The Exodus to BC2
With all the hype from the release of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (BC2), there have been many changes within some of our FPS divisions. Anyone who visits the TOG Teamspeak server regularly would see that the BC2 division channels and numerous sub-channels are packed virtually day and night. While it’s great to see such a huge response to a new game, it led me to wonder two things:
- How could so many people afford to give up their jobs?
- What sort of impact is BC2’s success having on other TOG Divisions?
The second question, admittedly, weighed more heavily on my mind than the first, particularly as I seem to be one of those people the game doesn’t really appeal to (I’d had a go at the beta version but couldn’t really see what all the fuss was about). I figure I’m missing something there, given TOG is represented in-game in huge numbers, and that the BC2 forums are seeing an awesome amount of activity. Which is terrific – don’t get me wrong – but I’ve still felt a sadness watching the Battlefield 2142 Division dwindle as a result of BC2 (and the lack of the long-awaited BF2142 patch!), with the loss of a lot of the threads and chatter within the forums and on TS. It’s been my home within TOG since I joined, and, although seeing all of these guys joining up with people from other divisions within BC2 is terrific, I’m sure some friendly rivalry has ensued.
With the attrition of the BF2142 Division in mind, I thought I’d ask around and see if other Divisions were seeing a loss of players to BC2, and if so, how they were coping and what sort of impact it was having, if any. I had three questions:
- What effect has the release of BC2 had on your Division?
- Has BC2 affected ladder matches or competitions?
- Do you expect players to return to the Division once the novelty wears off?
I got some pretty interesting responses, some of which I thought I’d share with you all. Please note that some quotes have been edited for clarity or shortened, and that they do not reflect the views or opinions from everyone in that Division.
...for a game that is over 4 years old we are doing pretty good.
Call of Duty 2
“People come and people go, especially for a game that is over 4 years old we are doing pretty good. We have more people coming than we do going, so that is a positive!”
I must admit I play a little less COD4 myself since the release of BFBC2...
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
“In my view you will always have players coming and going be it based on new games or RL influences, yes a new game may mean its a larger exodus at once but in the end its the nature of the beast and you move on and concentrate on having fun in game with the people who are left, I’m guessing its to do mainly with the quality of the cod4 division and its leadership but there have been several times in its life where its happened but its still always been a fun place to play with a strong sense of mate ship.”
“The damage was really done with MW2 however I think BFBC2 will draw those very same players away from MW2 as well.”
“I must admit I play a little less COD4 myself since the release of BFBC2. For me the attraction is the larger based squad game, bigger maps are a plus and the game isn’t filled with as much nonsense as MW2 i.e. way to many perks etc.”
“I guess it comes down to when theirs change do you lament the loss or make the most of what remains”
MW2 is a different product with a different style, and I don't think the majority would give up one for the other...
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
“To me the 2142 boys have a bigger problem because it’s exchanging a similar game for a new and improved version (similar mechanics, game style and publishing company). MW2 is a different product with a different style, and I don’t think the majority would give up one for the other.”
“I can see maybe less time spent on MW2 but never an exodus never to return.”
“I have to say, I don’t think I’ve played MW2 at all since BC2 came out.”
“Competitive MW2 hasn’t really gotten off the ground, IMO. Lack of dedicated server support has likely been the biggest culprit but the internal comps we have running are very fun. I’m jonesing competitive game play since I have issues with Win7 and PB which MW2 doesn’t fill and I’m sure BC2 won’t either”
...it has affected our ability to play ladder matches and comps, and I think that has been reflected in the wider 2142 community...
“By losing a large part of our player base, it has affected our ability to play ladder matches and comps, and I think that has been reflected in the wider 2142 community. But having said that, the GA ladder has been dwindling for several years, and it was unsure if there would be a competition this year even prior to the release of BC2. Within our Division the DC’s and SL’s are working to find what sort of player base we still have and looking at what matches and comps suit the Division. Playing survivor was a lot of fun, but survivor doesn’t suit everyone. Even the WOFTAM and NOOB awards were struggling to get nominations every month. This game however still has a lot of people playing and holds full servers a lot of the time.”
...there has been no real contender to replace BF2 in the last 5 years, and 5 years is a long time in gaming...
Battlefield 2 Division
“An effect on the division – yes and for two reasons.
- The Game?
When BF2 came out is was as anticipated as was BC2 - something different something shiny and new offering better game play better graphics better everything. I would have to say that most gamers crave the better game, especially in a particular genre, so it is a given that when a promising game is released most will get it, if it is as good as the hype, most will play it. BC2 is probably more so because there has been no real contender to replace BF2 in the last 5 years, and 5 years is a long time in gaming. (...) BF2 had a good run, but like most ‘old’ things, it has become familiar to most, no real challenges that a gamer can achieve and a game play that is predictable. A lot had already left for this reason before BC2 started.
- The Forum structure.
This is by no means a criticism, but the forums are set up for a game. A logical set up by the way. So if gamers have migrated to BC2 it is obvious they will play in the BC2 Forum, this does not have to be exclusive, but will mostly occupy their time.
With this being the case, activity in their old forums i.e. BF2 decrease. It may not mean they (the gamers) do not ever play BF2 again, but the forum will not be a focus. The flow on effect is that if one doesn’t take an interest, why would others. In this scenario the Forum then becomes a place that will have no real content or interest to them. The end result is a Forum that services a few not the many and the time will come when the forum is no longer a space that provides a real and necessary presence. A look through the TOG archives will be testament to this.”
...very few people here have been hanging out for something new. We're... content.
Team Fortress 2 Division
“Bad Company 2 is good. Better than I was expecting actually. I was sick for the last two weeks and the TOG BC2 server was full by lunchtime even on weekdays so I racked up a lot of hours on it. (though, nowhere near the hours some of those guys did, when do they sleep?) And my TF2 hours and skills are both suffering for it. That said, the only real game play mode I like so far is rush and there simply aren’t enough rush-mode maps to keep me interested in the long-term. Decent community maps take a while to come through and because they need to be so big, I suspect we’ll see a lot fewer good custom maps in BC2 than we do in TF2. I’m interested in BC2 competitively, but currently only to the extent that I might shout cast the odd match. It’s not good enough yet to take my focus away from TF2.
It IS affecting competitive TF2 though. TF2’s been around a while now. Helped a lot by the fact that the multiplayer in COD:WAW, MW2 and Wolfenstein sucked so hard. BC2 is the first real challenger to come along in a long time for competitive PC gamers so it’s attracted quite the following. But the TOG TF2 community is like family for most of the guys and gals here and so, unlike other clans, very few people here have been hanging out for something new. We’re… content.”
...it's hard to compare this division with the COD4 or BF Divisions as it's a completely different set up game wise.
Left for Dead Division
“We don’t have ladder matches,the games are 4 or 8 players,so most of the time it will be someone puts out a call on their Steam friends list that they are setting up a game and jump in.”
“I would say the core group of L4D players are giving BFBC2 a run at the moment, myself included,the same thing happens when a new game comes out.....Borderlands was another game that dragged players away.”
“Like I said it’s hard to compare this division with the COD4 or BF Divisions as it’s a completely different set up game wise”
As you can see, the overall reactions have been quite positive; many Divisions haven’t noticed much of a change, and only minimal player loss. Even the BF2142 Division, which has lost the majority of regular players, still has some coming back for a visit to the forums and a game now and then; it’s certainly been great to see people coming back to the Division and to see some new people joining TOG and the 2142 Division as a result of BC2. BC2, though is certain to gather a larger following from the larger BF2142 community, with servers being shut down on a daily basis and the closing of the GameAreana ladder competition – even our terrific Fremen have reformed to duke it out on the BC2 ladder comps.
I’m sure, too, that that BC2 will continue to see a great following - well at least until the release of the next big thing, that is! During my time here at TOG, it’s the first time I’ve seen first-hand how a big new game release can change any Division, and it’s been totally fascinating to watch all of the changes, throughout the forums and Teamspeak. That being said....I’m all for progress but not really partial to change so, for now at least, I will still be found lurking in the BF2142 & lounge forums.
Keep Gaming People! After all it’s what we do.