Some PlayStation 5 owners are reportedly struggling to play 2019’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare reboot on their consoles.
When attempting access any of the three components of the game – Campaign, Multiplayer and Spec Ops – players are greeted with a message stating that the required data packs are not installed.
That’s when the problems start. When players follow through the prompts to download the data packs, they are confronted with a message stating that their installation was “suspended.” There’s no other suggestion as to what’s causing this.
Players are stuck in a limbo state, where the data packs won’t download but there’s no obvious way to restart the download and try again.
But the most egregious aspect of this situation is that fact that Activision has been aware of this problem for months and has yet to fix it.
Looking at the bug tracker on Activision’s support page, this very issue is listed. But it doesn’t appear as though there’s any plans to fix it, with the page last being updated in March.
But even those who don’t face this issue, playing Modern Warfare since the integration of Warzone into the game has been an absolute nightmare.
With almost every single Warzone patch, the data packs to play Modern Warfare are deleted, forcing players to re-download hundreds of gigabytes of data.
The mess doesn’t end there. Part of the reason this is such an issue is down to the sheer size of the game. The current build takes up almost 200GB of storage.
As development of Warzone (and therefore the Modern Warfare launcher) was passed between developers since 2019, a huge amount of work has been put into optimising the game’s footprint.
But the nature of the PlayStation operating system means that every new optimisation requires pushing a new data pack – and those packs add up. Counting every single data pack that’s been pushed since the game’s release, there are now 26 different packs for players to download.
This is likely why many players have been struggling to download the appropriate packs to play the game – as it’s almost impossible to figure out which is the right one!
What is striking is that no matter how many issues plague the launcher, you’ll almost certainly be able to play Warzone. And that speaks to the key issue.
As Warzone became a hit, Activision shifted all development resources to the mode, abandoning Modern Warfare altogether.
This has had significant implications for the longevity of older Call of Duty titles. The best-case scenario is that with the launch of Warzone 2, Activision’s developers will patch out Warzone from Modern Warfare, bringing it back to a useable state.
But this leads me to have serious concerns surrounding whether Activision will make the same mistake with Modern Warfare 2, integrating Warzone 2 into the launcher and abandoning the premium game when development resources are stretched and storage becomes an issue.
One suggestion is for Infinity Ward to keep Warzone 2 in a separate launcher, thereby preserving the stability of Modern Warfare 2.
While we’re at it, it’s time Activision gets rid of the ridiculous multi-COD launcher that crams every single title into a single menu. It impacts the overall user experience and makes me less likely to play the other titles.
Eurogamer has asked Activision for comment on these issues.