Activision has claimed its Call of Duty HQ launcher provides easier file management and seamless switching between games, despite criticism from players.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, the latest in the series, now launches from Call of Duty HQ alongside last year’s Modern Warfare 2. Activision describes the launcher as “the front door for Call of Duty” and states “players have control over the footprint of their Call of Duty experience on their platform of choice, and it’s all contained within one unified location”.
In practice, however, it’s confusing plenty of players and has resulted in huge file sizes – as previously reported, the install size of the complete package is over 200GB on some platforms.
In a blog post on the launcher, Activision details how players can use the “manage files” section within Call of Duty HQ to remove individual parts of the game not actively played to “reduce overall footprint”.
Further, the “overall file size of Call of Duty HQ reflects our commitment for players to bring their inventories and progression with them from Modern Warfare 2 to Modern Warfare 3.” The HQ also includes a “What’s Hot” section and in-game store to purchase content bundles.
Downloading the game on our household PS5, multiple downloads were required to download the game (91GB), an update file (111GB), and the campaign (46GB), as well as multiple logins to an Activision account. That was after finding the right version to download due to confusion with Modern Warfare 2.
All of that was after making space – the package in total now stands at a whopping 171.5GB (presumably with later downloads replacing files).
What’s more, the dashboard entry for the game on the PS5 home screen is named Modern Warfare 3, but also includes Modern Warfare 2 which now doesn’t have its own dashboard entry and cannot be opened separately.
Other players online have had frustrations. Here’s streamer Dr Disrespect having some trouble opening the game on PC.
Dr Disrespect shows the issues with Call of Duty HQ and how complicated it has become to just… play the game. pic.twitter.com/xZc07HpGNY
— ModernWarzone (@ModernWarzone) November 2, 2023
Here’s another player struggling to launch the game on PC, by first opening Modern Warfare 2.
— Morgan Park (@MorganRPark) November 3, 2023
That’s since been updated: now launching the HQ takes players to the landing page for Modern Warfare 3 regardless of whether it’s owned. That’s fine for people upgrading to the newer game, but worse for those wanting to play the older games instead.
If you intend to continue playing MWII after today (I don’t know why), you have to open Call of Duty HQ, enter the main HQ, scroll down to MWII, select Multiplayer, go through another server connecting loading screen, and then you’re in!
— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) November 8, 2023
Modern Warfare 3 was reportedly originally DLC to last year’s game but morphed into its own title. This may partly explain why we now have this all-in-one package. It may also explain why on PS5, Modern Warfare 3 doesn’t have a platinum trophy (as IGN reported).
A new report has since claimed the game was developed in just 16 months, with developers crunching due to the truncated development period.
Eurogamer described the campaign as “vapid and hastily assembled” in our Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 campaign review.
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