Activision shuts down the biggest Call of Duty fan project
by Danny Craig ·
Activision has shut down the largest fan project involving its Call of Duty (COD) IP in a week, making multiple of its older titles unplayable without players taking security risks.
- X Labs, the developer of the popular IW4x, IW6x, and S1X launchers that allow fans to play older COD titles such as Modern Warfare 2 (2009), Ghosts, and Advanced Warfare, has announced that it will cease operations after receiving a cease and desist letter from Activision. This is the second cease-and-desist order issued in the last seven days, with SM2, an attempt to create the "ultimate COD" with a mix of maps, weapons, and modes from the franchise, also shutting down operations last week.
- IW4X was the most popular release, allowing fans to play old-school MW2 with mods that added guns from other CODs, such as COD4 and Black Ops 2, and even unlock all of the game's content with a single button on the menu. It also allowed server hosts to create custom game modes with different rules, and it was considered the "definitive" version of the game to play more than a decade after its initial release.
- Many were surprised by the announcement, as X Labs has been providing custom clients for years, with each one requiring a retail copy of the original title to play, implying that most assumed the project was safe from Activision's lawyers since they had not paid attention to it in the past. The publisher is believed to have taken action after X Labs opened a Patreon page and was open to receiving payments directly from fans, which could be interpreted as the team profiting directly from the COD IP.
- The closure of X Labs has alarmed fans, who have pointed out that older COD titles have numerous security flaws, with Black Ops 3 being particularly vulnerable to attacks. In Black Ops 3, hackers can DDOS players who connect to the game's online services via Steam, potentially rendering the game unplayable for some if they are targeted. Plutonium, a similar fan project to X Lab's launchers, is still active, but players are concerned about the mod's future given the sudden takedowns.
More Activision news:
- The State Administration for Market Regulation in China has approved Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The decision comes just a few weeks after the European Commission approved the deal and a month after the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked it.
- Blizzard has announced that the highly anticipated PvE hero mode for Overwatch 2 has been scrapped for the "good of the game." The mode was revealed alongside the sequel and was set to include character progression systems and a new story, with the company stating that "similar" content will be added in a different way.