Twitter's contribution to Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 might have been designed by the Infinity Ward team, but in a fascinating interview, the company says it had some help: Twitter followers.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 has some inspiration from Twitter. infinity Ward

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 might have been designed by a capable team of Infinity Ward developers, but the company had some help: Twitter followers.

Infinity Ward Community Manager Robert Bowling told Develop Online in a recent interview that during the development of the highly-anticipated release, the developer called on Twitter users for help.

"During development, if we are sitting in a design meeting and we are arguing about something, no matter what it is, I can just turn to what is now 60,000 people and post the same question," Bowling told game developer news site Develop Online. "'Do we think players will like this?' well why don't we ask 60,000 of them and get a good representation of what we think they may like?"

But it was the next statement that might cause gamers participating in social networking to rejoice. Bowling told site that Twitter was "fantastic throughout development" and he "would recommend many, many more people adapted that into their design schedule."

Bowling also said that Infinity Ward didn't ignore any responses to its design questions. He said that developers "listened to all" of the suggestions, but filtered out those that didn't match the company's "design philosophy." Suggestions that asked for more gore, for example, ran against the company's design philosophy, Bowling said.

Regardless of whether or not Infinity Ward incorporated every idea into Modern Warfare 2, Bowling told the publication that now more than ever, gamers are getting closer to the development process.

"The average gamer is so much closer to the people who make the games than they ever were before," he told the publication. "And as a result of that they are so much more developer-aware. No longer is it an Activision game, but an Infinity Ward game, or a Treyarch game or a Bungie game. And gamers know where to go to offer their feedback."

Oh, how things have changed. When I was younger, I sent several snail-mail letters to developers asking for design tweaks in some of my favorite franchises. I never heard back. And it seemed that my plea had fallen on deaf ears.

Today, things are different. The developers of one of the most highly anticipated games to be released in 2009 were listening to gamer suggestions on a social network? Amazing. Let's hope for more of it.