Call of Duty is one of the biggest and most successful videogame series of all time, and the return of Modern Warfare later this year is tremendously anticipated. It is also, to put it politely, tremendously polarizing among some fans, who are unhappy about the Special Ops Survival mode being a year-long PS4 exclusive, and a rumor (via Eurogamer) that supply drops will include weapons as well as cosmetic items. And some of their reactions have gone a little too far in the eyes of Infinity Ward art director Joel Emslie, who posted a message on Reddit reminding everyone that real people are working on the game, and that many of them read the comments.
"We are a mixed bag of nerds, jocks, and everything in between. It's amazing but we all get along and come together every day to build something that we believe in. We've dedicated our careers to being the best at what we do and to making the best possible game we can make," Emslie wrote.
"That's corny but at the same time this is a job and if you work at a job and aren't successful then eventually there is no job. Almost all of us have worked in the industry for long enough to know that if we don't make a good game then no one will play it."
"Public forms like Reddit are "part of our process" of gathering thoughts and feedback on the state of games, both while they're in development and after they've been released. But amidst the useful, helpful feedback are "ultra dark toxic comments that tell me how incompetent and stupid I must be and how I should go away somewhere where I cant harm people with my bad ideas and artwork." Infinity Ward developers have thick skins, he said, but sometimes, "it can get to you."
"I understand that there are people here that have things going on in their lives or they are upset about something to do with the game and they need to get the poison out and feel like they are being listened to. You are and yeah go for it, but keep it clean and maybe even a little creative. Get it out of your system but remember there's a team of human beings here at IW and we have crappy days just like you," Emslie wrote.
"Our interest is entirely in the game itself. There are some announcements that have come up this week that are official and some that are rumors. My ask of all of you is to focus on information that is actually fact and not get thrown off by ill informed people that want to make a name for themselves by spreading half baked inflammatory rumors."
One user said in response that Infinity Ward is effectively fanning the flames by not providing information on topics that gamers are upset about, like supply crates. "My intent and ask is simple," Emslie replied. "Focus on official announcements."
Infinity Ward has been front-and-center in handling the complaints about Modern Warfare so far, but the "official announcements" Emslie hopes people will pay attention to appear to be out of its hands. Earlier this week, narrative director Taylor Kurosaki strongly implied that publisher Activision was behind the decision to make the Special Ops Survival mode a year-long PS4 exclusive, saying the call was made "above our pay grade."
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare comes out on October 25.