On Call of Duty 4’s absence

Since a few visitors have noticed Call of Duty 4 hasn’t shown up on the site’s graphs, here’s a small update on the situation.

Just to make it clear, the game is indeed doing very well online. If you check the ServerSpy or Game-monitor statistics, you’ll see it’s doing well enough to put it quite strongly at the spot of 3rd most played online PC FPS.

The reason it’s not showing on this website’s graphics is because GameSpy stats – which is the source I use for my data – isn’t covering it yet. They probably still have to code the server query logic into their system, and hopefully they will have it soon. So unfortunately the post-release data is lost, but it’s a sure bet the game is having a big impact.

And before someone points how I should switch to using some other data source instead, let me remind you that none of these FPS statistics out there is perfect. Each have its own little perks and little issues with specific games. It just so happens now that GameSpy had a major issue with CoD 4, but the sanest thing to do is to expect it to recover soon. Just switching the data source to another website would invalidate any possible comparison to the data already gathered, requiring a database reset, so it’s something I’d like to avoid.

Update: it’s working now, as CoD4 is being listed on GameSpy stats. Check the comments for more information.

11 Responses to “On Call of Duty 4’s absence”

  1. Zeh Says:

    …and in my opinion, CoD4 totally deserves a good spot; as an user interface and user experience developer, the game has won my user-experience award for 2007. It’s not consolized in any way, the menus are as complex as they should be, it has small little things (like the debreafing DURING map loading) that make the game much better, has no interface delay as in “Menu loading…” or anything, and doesn’t even force you to watch endless sponsor intro movies.

    I’m not really a fan of how it plays – I guess my /gameplay/ tastes are slightly different – but it’s, no doubt, very well produced, and proof that some developers are still trying to get the user layer done right.

  2. Joost Schuur Says:

    We were just talking about COD4 data at the office today. The PC server count alone is huge, so this game should have quite the impact.

    You should be seeing support here any day now.

  3. Zeh Says:

    @Joost: that’s great, thanks for looking into it (and the heads-up).

  4. PseudoKnight Says:

    You mean it’s more popular than Battlefield 2?

    I share your opinion, Zeh, on gameplay tastes. I really love the presentation of the CoD games, and they certainly have solid gameplay, but I guess it’s not my style.

    Thanks, Joost.

  5. Zeh Says:

    From the numbers I’ve seen, yeah, it’s easily more popular than BF2. It has around half the number of players CS:S has.

  6. PseudoKnight Says:

    Seems COD4 stats have finally hit Gamespy (nice turn around after that comment) but we’ll have to see averages before we can tell if it’s more popular than BF2 and by how much. Currently it’s sitting below BF2, but barely. (7914 vs 7419 players)

    Still, that’s pretty strong out of the gate. I didn’t know it was being advertised so well. There was so many games coming out at the time, I’m surprised it even managed to get this popular.

  7. Zeh Says:

    Yeah, Joost told me about it in an email. It’s working, nice. Apparently there are less servers listed than Game-monitor, so yeah, numbers right now are on par with BF2, let’s see if that changes…

    However, I don’t know if it’s popularity is due to advertisement. I haven’t seem much of it. I think there’s a strong following because the game is actually good – word of mouth works well, it’s what actually made me buy and test the game despite being sick of redundant generic WW titles – and the RPG-ish stats and experience gaining manage to keep players interested.

    Again, it’s not my style of gameplay and I don’t even have the game installed anymore, but I think they’ve managed to hit a sweet spot with it.

  8. PocoLoco Says:

    stats are way off for this game not even 50% of the players are accounted for on gamespy… maybe its only counting the steam users.

  9. Zeh Says:

    While I agree it’s way off (I’ve talked about it here in the past), I don’t think it’s counting Steam users only, as I believe that’s not even possible for a third-party like GameSpy to do so.

  10. PocoLoco Says:

    how is gamespy getting counterstrike results then? as far as i know you can only play CS through steam.

  11. Zeh Says:

    I didn’t say that they exclude Steam servers, but rather that they can’t /use/ Steam clients only.

    But to answer the question, they have a list of servers (gathered differently for each game) that they query and find the results. Whether they’re “on steam” or not, and whether the clients connect are doing so from Steam or IRC scripts or direct connection or ingame browser or whatever, make no difference. They can’t KNOW the origin of the clients, but they’ll still see them.

    CoD4’s number’s problems are likely to be caused by querying protocol errors or an incomplete server list.

    Unfortunately I’ve been under some extreme pressure from work+college so I can’t investigate this further 🙁 but hopefully it’ll fix itself in time like the ET:QW numbers did (read: the fine folks at GameSpy will find out what’s wrong, or other external artificial inflation in numbers will be cleared).

This website gathers data for various First Person Shooter games for PCs, and then build graphics with those numbers. This brings no answers, just questions. Where do we go from here?