Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been enjoying some unprecedented success as of late with the Warzone Battle Royale mode being one of the most complete, popular, and accessible entries into the genre in a long time. Hailed by casuals, pros, and content creators alike, over 50 million unique players have been playing Warzone, and sometimes it seems everyone is online at the exact same time.
Although before the launch of Warzone in March, Modern Warfare was not enjoying the same level of success it boasts now. Completely overlooked these days (and still with the same issues), multiplayer was riddled with endless complaints from the player base from Skill Based Match Making (SBMM) issues, to server issues, and most importantly, a serious lack of communication with the community regarding changes to the game via hidden patch notes.
Communication is Key
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 enjoyed some incredible developer communication from Treyarch, and it showed with the player response from a collective including pros, content creators, as well as casual players. Even though everyone did not enjoy the changes in direction that the game took liberty with, almost everything communicated from the devs had a fleshed-out reason and was communicated sometimes way in advance of any sort of patch implementation.
Unfortunately, Infinity Ward this time around seems to have fallen into the same trap that befell Sledgehammer Games during the tenure of COD: WWII. A lack of communication from the developers acknowledging ongoing issues, concerns from fans, and even topics that they themselves have brought up have left a sour taste in all COD fans’ collective mouths.
Empty Patch Notes
Twitch streamer and YouTube COD content scientist Xclusive Ace has long been documenting these issues with developers since the days of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The recent trend - which to this day there is no explanation why - has been for Infinity Ward to release patch notes documenting changes to the game, weapon balance, bugs and ongoing issues, new content as well as addressing fan input, with a catch. Usually, a few days or in some cases, even hours after a new patch would drop, players would find an extensive list of unlisted changes hidden in the update code, or through actual gameplay experiences.
These hidden changes have been going on consistently since November, 2019 from Infinity Ward; and without any acknowledgment from the devs, it has left all fans scratching their heads whether or not they actually care about our input at all. When pros and content creators have issues that affect their livelihood as well as the integrity of competition, it becomes a serious issue.
The issue with these hidden patch notes has become so rampantly out of control, that it has become a must-have topic to cover if you make any type of Call of Duty related content. Any subsequent patch coming officially from Infinity Ward, unfortunately, should be taken with a grain of salt, until either Reddit or your favorite streamer/YouTuber declassifies what is really going on behind the update code. Some fans, as well as content creators have levied some of the blame upon Call of Duty publisher Activision - as Infinity Ward has been on the record regarding the implementation of SBMM denying it being in their plans to include it in Warzone. They state Activision makes the final call - but with no official acknowledgment from either developer or publishers, we are all only looking for someone to blame.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has another six to seven months before the release of the next iteration of COD. That leaves plenty of time for both devs as well as publisher to positively address these glaring issues with their loyal fans. Unfortunately, as players who truly love Call of Duty, we can only ask - be better.