A Disappointing Update for Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer
The highly anticipated second season of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is just around the corner, bringing exciting new content like the small-scale Warzone 2.0 battle royale map called Ashika Island, DMZ features, and a fresh arsenal of weapons. However, the lack of new features planned for the multiplayer mode is concerning.
While it’s great that Warzone 2.0 and DMZ are receiving significant attention in Season 2, it’s a grim sign for the overall life cycle of Modern Warfare 2. The game seems to have been left behind as Activision rushes ahead to its next project.
The Roadmap for Modern Warfare 2
So, what exactly can we expect in Modern Warfare 2 alongside Season 2? On paper, it seems like a substantial amount. However, a closer look reveals the truth.
The update will introduce four new maps: Dome, Zaya Observatory, Al Malik International, and Valderas Museum. Unfortunately, none of them are original or brand-new locations. Dome has been part of the series for over a decade, while Zaya Observatory and Al Malik International are directly pulled from the Al Mazrah battle royale map. Valderas Museum was initially included in the beta version of Modern Warfare 2 but was later removed due to a copyright lawsuit. Activision didn’t have permission to use the layout from the J. Paul Getty Museum, which the Valderas Museum map was based on.
Season 2 will also bring back familiar modes like Infected, Gun Game, Grind, Hardcore, Drop Zone, All or Nothing, and One in the Chamber. These modes have been featured in previous Call of Duty games and should have been included in Modern Warfare 2 from the start. The absence of Hardcore mode at launch is particularly egregious, considering it has been a day-one mode in other installments for the past 15 years. Additionally, a handful of new weapons, a new raid, and Ranked Play will be introduced.
Considering the update’s two-week delay and the lack of substantial additions since the game’s launch in November 2022, Season 2 is undoubtedly disappointing.
Modern Warfare 2 Taking a Back Seat
While Warzone 2.0 and DMZ are receiving significant updates, it seems that Activision is prioritizing these modes over the base Modern Warfare 2 experience. But why?
It’s difficult to determine the exact reason, but it could be related to the upcoming Call of Duty game in 2023. Initially, there were plans for a large expansion for Modern Warfare 2 instead of a full Call of Duty release this year. However, Activision has changed course and will release a new game after all, reportedly a sequel to Modern Warfare 2. It’s possible that content that was intended for Modern Warfare 2 support is now being held back to enhance the new game.
Call of Duty has followed an annual release schedule since 2005, without missing a year. The development cycle typically spans three years and involves Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games. However, recent installments have faced production challenges, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. This has led to other Activision teams stepping in to support the leading team. For example, in 2018, Treyarch took over the development of a Call of Duty game from Sledgehammer and Raven Software.
Expectations for Call of Duty games are high, but it seems that Activision is struggling to keep up. Instead of attempting to release a substantial new game every year, Activision could benefit from taking a break and breaking the annualized Call of Duty cycle. This would allow more time for development, resulting in a more polished game and a comprehensive post-launch support plan for the multiplayer experience.
However, it’s unlikely that Activision will break this cycle anytime soon, as the company likely prioritizes a yearly release to satisfy shareholders.
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