Original Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Offline Due To Malware

An operator takes point in Modern Warfare 2 (2009).

Image: Activision

After a recent spike in interest as old servers were brought back online on Xbox, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was taken offline earlier this week on PC over reports of malicious hacks. According to Techcrunch, players were getting attacked in the 2009 game via “hacked lobbies.”

Update 8/2/2023 12:47 p.m. ET: 2008’s Modern Warfare 2 is once again operational on Steam. Activision tweeted that the underlying issue has been resolved and online multiplayer is working. Now all you have to worry about are your standard run-of-the-mill cheaters.

Original story follows.

Alerts about malicious activity in the game date back to June 26 with a post on the Steam Discussion page warning that players should make sure they have a virus scanner active before playing. “They attack using hacked lobbies,” wrote Steam user Bee, identifying the malware as “Trojan:Win32 Wacatac.B!ml.” Other players corroborated the issue. “Ye, i just deleted that Trojan,” wrote back Steam user Kordiii. “Was wondering wtf is that.”

According to Techcrunch, hackers were using a worm, a piece of malicious code that can self-replicate and automatically spread from one user to another. Anyone in one of the hacked lobbies would get the virus, and then spread it to whoever they played with next. “This means the hackers must have found and are exploiting one or multiple bugs in the game to execute malicious code on the other players’ computers,” it reported.

Activision ended up taking the Steam version of the game offline on July 26. When asked about the issues, a spokesperson for the company directed Techcrunch to the following tweet: “Multiplayer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) on Steam was brought offline while we investigate reports of an issue.”

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Despite being over a decade old, Modern Warfare 2 still averages 500 concurrent players a day on Steam. And that number increased earlier this month after players discovered matchmaking had been improved across a host of older Xbox 360 games. While players on console encountered lag and cheaters, there don’t appear to be any similar reports of malware infections. In the meantime, there’s over a dozen other Call of Duty multiplayer games people can pick up and play.


Baldur’s Gate 3 May Not Get DLC Due To D&D’s OP Leveling

The recently released Baldur’s Gate 3 is a massive RPG with high replay value due to all the choices you can make, so it might seem weird to be talking about the game getting an expansion. But the question has been asked, and the response from the people behind the hit RPG is basically, probably not, because high-level Dungeons and Dragons characters are too powerful.

If you’ve been on the internet lately, it probably seems like the world is obsessed with Baldur’s Gate 3, which fully launched last week to rave reviews after an extended period in Steam Early Access. The turn-based Dungeons and Dragons RPG is truly blowing up on Steam, with hundreds of thousands of players logging in all at the same time to play (and also to have sexa lot of sex). And while the game is huge—taking dozens and dozens of hours to fully complete, with multiple endings—some are already wondering about future expansions. But, that’s probably not going to happen. And if it does happen, it’s going to take a long time.

In an interview with PC Gamer on August 7, Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke said that the team hadn’t even started on an expansion. And sure, the game caps out at level 12, but DnD supports level 20 characters. Naturally, that seems to leave room for a big follow-up expansion. However, Vincke explained that he thinks it would be “very hard” to continue the adventure with the high-level characters players have at the end of the game. That’s because, in DnD, when players start reaching level 13 and beyond they become nearly godlike. Spells that high-level players gain access to include the ability to see the future, or just instantly kill anything with less than 100HP.

Larian Studios

“[High-level DnD] adventures require a different way of doing things, in terms of antagonists you’re going to have to deal with, which require a lot of development to do them properly,” Vincke said, “Which would make this much more than an expansion in terms of development effort.”

Vincke explained that this is why a lot of DnD campaigns are designed for level 12 or lower characters. So while it might seem like a perfect opportunity for an expansion, to just let players hit level 20, it’s “not as easy as one would imagine.”

Promising an expansion too early could cause problems

Another issue that Larian Studios faces when trying to make a big follow-up expansion to Baldur’s Gate 3? All the choices you can make and the endings you can get. Vincke tells PC Gamer that if the studio was to build DLC for the RPG it would be hard, and players would have to wait for “a long time.”

He further added that if the studio announced expansion plans too early and then, partway through development, realized the expansion was boring or not very fun, it’d have to keep working on it and try to get people to buy something it doesn’t fully believe in.

“That would not be cool. So we have to have the freedom to experiment and do our stuff. And then when we’re ready to announce it, we will.”

So for now, there is no plan to make a Baldur’s Gate 3 expansion, but there’s a small chance it could still happen. One day. Maybe.


Todd Howard Revealed Elder Scrolls 6 Early Due To Grumpy Gamers

A lead Skyrim designer has explained why Bethesda exec Todd Howard peeled back the curtain on The Elder Scrolls 6 in 2018, despite the studio’s years-long focus on shipping Starfield: Angry gamers with their pitchforks and torches.

Read More: Todd Howard Seems To Think Bethesda Announced The Elder Scrolls VI Too Early

In an October 23 interview with the gaming podcast MinnMax, Bruce Nesmith spoke about his history with Bethesda Softworks. Nesmith—who’s been with the company on and off since the ‘90s with credits on Fallout 3, Oblivion, and Skyrim—told host Ben Hanson that Bethesda was getting shit for remaining so tightlipped on The Elder Scrolls 6 for such a long time. It got to a point where, according to Nesmith, Howard had to do something to quell a supposed angry gamer mob. And that something, it turned out, was dropping a teaser of the next entry in The Elder Scrolls series during E3 in June 2018. Nesmith said:

“Well, you have to remember the company took years of hits for not talking about Elder Scrolls 6. I mean, years of hits. Because Todd’s opinion—one which I share, by the way—is that the video game industry has short memories. Those companies that start touting their games years ahead of time actually, you know, they screw themselves. The best time to start talking about it is six months before releases. […] So, only the fact that everybody was—you know, the pitchforks and torches were out. It got Todd to say, ‘Yes, we’re going to do Elder Scrolls 6. I promise you, it’s for real. It’ll happen.’ But I’m betting you won’t hear much in the way of details until about six months before release, which is the way it should be. I think that’s the best approach, and [Todd’s] proven that that works really well—at least for Bethesda.”


The Elder Scrolls 6 was revealed at E3 2018 with a teaser that pans over a mountainous landscape while drums crescendo into a horn section—and that’s it. Since the teaser, tiny bits of news like the game going into early development this year and the potential setting the game will take place in trickled out of Bethesda’s offices, but it’s essentially been radio silence for the past five years.

Kotaku reached out to Bethesda for comment.

Nesmith doesn’t work at Bethesda anymore. According to his LinkedIn page, he left his role as design director in September 2021 and self-published a Norse mythological fantasy epic called Mischief Maker. However, Nesmith told Hanson that some of his ideas might still appear in The Elder Scrolls 6.

“The whole magic system for Skyrim? I persuaded Todd to let me throw out the baby and the bathwater and restart [it] from scratch, and he trusted me enough to do that,” Nesmith said. “There will probably still be traces of that in [The Elder Scrolls 6]. The whole ‘you do it to get better at it’? While that was not my unique idea, I had a large hand in that. That’s absolutely gonna continue. A lot of the concepts dealing with how you level and things like that, you know, there will be a bunch of new ideas thrown in, but I’m betting some of the stuff that I worked on will still survive in the new one.”

Read More: Fallout 5 Is Bethesda’s Next Game After Elder Scrolls 6, Will Probably Be Out By 2050

It’ll probably be a while before we find out, but whenever it drops, Todd Howard said it may be the last one he works on. No matter what The Elder Scrolls 6 entails, though, we know it’s not coming to PlayStation anytime soon.

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