PS3 hacks evoke a wide range of responses from game studios

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?

PS3 hacks evoke a wide range of responses from game studios

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.