Some of you may be extremely excited about the future release of the next installment of the newest installment of the Call of Duty franchise. The Black Ops [or "COD7"] installment appears to be very close to Modern Warfare 2 that was made by the basically defunct developer that went by the name of Infinity Ward. As things have gone in the past, Treyarch, the developer of COD: Black Ops, is basically taking the previous COD game engine and slightly tweaking it with new game modes and new maps and models. Personally, I?m not too big of a fan of these Treyarch games? but after what Activision and Infinity Ward did to MW2 on the PC? it?s hard to live up to worse expectations.
This leads us to today?s announcement – Call of Duty: Black Ops will definitely have dedicated servers. That is, as long as you get them from gameservers.com. We can compare that with Henry Ford’s legendary statements that customers can have a car in any color as long as it?s black. The gameservers.com statement goes,
"GAMESERVERS.COM SELECTED AS THE EXCLUSIVE DEDICATED SERVER PROVIDER FOR CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS. GameServers.com, in an exclusive contract with Activision and Treyarch studios, announces that they will offer dedicated server rentals for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops release scheduled for November 9, 2010. We are extremely excited about this unprecedented relationship with Activision to offer dedicated servers exclusively for Black Ops?, says David Aninowsky, CEO of GameServers.com. ?We are placing a great amount of pressure on ourselves to ensure that we exceed any and all expectations."
What does this mean? It basically boils down to Activision Blizzard, Inc. still wanting control over what kind of content is played on the servers and not allowing the development community to do as they please. For gamers, this means that there won?t likely be many if any mods much like MW2. The exception, though, is that there could be a possibility for a competition mode of the game, but that?s still, of first, last and only resort.
GameServers.com effectively have a monopoly on COD: Black Ops server hosting. They also have limited the ranked multi-player to 18 slots just like MW2. If in theory want to have more, you can pay for an unranked server for $.99 per player per month.
So, for those of you that thought that Treyarch and their announcement of dedicated servers would bring back life to the COD franchise, Activision appears to have made sure that they limited it to the point of not really being dedicated anymore. This appears to be yet another game that has been ruined by the narrow mindedness of management that only wants to see margins and deliver dates rather than a good game. This, in the end, will hurt Activision greatly as they are effectively killing off a franchise on a platform that it originally started on. Interestingly though, it looks like Activision Blizzard is desperate to repeat the curious case of Electronic Arts and their fall from grace.
If MW2 didn?t leave a bad taste in gamers? mouths, there?s a good chance that the way Activision is handling Black Ops may. Here is also a new game play video of COD: Black Ops that was just released.