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PS3 hacks evoke a wide range of responses from game studios

Posted at 31 January 2011 22:08 CEST by Justin_Massoud

We reported last week how a marked increase in hackers playing the online portion of hit shooter “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2″ on PlayStation 3 left developer Infinity Ward befuddled. In the parlance of the game, hackers called in a counter-UAV on both the company and legit players – sullying the reputation of the former and erasing the latter’s in-game stats. While Infinity Ward struggled to sort out its own mess, fellow Call of Duty developer Treyarch spent the weekend banning unscrupulous “Black Ops” players. What does this developer disconnect say about the future of video game development on consoles which, for better or worse, are being opened up?

Infinity Ward has already stated that it will be relying less on console security encryption moving forward and more on in-game measures, a la “Call of Duty: Black Ops” – which features (among other things) a “Theater” mode to uncover possible illicit activities.

While the company hasn’t released a patch to address the hacking issues in its own game, one is in the works. The company’s creative strategist Robert Bowling promised the forthcoming patch will “address security issues as well as address a geo-exploit on Fuel.” Fuel is a map released as part the “Resurgence Pack” – the second wave of downloadable content that hit “Modern Warfare 2″ last June.

It’s doubtful these current security issues will impact the release of “Modern Warfare 3,” the company’s next entry in the series, on PlayStation 3. The console – released in November 2006 – has been home to nearly every major “Call of Duty” title.

Valve, if not accepting of the PS3 being cracked, certainly seemed unconcerned. No stranger to community-created mods, the company assuredly stated it wasn’t worried about PS3 hacking. The fact the developer is readying its next game, “Portal 2,” with PC/PS3 connectivity in mind might be a factor in its apparent care-free attitude. The game will ship with cross-platform play enabled — a rarity.

MyCE reached out to Sega of America and asked how – or if – the PlayStation 3’s jailbreaking would effect game development. We received a curt “no comment” from the former hardware manufacturer, whose last console – the ill-fated Dreamcast – was also the target of hacking.

We’ll bring you more developers’ reactions as they become available.

There are 2 comments

MyCE Member
Posted on: 01 Feb 11 03:27
    I loved that bit at the end about the Dreamcast. It really was the best system, purely because it was very easy to hack and run homebrew programs without any modchips or firmware hacking.

    I also loved the use of the word "befuddled" in the first sentence.
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 01 Feb 11 04:43
      Yah originally I thought the DreamCast was a victim of rampant piracy. However the 360 has been hacked for years, with a simple a flash of the dvd drive firmware, its as easy to pirate as the DC (albeit you didn't have to mod the dc drive). Yet the 360 has become very profitible despite piracy. Other then banning consoles from online play (and the recently implemented copy protection), Microsoft has taken it with easy.

      Sony on the other hand, has gone into full panic mode. The xbox1 was also a very hacked console. It created an increase in console sales. The same could happen with the ps3. If Sony could figure out how to turn a profit on the actual consoles (instead of the modern way of selling consoles at a loss, and making it up on game sales). They could start making money. The 360 hardware has turned profits for a while, but I don't think the ps3 does. Maybe thats why Sony's panicking. Selling consoles at a loss to people who won't buy the games?

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