A lot has happened in the world of fps since mw2 came out with no dedicated servers and mod tools. It seems that since then, dev. studios that have announced they will release dedi servers and tools have become very public about it, proclaiming that they are not like IW. This is obvious with examples such as Bad Comany 2 and Cod Black Ops:
This never happened before Mw2 of course, as it was assumed that these features would always ship but since then, it seems that the industry is telling the hardcore pc fps community that these features are more of a privilege than a necessity for their pc games. They are right, but if they want to sell to the hardcore pc community then some features that appeal must be included. Bfbc2 did this by including dedi servers albeit private and only rentable from trusted game server providers this is something, and a whole lot better than what was given in mw2. Bad company 2 has proved a success on pc partly due to this showing that small things like this can make a difference. 16% of sales were on pc significantly larger than that of mw2 with less than 5%.
However mw2 still sold well on pc due to its popularity among the average casual pc gamer due to its popularity and simplicity.
Whether or not a game includes the features that members of the hardcore pc fps community lobby for, it will not make a difference, as its profitability will be based on its success on the consoles. This of course does not apply to pc only games such as Arma:II.
So at the end of the day, AAA games developing mod tools and putting in dedi servers is simply up to their personal interest in supporting the pc community and thr cost of implementation versus cost of listen servers + angry pc gamers. But it's all really peanuts in comparison to sales levels on the Xbox and Ps3.
Now that I have cleared that up its time for me to discuss the future in 2010 for the pc fps hardcore guys. I personally think that we do have a lot to look forward to this year in namely:
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Medal of Honor
Battlefield Bad Company 2
- Crysis 2 and Indie titles.
Firstly, the guys at Treyarch have a good base to start off on this game with the up to date and well patched World at War. It will probably be the same engine based off the trailers I have seen and since they have smoothed out most of the major problems with waw I would expect that black ops will have little problems on release unlike bad company 2.
Also they have already announced dedi servers, but have not yet said whether they are public or private. I personally suspect that they will be public as they have never done anything other than this and they can gather those unhappy with bc2 or moh.
As for mod tools, your guess is as good as mine as no indication has been made as to their existance but they may be there. Hard to tell at the moment.
I expect to see most of the crucial features of cod that will be needed for competetive pc play on black ops, and a great return to glory. But of course I could be wrong and you can hold it against me if I am.
Medal of Honor is another game that I expect to see running very well from release, partly due to the beta it has been running, which always helps identify problems, as well as the fact that it is running the Frostbite Engine which is used in Bad Company 2. DICE, the developers of Bc2, and Moh should be able to have the game running smoothly for release, something they are only managing to do with Bc2 now months after it's release.
However I would expect Moh to use the same server model as Bc2 because of this. Dedi servers have been confirmed but it's likely that they will be the exact same as Bc2 which is not bad, but won't be enough for most in the competetive community. Mod tools are also unlikely due to this. Lets not forget both games are developed by EA and they don't need to shift things after the success of Bc2.
A smooth running Bc2 type engine game could be fenominal but we will have to wait and see with Moh.
Most of the negatives of Bad Company 2 are explained above in the Moh post. It has been rejected by the competitive community due to the lack of important features such as:
Lack of spectator mode
No Public dedi servers
- Server lag, etc
Battlefield Vietnam, the recently announced expansion pack to Bc2, is due to be released this Winter should have all of the same features of Bc2, hopefully working properly upon release. The only major differences to be expected in this should be the setting, and weapons. Expect cold war era guns seen in Black Ops and jungle landscapes. As it is an expansion, there will probably only be about 4 maps like 1943, so its popularity will probably be based on how much EA charge for this. €20 should really be the max price people should have to pay for the expansion, unless an extra sp campaign is included unlike 1943. Watch this one as it could be a great game for the holiday season in 2010.
Battlefield 1943 has already been released on the consoles for over a year and one must wonder if it will ever be released on pc. DICE certainly have their hands full developing patches for Bad Company 2 as well as developing Medal of Honor, Battlefield Vietnam, Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 1943. Speculation is that the game will be released this Autumn or Winter, however many are sceptical. As a game it features 4 ww2 pacific maps, and should be cheap enough when released. Don't expect to see much features in the game beyond what Bc2 has however. After all, it's not a full game. Like Vietnam, could be a good pub game but both of these are likely to be passed out by the competitive guys, and the game could grow boring quickly with less than 10 weapons to choose from. There should be plenty of battlefield for gamers to choose from in late 2010.
Crysis 2 may not be as impossible to run on the latest systems as Crysis was, due to the fact that it is built also for the consoles and this means limitations will have to be made. However, there should still be plenty of eye candy and it will support 3d play as well, not sure how much pc gamers will catch on to that though. I would expect sub par gameplay as seen in the 1st game however there are going to be mod tools and probably dedi servers, so if Crytek can up their game in regards to gameplay, this could make it more attractive to the pc community as a whole. I personally am very excited to see what hsppens with this game.
There are also a few indie titles to keep your eyes out for. Many of them only suit certain gamers but can be winners so those people. The expansion to Arma:II, operation arrowhead has just released, but is certainly not a game that would appeal to the typical cod gamer.
Red Orchestra: Heroes of Stalingrad by Tripwire Interactive is another game to look out for releasing in late 2010. An expansion pack for it, "Rising Storm", has already been announced which will take place in the pacific, similar to Battlefield 1943.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior is another game that has recently been released and may be worth picking up if you can find it cheap.
In summary, late 2010 could be a busy period for the pc fps community and as we come closer to release dates it will be easier to identify which games will suit our community more than others, based on the decisions that the game developers make.