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I have a great privilege to be a part of the xbox.com forums, I see many community managers from different development houses interact with people on the forums, take some feedback and just relax and have fun with fans of their game.  After Robert Bowling [Community Manager of Infinity Ward] made an announcement that a set of playlists were going to come via an update for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, many of us anticipated the new playlists and waited for weeks onto months before coming to the realization that the playlists were never going to happen.  When one of the posters asked as to why there aren’t any DLC for CoD4, Rober replied:

Glad to hear you enjoyed CoD:WaW. As for DLC for our games, we did three map packs for Call of Duty 2, ending with an impressive number altogether. For Call of Duty 4, we focused on including as many maps as we could out of box, and had 16 from DAY 1 (adding four more later for a total 20 Maps total).

Personally, I prefer to give the community as much as possible out of the box instead of making them wait and pay extra for them later. However, whenever possible (like with COD2) we continue to make maps if our development process allows for it.

It’s a bit of a catch 22 in gaming. Of course as a gamer you always want more, more more. If you include them out of box (shipped with game for no extra cost) then it’s just ignored and people demand more. If you instead, decide to get the game out and then worry about beefing up the map selection via DLC, people say “don’t nickle and dime me” or “this should have been included in the shipped game”.

Perfect solution, ship with a load of maps (like we did) and also release a lot of DLC (for free). In a perfect world, that would be fantastic. Regretfully in a realistic development environment, it’s near impossible. Unless your Criterion of course, with their magical DLC fairies ; )

In all seriousness though, I hear ya, and We’re always working on improving our development process and planning to ensure that we can deliver more and more community support in the form of updates / DLC and other forms of support for our future games. We have big plans for our future (still currently unofficial) projects.”

Another poster comments:

6 months later and still no playlist update.  Great community support.  A real vote of confidence for IW support in future games.”

Robert replied:

“Regretfully the playlists never came to fruition, however that’s hardly a accurate depiction of the validity of community support. Community support goes so much deeper than just “playlist updates”. Good community support goes unnoticed, and unpraised, because it is done in a way to ensure that the shipped product includes the requests, features, and demands of the community out of box.

Community Support via the COD2 community helped shape and mold COD4 into the game it is, and community support via COD4 will help shape future Infinity Ward titles to ensure we’re always improving and including community wants and needs into future games.

Every level designer / texture artist / enviornmental artist / etc. working on a new map for a previous game is one less working on a map for a future game. Again going back to the, do you attempt to include as much as possible out of box for the people spending $60 and that goes to everyone, or do you focus on doing endless DLC for previous game, shipping with only a few maps, and beefing up MP via DLC after launch for a fee (which only a % of community people can enjoy due to internet connection / Xbox Live gold requirement). Regretfully that’s the harsh reality and shitty part of game development.

Since COD4 however, we’ve been focusing on expanding our team here at Infinity Ward and looking at our development cycle to see how it can be optimized and improved to make strides in how we can have the best of both worlds. A polished / stacked game at launch and a dedicated team for DLC post-launch while everyone else looks towards the future.”

Source: Infinity Ward Community Manager Robert Bowling answers

As you can see Infinity Ward has a very good reason as to why DLC has not been developed after the first map pack.  Developing is not an easy task and takes time from most important projects, like building the next Call of Duty game.  After all, how many developers do you see offering 16 maps with the game for $60 these days.

  1. 20 maps is plenty enough for me.

    • avatar Daniyar

      You can buy them from the Xbox Live market, or you can also buy ODST which has every map for Halo 3 alrdaey in the game on the second disk.

  2. Exactly, most people aren’t satisfied with what is given to them. There is MAYBE a few developers out there that actually give you 16 maps with the game. Most just give you 8-10, and than few map packs and it still doesn’t get to 20.

  3. avatar RyanHuston

    in all honesty, i enjoy playing cod:waw simply because it’s a breath of fresh air. I played through 10 prestiges of cod4 and then some, so the new maps and locations are refreshing.

    That being said, if infinity ward would have just come out with like 10-12 new maps and maybe some new weapons and/or customization changes/additions, i would have honestly enjoyed that just as much OR EVEN MORE. They wouldn’t had to release it as a full game at full price because of it lacking single player, and i would have easily payed 40 for it all.

    That’s really why i found myself buying cod:waw. Because i needed a change of scenery WHILE playing the same game. So, YES i am enjoying the new cod, but maybe next time try my suggestion. Thanks

    -www.myspace.com/RyanHuston

    • avatar Rosario

      I refuse to pay to play as a plyaer, and essentially that breaks away from sony’s free to play online and xbox users may not want to pay more outside of their live subscription. Unless COD gets a serious make over I do not see this gaining any ground and failing due to similar FPS games and with Bad Company 2 and Medal of Honor coming out in the coming months.

  4. avatar COD 4

    Cod 4 is great game and the 16 maps at release of the game made it complete.
    best shooter.

  5. avatar iw fan

    COD mw is the best of all cods and i hope iw carry on with the modern warfare. treyarch w@w was not for me!!

  6. avatar piam45

    same with me waw was ok for week then i traded in for R2 but all i play is cod4…… where is the red dot from campaign mode?

  7. avatar Craig

    Yes 20 maps is enough but to keep gamers hanging so they will play your game a little longer is a bit unfair.

    I also cant believe that a community manager would also have a pop at Criterion when they are giving gamers what they want, that is how you keep people playing.

  8. avatar Lee

    so how come this content and all other content comes out for free on PC ????

    Oh I for M$ are money grabbers content should be free not 7.99 Pound.

    I think it’s going to far with micro transactions now, next xbox ps3 is going to to cost you to switch it on,

  9. avatar Patrick

    This issue was old months ago. But I do see his point trying to get you as much out of the box. And there are plenty of updates and fixes that people don’t see. But even though 20 maps may be enough, does that mean people wouldnt like 24 or 26? Maybe they should look to Bungie and Halo for and example of what community support should be on such a high profile game.

  10. Maybe Bungie should look at how a good game is made and learn a lesson on their future games and how to release more maps on the go. How can you say IW needs an example of a great community, when IW has more maps than Halo with one DLC 20 maps, halo will 3 DLC has 20.

  11. avatar latinogamer

    Remember how bad COD2 multiplayer was? Thats right, it was terrrrrrr-ible. Robert Bowling, and IW learn fast, and made sure it did not happen again in COD 4. Gamers have misconception of what community support is. Yes, it is a shame there was no playlist update, and hopefully for COD 6 there can be a DLC plan of support after the game is shipped.

    • avatar Aguss

      hit a point in the industry where games sytmess can do almost every level of graphics we can imagine and often are only restricted by a game designer’s ability to program. Thus games like MW2 and 3 look the same because there really isn’t much more they can do. Even with a PS4 or an Xbox 720, the graphics won’t get dramatically different.

  12. CoD2 online wasn’t terrible, just basic. The gameplay was superb and everyone loved it, also helped that it was one of the only great launch titles.

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  14. avatar Vashu

    @Adam:
    Yet for some reason Halo is played more. Looking at the changes between COD:MW and COD:WaW I would have preferred a weapon/map pack that kept the community in one place while building up a name for what’s coming up in the future.

    Everything Bungie makes from now on will have that “Seal Of Quality” feel to it, even if it sucks.

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  17. avatar new weapon plz

    new weapon

  18. avatar Defiant

    I agree entirely with IW, but have one thing to say, a good and popular multiplayer game comes along once a decade. There is no need to creat a new engine with every game release so just sell more maps for the same game/engine. It makes financial sense too. You’ve sold the product to the audience paid for promotion and the like so why sell tickets for a few performances? It should be like a good show, let it run until only a few people want to see it anymore.

  19. avatar tut tut tut

    I want a game that I can use a silenced shotgun on besides Farcry 2

  20. avatar danny

    instead of reinventing the game every 2 years you could just add to the already perfect game. like add ww1/2 weapons to modern warfare. then add weapons that are in use today. maybe add perks. I mean, the difference between cod4/cod5, their isn’t any. they could have just added the ww2 guns/ flares into cod4. why remake the same thing when it is already made, and made well it was.

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  22. avatar NINJA I ARE:

    What really pisses me off is i play those 20 maps atleast twice a day since the game came out… and i wont play that garbage cod5 i guess ill just play more red faction guerrilla :(

  23. avatar RAZIEL

    vashu, i will tell you exactly why halo is played more than cod4. its simple, cod4 is for gamers, halo…is for anyone with two thumbs and two index fingers. cod4= final fantasy 7 halo= tetris. …lol.

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  28. avatar roy radin

    paid for game, paid for internet connection, paid mircosoft for live therefore microsoft should cover any fees for dlc, wont be buying any dlc and if developers make it an issue wont be buying games

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