Online gaming has always been an important niche in the dedicated server market, generating business for game server providers (GSPs) as well as larger "mass market" dedicated hosts. One of the leading titles in this arena has been the "Call of Duty" series from Infinity Ward, which revealed this week that its upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will not support dedicated servers, but will instead run on a dedicated online platform operating by the company.
"In effect, gamers in the PC community will not be able to run Modern Warfare 2 on dedicated servers that they may rent, as they are able to with previous Call of Duty games," writes GamaSutra. "In addition, no dedicated servers likely means that IWNet will not support mods and custom maps for the game, at least at launch."
The decision has generated a huge backlash among PC gamers, especially competitive gamers and clans who have trained and competed on private dedicated servers. More than 90,000 people have signed an online petition urging Infinity Ward to change its policy and release a version of Modern Warfare 2 for dedicated servers.
The policy change would appear to have implications for providers who have sold large numbers of COD servers. Planet Call of Duty has a comprehensive roundup of coverage and reaction from around the web.