Call of Duty fans flock to Xbox 360 classics like Black Ops 2 and Modern Warfare 3 after apparent server update

Classic Call of Duty games on Xbox 360 appear to be enjoying a second wind after a server update sparked renewed interest in online gaming.

Reports indicate that thousands of people were online over the weekend playing Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 3 (2011) and Treyarch’s Black Ops 2 (2012). Even the ground-breaking Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare from 2007 got a boost.

These older Call of Duty games, although playable online ten years after launch, were still riddled with hackers, boosters and cheats. But reports surfaced last week that some unannounced work was being done to improve things on the Xbox 360 versions of the games, and when word got out about stable online play, thousands of fans ended up jumping on board. These older Call of Duty games included online player counters, so while they may be prone to error, they provide a good indicator of current interest.

Matchmaking servers for these games on PC and PlayStation 3 remain choppy, according to player reports, so Microsoft’s legacy console is where the action is.

Xbox 360 Call of Duty games are conveniently playable on Xbox Series X and S via Microsoft’s backwards compatibility support, so you don’t even need to dust off your old console for a shot of nostalgia.

The timing of all this is interesting given Microsoft’s expected $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the hotly-pressing deal between Microsoft and Sony to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for a decade, and the upcoming announcement of this year’s Call of Duty- game , widely expected to be (a new) Modern Warfare 3.

Could Microsoft and Activision be preparing to launch the Call of Duty back catalog on Game Pass soon? It is worth mentioning that most of these old Call of Duty games are currently for sale on Xbox. IGN has reached out to Activision for comment.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at or confidentially at

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