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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s 15 GB Update Joins Era of Ridiculously Bloated Games

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:17 PM
William Worrall
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:17 PM
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare will be getting a 15GB update later today.
  • The game was already over 100GB in size.
  • This lack of space efficiency is a problem that is only going to get worse over time.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare seems mostly pretty popular. There were some issues surrounding the prevalence of camping, but other than that people are enjoying it. If you’ve wanted Activision to iron out some of the kinks then it looks like you’re in luck. Update 1.09 should be with us later today.

The problem with this update, and many like it, is that it’s 15gb on its own. That might not sound like that big of a deal. In this day and age, what does 15gb really get you? Well, it becomes more of a glaring issue when you take into account the fact that Call of Duty Modern Warfare is already over 100gb.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare - Captain Price
Source: Activision/ Infinity Ward

Bloated Games are a Problem

In its current state, Call of Duty Modern Warfare takes up over 1/5th of standard consoles’ hard drive space. You may be thinking that come next generation this won’t be a problem. A new batch of technology probably means a bigger standard for hard drives right?

Well, the chances are that even if hard drives get bigger, it won’t make a difference. More space just means that developers and publishers will have more space to fill. If hard drives come with 1TB as standard you’ll probably find that games start coming in at 200+gb. All you do with a bigger hard drive is move the problem back a step.

Things Were Better ‘In The Good Old Days’

Honestly, the main problem here seems to be one of inefficiency. No one at Infinity Ward seems to care about reducing the space the game takes up. At least, if they do they’ve not done a good job of showing it. Maybe there’s something in Call of Duty Modern Warfare which means it has to take up 100+GB, but I can’t see it. That size can’t all be from high-res textures.

It used to be a mark of pride for programmers and designers to squeeze their games into small sizes. Hell, there are even competitions to make great games that fit into ridiculously small file sizes . It seems that modern programmers just stopped caring about this particular badge of honor.

It’s probably less to do with developers caring less, and more about their work environment not promoting it. When you work at a mega-studio with budgets in the billions space efficiency is probably not high on your priority list. The publishers just want the best looking, best handling game you can make. To hell with convenience for the player.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare - Size Comparison Chart
Even Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn’t match up to Call of Duty Modern Warfare in size. | Source: Inverse.com 

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Is a Sign of Things to Come

This problem is only going to get worse as time goes by, at least in triple-A games. Indie developers have enough pride in their work, mostly, to still feel like space efficiency is important. Besides, most of those guys prize great gameplay over graphics anyway.

Looking to the future it’s likely that these high-budget games will continue to balloon in size until the point that a hard drive upgrade becomes mandatory. Honestly, the pining-for-the-old-days vibe is mostly ironic. It’s not that things were really that much better back in the day, the problems were just different. I just wish that modern Triple-A developers still had that same spirit that companies used to have.

Then again, it’s probably pretty hard to have any spirit at all with Activision’s boot shoved were the sun doesn’t shine.