At an event in NYC last night, I spoke with DICE's Gordon Van Dyke about the upcoming release of "Battlefield: Bad Company 2." Given the thematic similarities with the recently-released "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," I was curious whether DICE was looking to follow Infinity Ward's lead when it came to preventing people from using party chat on the Xbox 360. Here's what Gordon had to say:
"We are ok with [party chat]. We haven't taken a stance, being against it and feeling like people are cheating. Is it worth putting a restriction on it that affects everbody? I don't think [cheating with party chat is] that big of an issue, that I've seen, where we have to worry about that."
To be sure, I asked him, point blank, whether there's any chance they'd be blocking party chat in multiplayer matches. His response: "No."
Personally I think it's the best choice. Probably the biggest hindrance right in playing with your friends in "Modern Warfare 2" is that you have to wait until their match ends before you can chat with them. With party chat, you have the option of chatting with them mid-match, finding out how long they'll be, letting them know they should back out and form a new lobby. But then they're limited to a few select modes.
I know I've spent a lot of time on this, but for a feature that Infinity Ward could turn a switch tomorrow and fix (with a playlist update), it seems somewhat stubborn that they haven't. DICE, on the other hand, is opting to place everything in the players' hands. If that results in widespread cheating (which seems highly unlikely), it's the sort of risk I'm fine with them taking.