Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package has rocky launch

Xbox Live-exclusive debut of popular shooter's first map pack beset by matchmaking issues, map problems; Microsoft, Infinity Ward claim fix is in.

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Gamers who downloaded the $15 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package this morning were in for a nasty shock. According to numerous user reports, when the map pack to Activision's billion-dollar game launched this morning on Xbox Live, the maps would not actually load, and matchmaking was largely nonfunctional.

The problem was then confirmed by none other than Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb--better known as Major Nelson--on his Twitter feed. "Matchmaking is in a bad state on Xbox LIVE right now. We're working on it and will resolve it as quickly as we can," he said about 10:30 a.m. PDT. Microsoft sent out a patch intended to fix the issues shortly thereafter, when chief Infinity Ward spokesperson Robert Bowling claimed the map pack was functioning.

Much like a pool with no water, the Stimulus Package was of little use to many gamers during the day.
Much like a pool with no water, the Stimulus Package was of little use to many gamers during the day.

Bowling's confidence was misguided, however, as matchmaking issues persisted throughout the day. About 12:40 p.m. PDT, Hryb twittered that, "Matchmaking across #XboxLIVE is fixed! You may still have trouble purchasing and we'll let u know ASAP when fixed." Bowling also reported that stability was increasing, posting a picture of the rising number of connections on a monitor.

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package is set to launch on the PlayStation 3 and PC later this spring.

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