DICE would like to take this opportunity to remind you that despite what certain other studios may or may not be doing, the PC version of the upcoming Battlefield: Bad Company 2 will most definitely feature dedicated servers.
The stinko that erupted when it came out that Modern Warfare 2 would eschew dedicated servers in favor of “console style” peer-to-peer matchmaking was, or at least should have been, entirely predictable. Regardless of the merits of the decision, stripping a well-established aspect of online PC gaming in order to make it more akin to consoles is nothing but a casual flip-off in the eyes of die-hard PC gamers and anyone who pretends to be surprised by the reaction is either being entirely disingenuous or just hasn’t put more than two seconds of thought into it.
But Infinity Ward’s loss is DICE’s gain, at least when it comes to some quick, easy marketing. Taking advantage of the outrage over Modern Warfare 2, DICE has posted a Dedicated Server FAQ for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, going as far as to call the announcement of the FAQ “Dedicated to our PC players!”
So what’s the poop? DICE will be teaming with “trusted partners with datacenters worldwide” who will offer dedicated game servers for rent. Pricing will be variable based on region but the servers will offer all the tools PC gamers have come to expect: Full admin functionality, private matches and reserve lists, a proper server browser and more. “Rest assured PC players, Battlefield will stay true to its roots offering dedicated servers to all its players and continue the tradition of the ultimate FPS gaming experience!” the FAQ says.
I’m not laboring under the illusion that Bad Company 2 will steal the crown from Modern Warfare 2 and on a personal level I don’t particularly care how matchmaking is handled since I have no intention of buying Modern Warfare 2 anyway. But where my associate Mr. Funk thinks server browsers are “clunky and unintuitive,” I find them flexible and functional; ease of use and “accessibility” does not always translate into a better experience. The Modern Warfare 2 “experiment” may turn out to be a rousing success and set a new standard for online PC gaming, but unless and until that happens I’m happy to see DICE turn the screws a little bit more.