $3 billion revenue mark.
Modern Warfare 2 writer Jesse Stern made headlines earlier this month when he spoke about the background to the infamous "No Russian" level in Infinity Ward's latest blockbusting first-person shooter. But who is Jesse Stern, and how did he get involved in Call of Duty in the first place? Friend-of-Eurogamer John Gaudiosi tracked him down.
Valve has said that digital distributors who boycott PC games because they ship with Steamworks services are missing out.
Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling has confirmed the first batch of Modern Warfare 2 DLC for spring 2010.
Activision and Infinity Ward are launching a new initiative to raise money for charity War Child.
Neither Assassin's Creed II nor New Super Mario Bros. Wii have managed to displace Modern Warfare 2 at the top of the UK All-Formats chart, despite Activision's champion selling 86 per cent fewer copies during its second week on sale.
Infinity Ward has denied that sales of Modern Warfare 2 on PC have been lacklustre, arguing that all the signs actually point to success.
"Yes, PC is the smallest percentage in terms of how much sold on each platform but that hardly means anything other than the PC is just the smallest market," Infinity Ward man Robert Bowling patiently informed fans on the official forum (thanks Kotaku).
"The PC version of Modern Warfare 2 has actually outsold the PC version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in its first week. Making it the most successful PC version."
Published as part of our sister-site GamesIndustry.biz' widely-read weekly newsletter, the GamesIndustry.biz Editorial is a weekly dissection of one of the issues weighing on the minds of the people at the top of the games business. It appears on Eurogamer after it goes out to GI.biz newsletter subscribers.
Modern Warfare 2 scriptwriter Jesse Stern has said that the goal of the game's controversial airport level was "to put you as close as possible to atrocity". (Beware, spoilers ahead.)
Activision has reeled off some stats to support its claim that Modern Warfare 2 "redefines entertainment".
Activision has dedicated a third developer to the record-breaking Call of Duty series and lessened the strain on Treyarch and Infinity Ward, according to a report.
BBC presenter Nicky Campbell has hosted a debate on UK television programme The Big Questions about violent videogames and their affect on society following the historic launch of Modern Warfare 2.
Activision has confirmed the removal of the controversial airport scene from the Russian version of Modern Warfare 2, and said the move was its own decision.
Reports suggest the Russian government has recalled all Xbox 360 and PS3 copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 due to objections to the controversial airport terrorism scene.
Activision's Modern Warfare 2 has become the biggest game in UK history, selling over 1.7m copies and generating £67.4m in just five days.
Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick has made a mint from the success of Modern Warfare 2 - and not just because every person in the world has bought a copy.
Activision has calculated that Modern Warfare 2 sold approximately 4.7m copies across the UK and US in just one day.
The year's hottest and most successful videogame finally gets the full-on Digital Foundry Face-Off treatment. It's fair to say that Call of Duty titles in recent years have consistently favoured performance on the Xbox 360, whether they've been produced by series founder Infinity Ward or gap-year specialists Treyarch. With 2009's offering featuring an enhanced engine and brand new streaming tech, can the PS3 game match or indeed surpass the quality of the Xbox title?
First things first. While there have been plenty of attempts at comparison shots thus far across the net, something hasn't really looked quite right about any of them. The colour balance is quite patently wrong.
Basic settings don't cut it with Modern Warfare 2. You really need to spend some time setting up the game to play nicely with your screen... or indeed your capture kit. Usual form within any Digital Foundry Face-Off is simply to run the game at default settings and let the chips fall as they may - the assumption being that the default is equivalent to the colour settings within the console's framebuffer, or at the very least what the developer calibrates the output to. However, keeping the default settings is really not a particularly good idea within Modern Warfare 2 and we're also not sure how effective Infinity Ward's calibration method is for the end user is either.
Chart-Track has defended yesterday's record-breaking Modern Warfare 2 sales claim after industry analyst Michael Pachter questioned the figures.
"UK retailers have been at the forefront of electronic data capture for decades, which in turn allows us to capture daily sales from 99 per cent of retailers on our panel," Bloch told GamesIndustry.biz. "That's over 6000 retail outlets plus all the etailers - currently 25 different store fronts.
"Every retailer on our panel supplies Electronic Point of Sale data. In the specific case of pre-orders through retailers with High Street stores, we can and do pick these up sometimes months before a product actually launches and these are set up by the retailer to report as a specific retailer code. When the product goes live we begin to track sales on the actual barcode for that product, along with the actual selling price for every single transaction.
Craig Fairbrass, who voices Ghost in some cheap little shooter that came out this week we can't remember the name of, has hinted that he may be called upon to supply dialogue for new content.
Chatting with Eurogamer on the camo carpet at the Modern Warfare 2 (ah!) launch premiere in Leicester Square on Monday night, the hulking British actor, who played Gaz in the original MW, revealed how excited his kids were about his character featuring in a DC Comics series, adding: "They're talking to me about other little spin-offs. I'm just really, really pleased and happy to be a part of it."
Pressed on whether there were more game roles on the horizon, he teased: "They're talking to me about doing some other little bits for this. It's lovely being in Los Angeles being part of this. It's amazing."
Infinity Ward has issued a patch for the PS3 version of Modern Warfare 2, which should solve the problem with Trophies in single-player and Spec Ops modes.
The developer also said that a second patch would be released "by the end of the week" to sort out problems with party invitations.
However, the PS3 version of the game is still plagued by multiplayer server issues, which are down to PlayStation Network itself according to the developer's creative strategist Robert Bowling, writing on Twitter.
Modern Warfare 2 has sold 1.23m copies in the UK in one day, smashing the previous record set by Grand Theft Auto IV (631,000 units).
That performance made Activision around £47m, whereas Rockstar made only £27.2m.
"These first day sales figures are astonishing and clear evidence that videogames are now mainstream in the UK," said Michael Rawlinson, boss of data collector ELSPA/GfK-ChartTrack.
Infinity Ward will "totally" consider doing downloadable Spec Ops content for Modern Warfare 2 according to the developer's 'creative strategist' Robert Bowling.
Food palaces Sainsbury's and Morrisons are the cheapest places to buy Modern Warfare 2.
BBC reporter Marc Cieslak has told Radio 4 that he was "saddened" after playing Modern Warfare 2 as it disproved his belief that the games industry had "grown up".
Those of you who bought Modern Warfare 2 on Steam will not be able to play until Thursday.
Labour MP Tom Watson believes a Facebook 'pressure group' he created for gamers could be "a game-changing move for Parliament" - after being "incensed" by remarks made by fellow MP Keith Vaz on the violent content of Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2.
No Russian. Beware, it's a bit of a spoiler.
The release date for Modern Warfare 2 has been one of the most disregarded in the history of UK games retail, according to SimplyGames MD Neil Muspratt.
The UK government has defended mature videogame content, and stated that when it's rated properly grown-ups "can get what adults should be able to".
Twice, Infinity Ward asks if you're absolutely sure you want to see it. The scene, the fourth you'll encounter in the most widely anticipated game of the year, could be "disturbing" or "offensive", repeats the warning. You smile and agree that, yes, you are sure you want to see it. This is a videogame. They give them 18 certificates, but only to appease people who don't really understand what's going on. Sure, the images of violence and bloodshed on Modern Warfare's battlefields can be disturbing to an onlooker, but death in a first-person shooter is a five-second setback, a micro-reincarnation designed to provide challenge and an impetus to improve, not distress.
Likewise, the crimson firework that explodes whenever bullet meets target is merely a visual cue to indicate another object removed from the shooting gallery, while the wash of blood that temporarily clouds your view when you're wounded is just a health gauge obfuscated. The orchestra-swells and military bombast? All window dressing for what is, essentially, Space Invaders evolved. You take cover behind walls and shoot aliens. In 1978, these were line-dancing pixel clusters from outer space. In 2009 they're Afghans. The metaphor's changed, but the principle remains the same: avoid missing headshot for high score. A videogame. Yes, I'm sure I want to see it.
The first three missions of Modern Warfare 2 do little to change your mind. The training level, set in a desert encampment somewhere in the Middle East, is literally a shooting gallery. You race from pillar to post, refreshing muscle memory, making split-second fire/hold-fire decisions, flitting between your rifle and pistol while racing against the clock to reach the end of the assault course. Not satisfied with your score? Have another go. Shave seconds from your time by improving your speed and accuracy. The sand particles billowing in the wind, the off-duty soldiers playing basketball in the communal yard and the throb of the noonday sun are of a fidelity not seen in games before, but the systems they dress are as old as videogame time.
American retailer GameStop has confessed to breaking the Modern Warfare 2 street date "in select markets where other retailers had broken street date".
Call of Duty fans pre-ordering the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 won't be able to play it until Tuesday - even if their game is delivered early.
GAME has said that emails sent to customers claiming copies of Modern Warfare 2 have already shipped do not mean people will be receiving it before launch day, 10th November.
Digital distributors Direct2Drive, Impulse and Gamersgate have decided not to sell Modern Warfare 2, as the game requires installation of Valve's Steamworks tools.
Activision president Mike Griffith has said that the controversial decision to axe dedicated servers for the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 "improves that consumer experience overall by a significant margin".
Infinity Ward has revealed that the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 will support only 18 players online, whereas previous instalments have catered for 32.
HMV has clarified to Eurogamer that no copies of Modern Warfare 2 have been sent to customers, despite official emails stating otherwise.
Immensely successful Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer considers games to be as legitimate an art form as films and theatre.
Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling has said that the studio may go off and do something else once Modern Warfare 2 is out of the way.
Activision and Eurogamer are holding hands and offering two pairs of free tickets to the Modern Warfare 2 launch bonanza at London's Leicester Square next Monday (9th November).
Win and you could be rubbernecking on a camouflage-print carpet with "the UK's most famous faces". You'll watch a cinema presentation of Modern Warfare 2, witnessing behind-the-scenes interviews, before the celebrity host hands the game controller to you, hours before general UK release.
Furthermore, your VIP wristband doubles as a queue-jump at the London Trocadero HMV, where the official Modern Warfare 2 launch takes place.
Infinity Ward has said that it will probably reset the leaderboards for Modern Warfare 2 just prior to launch on 10th November.
"It definitely looks like a full leaderboard / level reset is in order just before the release date to ensure no unfair advantages," IW's Robert Bowling tweeted.
Who might have an unfair advantage? Well, the game's now been pirated on Xbox 360, so those people, assuming Microsoft hasn't banned them all by the 10th.
Infinity Ward has disowned a viral video in which some American football bloke does a skit about grenades because it ends with a text joke based on a homophobic slur.
Activision, quick to patch a wound, has explained that Modern Warfare 2 is "designed to evoke the atrocities of terrorism".
A video of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has leaked onto the internet, showing the player participating in the massacre of innocent civilians in an airport.
Infinity Ward has said that Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer supports third-person view in private matches.
Following the release of a leaked video on YouTube, community man Robert Bowling told
Joystiq that it was "just another cool way to play the game".
Infinity Ward and Activision have chosen to use Valve's Steamworks suite of tools for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Activision will take over Leicester Square on Monday 9th November to launch what could be the biggest game ever, Modern Warfare 2.
The ODEON cinema will host a screening of the game compered by "a celebrity fan". Could this be the return of Ian Wright, Ricky Hatton, Pat Cash and Nell McAndrew - "The Pastel Pack"?
Then, at midnight, the doors to HMV Trocadero will swing open and sales will begin. A secret VIP party in an underground bunker will also begin, starring "one of the UK's biggest male artists of 2009". Is it Dizzee Rascal? Michael Buble? Leon from last year's X-Factor?
Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling has sought to defend Modern Warfare 2's lack of dedicated server support on PC by explaining the alternative system, IWNet, in a bit more detail on his blog.
Infinity Ward appears to have dumped dedicated servers for the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 in favour of its own proprietary matchmaking service.
Pleasant surprise: Modern Warfare 2 makes a pretty decent arcade racer. That's what it feels like anyway, when you're blasting through the tundra on a jouncing skidoo, driven on by the constant barrage of time extends as you zip past one checkpoint after another, with the cartoony three-tone starting buzzer still sounding in your ears. There are jumps to chain together, a racing line to unearth, and trees to dodge as you rush towards the finish flag, and when the camera shakes and the audio roars, it's all pretty exciting stuff.
Bookmaker Paddy Power is now taking bets on the game which will top the all-formats chart this Christmas.
UK site Electronic Theatre has claimed that the PC version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been delayed by two weeks.
Had enough of Modern Warfare 2 yet, Man From The Future? Then you want to be thinking ahead to those downloadable maps, some of which are out next spring according to an energy drink. (Is this a bit surreal?)
Infinity Ward has told fans not to expect a Modern Warfare 2 demo before launch.
GAME has unveiled to Eurogamer the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Veteran Package, an exclusive for the shop.
This costs £119.99 - more than double what's asked for the regular game. But the Veteran Package has a statue. Standing 12 inches tall, this replica of Captain Soap MacTavish has interchangeable weapons and arms, and can wield dual .45 caliber pistols, dual ice pick-axes and an M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle, which straps to his back when not in, er, use. There's an environmental ice base to store the alternate bits, too.
The Veteran Package also contains the Hardened Edition of MW2, which has a steel case, artbook and code to download Call of Duty Classic on PS3 and 360.
Traditional indicators like pre-order figures or column inches aren't what tell you how big Modern Warfare 2's going to be this Christmas. It's the way other titles have quietly disappeared from its release window, giving Soap MacTavish and his bristly-chinned friends a clear run for their deadly assault on Santa's base camp. It's almost as if Infinity Ward has been staging a brutal deathmatch with its competition over the past few months, blasting triple-A titles deep into Q1 with frightening efficiency, until only a handful of other giants - like Bungie's Orbital Drop Shock Troopers - remain on the battlefield.
Microsoft has announced plans to launch a new Xbox 360 with a 250GB hard drive - more storage space than any previous iteration of the console.
Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick has predicted a console-less future for his games, revealed a company culture of "scepticism, pessimism, and fear", and shown mouth rendering technology he thinks will transform the medium.
Infinity Ward has confirmed dual-wield guns for Modern Warfare 2, and demonstrated the 'Akimbo' ability using two Desert Eagle weapons.
"Just walked off stage. Crowd was amazing, went insane chanting 'pick it up!' when I stumbled over dual-wield Deagles. lol - Akimbo confirmed," Tweeted Robert Bowling, Infinity Ward's community voice.
In a post on the Modern Warfare 2 forums, Bowling added:
Infinity Ward has said Modern Warfare 2 may still get a public beta, and reassured us that multiplayer has been in development since "day-one" and remains a "major focus" of the game.
"As I've told you many times in the past, expect no public beta unless we announce otherwise," Robert Bowling, Infinity Ward community manager, said on his blog. "That is still the case. We would never say something as definitive as 'No Beta Ever!' as that's simply not how we work. We'll do an internal beta, if we feel a public one is needed, we'll explore that route as well."
"Multiplayer has been in development since day one of working on Modern Warfare 2, and this is the essential run-up to launch when we're playing everyday, hammering away on it to make sure it's as polished as can be by launch. As always, our internal QA team has daily multiplayer tests in addition to company-wide nightly MP tests we hold from the moment MP is in a running state throughout development."
Modern Warfare 2? Modern Warfare 1 minute and 58 seconds more like. Nobody from Infinity Ward has made the trip to gamescom, the nervous Activision man demoing the biggest game of the year is under orders to refer all questions not on his script to Infinity Ward in spite of this absence, and the hands-off demonstration is a Special Ops level with a par time of 90 seconds. At least we get more than our money's worth.
50 Cent has recorded a cameo voiceover for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward has confirmed to IGN that Call of Duty Classic will be released as a standalone game on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade after it's made available with the Hardened and Prestige editions of Modern Warfare 2.
ShopTo has told Eurogamer that publishers are following Activision by increasing the price of their popular franchises.
Analyst Michael Pachter reckons Activision's controversial decision to raise the price of Modern Warfare 2 has nothing to do with a weak Great British Pound.
Publishers are treading carefully following the UK price increase of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, opting for cautious, non-committal reaction.
HMV will be the only UK retailer selling the Prestige Edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which includes a real pair of night-vision goggles.
(Correction: This story originally stated that Need for Speed: Shift would retail for a higher-than-usual price in the UK, but this is not the case. "There has been no change in our trade pricing policy and no change in RRP," the publisher told us on Friday. Shift is available for GBP 44.99 from GAME or can be purchased as a Collector's Edition with added extras. We sincerely regret the error.)
Activision UK hasn't been able to give us a price for the Modern Warfare 2 "Prestige Edition" yet, but over in the US Infinity Ward has said that it will have a suggested retail price of USD 149.
Infinity Ward has unveiled the Modern Warfare 2 "Prestige Edition" and revealed that it comes with a steelbook copy of the game, a download code for the original Call of Duty on Xbox Live or PSN and, er, a working set of night-vision goggles.
Activision and Infinity Ward have decided it's best to call their upcoming game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 after all, and not just Modern Warfare 2.
Infinity Ward has confirmed that Modern Warfare 2 co-op will be limited to two players, and will not be linked with the story campaign at all.
Activision may be considering a subscription-based multiplayer option for the Call of Duty series.
Infinity Ward has clarified that Modern Warfare 2 is meant to be a direct sequel, which a first for the Call of Duty franchise.
Speaking to MTV Multiplayer, IW community speaker Robert Bowling said the name Modern Warfare 2 was picked to illustrate just that.
"This is a direct sequel to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. That is what we are trying to get across to our audience. It's not just another one in the Call of Duty franchise," he said.
This preview is arriving twenty minutes late, because the rigid demo schedule for Modern Warfare 2 was thrown into chaos earlier today when Verne Troyer arrived unexpectedly and was granted an extensive private screening. In this way, at least, Modern Warfare is the Mini-Me of E3: a bona fide showstopper. Every mention of it in the aisles and display areas of the LA Convention Centre is followed by a deferential pause, and other games - even fairly important ones - are often found struggling to get out of its way. Everyone feels a little nervous in the presence of real success, and Infinity Ward's game managed to be one of the genuine stars of a Microsoft press briefing that also included appearances by The Beatles, Steven Spielberg and a hard-coded science-bending Pinocchio.
Microsoft announced during its E3 conference that the first two map packs for Modern Warfare 2 will be timed exclusives on Xbox 360.
Xbox bigwig John Schappert let fly the news after a gameplay demonstration of Modern Warfare 2, which saw the player traverse an icy cliff, stalk up to a building, strangle people and then runaway from a building amidst gunfire. It was tense and very impressive.
Epic big-shot Mark Rein, who was sat next to Ellie during the conference, whispered to her that the trailer was "insanely good".
Infinity Ward has revealed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has over 13 million players on Xbox Live, which is two million more than in March.
As promised, Activision has released a two-minute gameplay trailer for Modern Warfare 2, which is due out on 10th November.
Earlier in the month Game Informer reported details on the game's story and new co-op Special Forces mode, but this is our first chance to put those details in proper context.
The trailer, which appeared on US TV over the Memorial Day weekend, jumps back and forth between various scenarios, including an airport shootout, street battles, sunny Rio and an assault on a snowy mountaintop fortress.
Snowmobiles! Brazil! Lockers!
Modern Warfare 2 takes players to the snow-capped peaks of Russian mountains, across the deserts of Afghanistan and into the streets of Rio de Janeiro, and introduces a new co-operative Special Forces mode to back up the single-player campaign.
Activision exec Simon Wells is planning to make Modern Warfare 2 "the biggest-selling videogame of all time".
Activision has confirmed that Modern Warfare 2 will launch worldwide on 10th November this year, and seems to have confirmed that it will no longer carry the "Call of Duty" name.
In a conference call with investors yesterday, Activision Blizzard laid to rest all the un-fevered non-speculation about the latest candidate for worst-kept secret in games. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is indeed real and will be out this year.
Activision Blizzard has confirmed that Infinity Ward will be the team behind Call of Duty 6.