The controversial ending of Mass Effect 3 has us rethinking when a game becomes less about its creators' vision for the canon and more about its debt to the fans. It's another argument for another article, but the rarity of such an event goes to show how only a handful of video game fanbases possess the right confluence of numbers and passion for such debate.
Another similar fanbase: that of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
After grossing over $1 billion in just 16 days following its release, it's safe to say that the modern military FPS has more devout followers than Activision knows what to do with - a Catch 22 if an overwhelming misstep starts a unifying protest. Fortunately for the publisher, Modern Warfare 3 has yet to experience any cupcake bake/online petition-inducing momvements just yet, but it's not stopping an online group from inciting a 24-hour blackout of the popular multiplayer game come April 20.
The group revealed their manifesto in the YouTube video below, which cites, "[Activision and Infinity Ward's] lack of support towards the community's needs and concerns."
After rattling off a list of grievances that includes lacking lag compensation, a broken spawn system, poor sound and matchmaking options, and Tactical Insert in the Kill Confirmed mode, the video concludes with some Anonymous-inspired "We are" undertones:
Seeing that it's been nearly five months since the game's strong debut (read our Modern Warfare 3 review), it's quite possible that the group's tipping point was the recent departure of former Activision creative strategist Robert Bowling.
Bowling was the central human connection between Call of Duty's fans and the way Activision approached them. In addition to his newly-revealed criticism regarding the publisher's DLC tactics, he was adamant about the post launch quality support fans received - a main topic of the group's umbrage. (If you're still unsure about how big a loss Bowling was to the COD fans who valued discourse from Activision and Infinity Ward, consider that Rob Riggle is now effectively the public face of the game's multiplayer.)
As of now, nothing is indicating a groundswell of support for the movement among Modern Warfare 3's core populace (they could have chosen a better date), but it will be intriguing to see if the group manages to garner Activision or Infinity Ward's attention. A 24-hour boycott doesn't exactly have the same ring as, say, not purchasing Black Ops 2 (should that indeed be the next COD title). However, it would be a win-win if additional quality enhancements are developed for the game.
Not a chance "akimbo machine pistol nerf" isn't paid-for DLC though.
Ranters, has Call of Duty been focusing too heavily on DLC as opposed to the quality of its gameplay? Does the movement have a good point, or this a case of overwrought gamer entitlement?
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