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Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling

Interview: The studio's community boss talks Stimulus and more...

Modern Warfare 2's position as the world's No.1 online console game has been strengthened this week by the release of the much-anticipated Stimulus DLC Pack.

Despite some teething troubles, the map pack is now successfully being downloaded the world over.

But what are Infinity Ward's expectations for the release - and why have they put a pricetag of over £10 on it?

CVG grilled popular Infinity Ward community boss Robert Bowling to get the answers...

Why have you decided to bring back two old maps in the Stimulus Pack - and what would you say to those who says claim it doesn't offer the best value in the world?
These are two of our most popular maps. There's some of the original ones that you played during the Call Of Duty 4 beta - they were our most popular maps all through the lifespan of Modern Warfare 1. So there's no question over the mileage our hardcore gamers are going to get out of these maps now that they're bringing them back into Modern Warfare 2. You get to experience them in a completely unique new way.

Now you get them to play CTF on Crash or Demolition on Overgrown and come up with all these new tactics based on not only the new game types but the new perks, the new equipment and the new kill streaks that you have to take into account when you're playing now.

It was really cool to bring in some maps people absolutely love to play on and have hundreds of hours of gameplay in, but then also have the experience where you come up with new tactics on familiar battlefields.

CVG readers have picked up on the price - 1200MP. Obviously we haven't seen the map pack yet so we don't know all the details - but can you reassure people that you're offering value for money?
There's definitely no doubt in my mind that these maps packs - and [Stimulus'] five maps - are definitely worth the investment. Anybody who buys them and then plays Modern Warfare 2 hardcore online is going to get their money's worth out of these maps.

I mean, five new locations to Modern Warfare 2, with three of those brand new to the series and each of them offering their own unique kind of gameplay - no matter what kind of play style you have, you're going to get something out of these maps. I mean, whether you love the objective game based types, you're going to love Storm. It's a huge map great for objective-based, big team games.

If you're a free-for-all kind of guy it's just all about the basics, you want to put guys down and you don't want to worry about campers and all that stuff, you're going to love Salvage - because it's geared to that type of player. We're adding a lot of variety and a lot of mileage to multiplayer with this map pack and anyone who buys it is going to see that investment is worthwhile.

DICE and EA are releasing their map pack for Battlefield Bad Company 2 on the same day - but it be free. Do you see that as natural competition? Are you worried about it at all?
No, we're not worried about it at all. I mean, we don't expect people to stop working on their games when we're working on ours. You know they have an audience that are excited about their map packs and I'm sure their excited about ours...

What do you make of them releasing on exactly the same day, do you think it's a bit cheeky?
No. I mean, I'm sure they had plans. We came in pretty strong there towards the end so I'm sure they didn't change their plans towards that.

Modern Warfare is still massively popular online - but there are whispers of a backlash amongst CVG's more hardcore readers. Do you think its been a victim of its own success?
Yeah. I think any property that's Number One at anything - whether it's the number one at box office or number one most played game online like Modern Warfare 2 - is going to have that instinct of [a backlash].

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