Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 2628425-3318203265-infin

Published on January 19th, 2011 | by CodCom

Infinity Ward Using Sony As a Scapegoat

Who would have thought. After what looks like an eternity of silence, Infinity Ward breaks the silence by admitting Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 are hacked, but blames it on Sony.

Wait, what?

Before we go into any details, this is what Robert Bowling (@fourzerotwo) wrote on the Infinity Ward forums:

What Infinity Ward Says

Sony has recently acknowledged a breach in security on the PS3 which resulted in games to become exposed to exploits and hacks. Modern Warfare 2 is no exception to this security exploit and we understand that some of you have experienced problems with stats and other issues associated with this.

Games rely on the security of the encryption on the platforms they’re played on, therefore; updates to the game through patches will not resolve this problem, unless the security exploit itself is resolved on the platform. Regretfully, Call of Duty games are receiving the bulk of the hacker’s attention, due to its high player counts and popularity. However, the number of legitimate players severely outweighs the bad apples.

If you are concerned about playing with players who are hacking, I encourage you to play exclusively with friends by utilizing the party or private match options in Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty 4 to avoid such players as much as possible until this issue is resolved by Sony.

At this time, we do not have the ability to restore or adjust individual stats.

Let me assure you, while we are very reliant on Sony updating their firmware and security to address the core problem of this issue. We are looking at EVERY option available to us to help any user affected.

This only applies to legacy games such as Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2. In the future we plan to adjust our approach to not rely solely on platform security and reduce the ability for this to happen in our games, as has already been displayed by the work Treyarch has done on Call of Duty: Black Ops to prevent similar measures.

Infinity Ward’s Problem

Let me rephrase that for you. “We, Infinity Ward, have learned nothing from Modern Warfare and didn’t prepare Modern Warfare 2 in a way we should. We have been too lazy with Modern Warfare 2’s security and encryption and blame Sony for everything that has happened. In the future we will try and prevent what has happened to Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2.” That’s what I understand from the thread Robert Bowling posted on Infinity Ward forum.

The “security breach” Robert Bowling refers to is the recent PlayStation 3 Jailbreak. Recent as in a few months. This jailbreak potentially allows anyone to run any software – including pirated games – on the console. This jailbreak also allowed hackers to access the Modern Warfare files, giving the hackers the ability to alter files in ways previously impossible.

Altering the Modern Warfare files isn’t too hard once you get access to them because Infinity Ward didn’t bother to secure and encrypt them properly. Infinity Ward was under the impression that the PlayStation 3’s security would be enough to keep hackers away. On the forum Robert Bowling gives this comparison:

You lock the front door of your house, so no one can access your home, and do what they want. You may even have a security system.

Games are no difference, the Playstation 3 encryption is the Lock. No one can access the games files and do what they want. We also have some encryption on the files, but its no where near what you would see in a console’s firmware. Simply because it’s not needed and would only take dev time away from actual game assets and time.

Since you have a lock on your house, you do not bother to lock every room in your house, or bolt down everything in your home, because you rely on that security.

Now imagine if your lock was broken. You need to replace the lock, or go through and lock everything else in your home and bolt it down. The clear decision is to replace the lock. That is what Sony is hypothetically doing now. (Sony Suing Hackers Who Dismantled PS3 Security)

Robert Bowling basically admits here that their files weren’t properly encrypted. You would think Infinity Ward would spend a bit more time and money on protecting the files for a game the size of Modern Warfare 2. While Robert Bowling compares Infinity Ward and the PlayStation 3 with a house and a habitant. I’d like to compare it with a Hotel and a guest. I’m sure if he made this comparison before, he’d lock the doors already.

Protection or not, that doesn’t matter right now as it’s too late for that.

Our Problem

Hackers get access to your files because there isn’t anything you can do about it. This explains the huge amount of hackers recently. But how do you (Infinity Ward) explain all that happened before the recent PlayStation 3 security breach? I mean, hacked lobbies and messed up leaderboards isn’t something new. Hell, the second day after Modern Warfare 2 was released on the PC, the leaderboards were all messed up. On the PlayStation 3 it took a bit longer than 2 days, but hacked lobbies and messed up leaderboards have been there for months and months. I’m sure the recent PlayStation 3 security breach has nothing to do with that and I’m sure you can’t blame Sony for that as well. Or what about the hacks on Microsoft’s Xbox 360?

Infinity Ward has gotten this reputation that they don’t give a damn about after sales support. And they lived up to this reputation by doing absolutely nothing about Modern Warfare 2 and the state the game was in. For months people have complained on the Infinity Ward forums but to no avail. Infinity Ward might have tried a thing or 2 here and there, but did anyone notice anything? Did anyone’s gaming experience improve because of changes Infinity Ward made? I don’t think so. At least, my gaming experience didn’t.

You know what is funny. Infinity Ward can’t even ban the players using the recent PlayStation 3 security breach!

On the Infinity Ward forum and same thread, Cryo70 asks: “But, if it affects your multiplayer so much, shouldn’t you be able to ban them just from the game (like what Treyarch does)?”

Robert Bowling’s reply: “Yes, we should. We currently can not with Modern Warfare 2. The reason being is, Modern Warfare 2 was developed with the mentality that the system it will be played on is secure”

This once again shows how lazy Infinity Ward has been with the development of Modern Warfare 2.

The Future

All that being said, it’s not all doom and gloom with Infinity Ward. Remember that they are the ones that brought us the Modern Warfare series. These aren’t the best times for Infinity Ward, but blaming Sony for something that is clearly (partially) their fault isn’t going to help them nor us.

Something that will help us are remarks from Robert Bowling telling us they finally learned from the past and from Treyarch. Let’s just hope the lessons learned by Infinity Ward are good enough to give us a game we can enjoy without hackers going all rampant on it.

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Fan of gaming and the Call of Duty franchise. Writer and editor of this blog and moderator on the forum.

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