Set to hit the Xbox 360 next week, the downloadable Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Pack brings with it five new maps and a just a touch more controversy to a studio recently embroiled in discord.
The founders of Activision owned Infinity Ward recently were firedamid allegations of royalties being withheld by the publisher and the duo being insubordinate to their parent company.
But the internal upheaval and lawsuits haven't managed to impact the team still at Infinity Ward, Infinity Ward Community Manager Robert Bowling tells Kotaku.
"Not at all, our main focus as a team here at Infinity Ward is this pack," he said. "We want to focus on making the games we love."
Unfortunately, the Stimulus Pack has brought with it its own bit of controversy, with some claiming that the price tag is too steep for what is being delivered.
The $15, five map Stimulus Pack for Modern Warfare 2 hits the Xbox 360 next week on March 30 and the PS3 on April 30. The pack includes three new maps "Bailout," a multi-level apartment complex; "Storm," an open industrial park littered with heavy machinery; "Salvage," a snowy junkyard fortified by stacked debris and crushed cars. It also includes two makes from the original Modern Warfare, "Crash," a war-torn urban environment; and "Overgrown," which features a massive dry creek bed.
While Bowling disagrees with those who say that the 328 MB map pack is over priced, he also pointed out to Kotaku that it is Activision, not Infinity Ward, that set the pack's price.
The maps, Bowling said, were designed in part to address some of the things gamers want or don't want in online matches.
For instance, some of the maps are designed to specifically keep players from hiding out in spots and sniping.The maps also are meant to bring new environments to the multiplayer aspects of the game.
I asked Bowling if the fact that two of the maps were brought over from the original Modern Warfare meant that we might see more ports of those maps to Modern Warfare 2. It's not that simple, Bowling said.
"The two we included are some of the most played on Modern Warfare," he said. "They are also two that work really well in Modern Warfare 2, but just because one was a great map in Call of Duty 4 doesn't mean it will play well in Modern Warfare 2.
"Things like (Modern Warfare 2's) Marathon Perk could destroy the balance of a Call of Duty 4 map."
While the Stimulus pack is designed to reinvigorate the Modern Warfare 2 online community, Bowling was quick to point out that the game has never dropped off of the most played list for online titles.