Activision met with heavy criticism ahead of Modern Warfare launch

The criticism warranted a change in the loot box system, but it did not bring the yearlong PlayStation exclusive survival mode to PC and Xbox sooner than launch day.

The game’s reception prior to it’s launch has been extremely underwhelming to say the least.

With hardcore fans of the series on PS4, Xbox One and PC (especially the latter two) all showing a genuine distaste for the iconic survival mode being a PlayStation exclusive for a whole year and microtransactions seeming to be a major tentpole of multiplayer progression, Activision along with Infinity Ward proceeded to try and make amends.

The backlash started when Sony presented their routine State of Play in September last month in which a new trailer for the game premiered some new footage of the single player and its survival mode.

This originally was met with acclaim and appreciation from the player base as a fan favourite game mode from Modern Warfare 3 (released 2011) would be returning with hopefully more features than before.

Although, what the community didn’t catch onto straight away was that at the bottom in very fine small print it said, “Times Exclusive Content Until October 1, 2020”. What ensued a few days later was a social media storm of angry franchise veterans and newcomers showing their distaste for the decision made by the publisher.

Studio Narrative Director at Infinity Ward, Taylor Kurosaki took to Twitter to say that: “We do our BEST every day to give our players the best experience possible. There are decisions that are above all of our pay grades that have to be considered.” Clearly showing that developers often do not get full control over what they make even though they are the ones that ultimately make the game we end up playing on release.

But the Molotov cocktails didn’t stop being thrown at the publisher then and there. The community then fought back against loot boxes and microtransactions that were apparently being implemented for weapon unlocks and other such multiplayer unlocks by cancelling their pre-orders.

TheGamingRevolution known for their reliable insider sources/information relating to Call of Duty tweeted: “Activision and Infinity Ward apparently recent[ly] held a big meeting regarding my recent post about Supply Drops. The gist of it is that they’ve lost a tonne of pre orders with the recent news of Survival being delayed by a year on PC/XB[ox] and the microtransactions news & are thinking about giving the player the options to earn them again. Nothing regarding microtransactions is set in stone”

There are no figures released regarding how many pre-orders were cancelled however, it is evident that Activision took a huge hit, as on October 17 a press release on Activision’s blog stated that they’ve “set their sights” on introducing crossplay to unite the community across all three platforms, removing the season pass and “a la carte” DLC multiplayer map packs to not further split the player base and, replace the old loot box system with a seasonal Battle Pass system in which all Battle Pass and In-Game Store content will be purely cosmetic content and not impact the game balance.

You can read the full blog here.

And that covers the pre-launch controversy surrounding Modern Warfare. What are your opinions on this fanbase Vs. Publisher war? Do you agree with the player base or do you think it’s blown out of proportion?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare was released on October 25 with the single player, multiplayer and spec ops (just without the survival part for PC and Xbox One players) available on launch day allowing players to armour up, put their combat boots on and, equip their assault rifles for some intense first-person-shooter battles!

By Joe Smalley

Feature image credit: Infinity Ward

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