Call of Duty’s yearlong, PS4-exclusive mode angers players

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One week ago, Activision and Infinity Ward said “most” post-release content for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would launch simultaneously, but that PlayStation 4 players would get “an exciting Day 1 advantage.” We now know that the term “most” excludes the game’s Spec Ops Survival mode, and “Day 1 advantage” means PlayStation 4 players get that exclusive for a full year.

As one might expect, PC and Xbox One players are peeved about this, even more than usual due to Modern Warfare’s support for cross-platform play. The news came during Tuesday’s State of Play showcase for PlayStation, with the yearlong exclusive — until Oct. 1, 2020 — both asterisked and fine-printed.


Screenshot of a trailer screen mentioning in very small type that PS4 timed exclusive content for Modern Warfare is “until Oct. 1, 2020”

Note the fine print: Vertical stand sold separately.
Screenshot via PlayStation on YouTube

Call of Duty’s subreddit, as would be expected, blew up at the revelation.

“A new cod game will be releasing when this is out on Xbox and PC wtf,” wrote one massively upvoted poster.

“I’m almost certain this was part of Activision’s deal with Sony to have cross-platform play in MW,” replied another, speaking for the suspicions of many.

“This is just horrible and I’m on PS4,” said another redditor.

On Twitter yesterday afternoon, Infinity Ward’s narrative director Taylor Kurosaki stressed that this only applies to the Spec Ops Survival mode (and, importantly, that’s not the full Spec Ops mode, it’s just one type of game within it). Kurosaki said the decision to hold out Spec Ops Survival was a decision “above all of our pay grades.”

Kurosaki also implied that the furor over the yearlong exclusive mode for PS4 seemed somewhat overblown.

Since 2015, Sony has enjoyed a timed-exclusive, first crack at Call of Duty post-launch downloadable content, picking up that deal after Microsoft offered similar exclusivity for the five years prior. Last week’s announcement made it sound like that arrangement was changing, but the open beta’s two day preview on PlayStation 4, plus an exclusive 2v2 Alpha test on that console, is a reminder that it’s still very much in effect.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches Oct. 25 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.