GameServers.com Clinches Black Ops Deal

Treyarch, the studio behind upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops, has stealthily granted GameServers.com exclusive rights to provide Black Ops servers. They're one of the largest providers in North America - but what does this mean for PC gamers elsewhere?

Various figures in the Call of Duty community, such as @JD_2020 and @PCDev, have posted about the deal on websites, forums and Twitter. But it appears no official announcement has been made from the studio, while GameServers.com has written a press release and is displaying the info on their site.

As Treyarch's "trusted" server provider, GameServers.com will help insure server files won't be made public. This, in the same way Modern Warfare 2 avoided dedicated servers altogether, will maintain control over the player's experience.

Expect Treyarch to be more mod friendly that Infinity Ward was (although the inclusion of modes like GunGame shows they're happy to take modders' ideas as their own), but admins will only have access to a control panel with minimal options such as the number of allowed players, game mode, customisable perks, etc.

The future of dedicated servers on LAN is also uncertain, though Treyarch developer "PCDev" had this to say on his twitter:

The less control admins have over their servers, the harder it is to build a community. But the deal also has bad implications for latency:

Funnily enough, GameServers' only Sydney data bank displays a yellow ping. But even if there were a guarantee of lighting fast pings on the east coast, what about our Perth players? Doomed to a 60-100 ping? And will our servers be flooded with Southeast Asian players, already irate due to their pings?

The GameServers website already allows you to preorder Black Ops servers, with the message "Reserve your location by preordering your CoD: Black Ops server now". It suggests the amount of Sydney servers may be limited, yet it could be just to create a sense of urgency.

Not too long ago in PC PowerPlay I predicted the possibility of Call of Duty games charging server admins for the right to host a CoD server. Could this be happening here indirectly? Could GameServers.com have bid for this middle-man monopoly?

Or is the benefit for Treyarch simply in maintaining total control over Black Ops multiplayer, having met us in the middle on the dedicated server issue?

GameServers.com has responded to Kotaku AU, saying they should have answers to some of these questions in the coming days.


Comments

    Isn't this similar to how EA did BFBC2?

      I believe so, sans the monopoly. There's more than one authorised host, but they still aren't making server files public.

        Yeah, I wonder what the reasoning is behind a single hosting company contract. The BC2 solution works just fine and allows for a far greater amount of server availability for everyone.

          while this news is a couple of days old but Also apparently theres only like 14 live gameservers servers in australia anyway

          so most likely we'll be really screwed

        Yea, EA has "Trusted partners" or something which allows ISPs to host servers (ie. Gamearena, Internode/Games On Net). it is a real shame that we wont see any GA or Node servers for BO, it will probably hurt the game down here.

    In MW2, it's still possible for the host to customise the game by changing the mode, gravity, speed, weapons, XP etc.

    The biggest issue I had with BC2 when it came out was all the servers were full. Hopefully this won't be an issue for Black Ops. I'll admit, the best thing about the way MW2 had their multiplayer was that more players meant more games.

    **** not Sydney, Perth will probably have the worst ping in the world, and i thought it was bad now :|

    Another issue will be the cost. GameServers.com are ferkin EXY!!!! Looks to me like a Sydney server will be $75approx (perhaps USD and without voice) - OUCH

    I recently had a BFBC2 server with Hypernia in Sydney and it was $30 USD WITH 20 slot voice.

      okay I see they are reducing the price significantly compared to the outrageous charges they had for BFBC2 32 server partly due to max supported ranked being ONLY a paltry 18 people. Its approx $15 USD. I'm in Perth and pings to Sydney didn't effect game play in BFBC2 we were still able to play effectively in team play...

    I don't know how to react to this. We won't know how it works until we play it, but it could turn out horrible.

    I think the Black Ops new gametypes are going to demand these types of servers. Since the gamer is placing bets on the Free-For-All type wager matches, the server availability is crucial to complete the match (unlike MW2) which drops the host and the match altogether frequently. I think the people that are playing these gametypes would not play them if the host is constantly migrating (and connections go from 4 bars t0 3 and 2 bars midmatch) and matches are dropped b/c hosts aren't suitable.

    LAN - yes, but only if you have a net connection...

    uuum Treyarch, that defeats the purpose of LANs

      In a traditional sense yes. :( This seems more and more like what they did with BC2. :S

      I always see it from the old days as a sense of 'Offline Lan'. What is the harm in trusting your community? Internet is not as much a problem anymore but is less than ideal in Australia in the remote/country locations. For where I live anyway.

      It's the way of the future. It's not going to change. :(

        I think the guys from valve wana talk to you

    Treyarch and Infinity Ward have obviously never heard the expression: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

    FYI: I'm from Perth and I would kill for a ping as LOW as 100

    Hahahaha you know I get chuckle when I read about low ping rates. the only competitive fps I currently put some serious hours into is bc2. Play on some US servers with near 300 ping and still beat ass. :)

      Paul,
      you kick arse because you are hard to hit because you are not where they are firing (HPB).. so yeah your doing okay but because of an unfair advantage not because you are good :)

    Any official announcement from Treyarch yet?

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