The Crossfire Challenge 5 was the last international Call of Duty 4 LAN to be announced, right now the tunnel is dark and the future is bleak for the game. However CoD4 needs to take a leaf out of ET's books if it wants to survive until its sequel at the end of the year.

The point quite rightly made by Crossfire admin Klieneman is that ET is mainly being kept alive by the prospect of 2 LANs a year run by Crossfire. Throw in the odd Polish LAN here and there and the Eurocup and there is the ET competitive community. So in Klieneman's logic, why can ET pull 24 teams to Enschede and CoD about half that?

I addressed in my column on Cadred where the problems lie in the games future, but post Gamerland and CC5 the clouds have perhaps cleared that the top players really aren't interested in CoD5 and not one multigaming organisation is willing to touch it. Throw in the fact that CoD5 Promod's coder, United Kingdom raf has quit his position and that CoD4's latest competition mod, DAMN mod has been well received by the community and there might be life in CoD4 yet.

The important fact is however, life in CoD4, and by life I mean money, has to come without Activision's assistance. Multiplay, AEF and TeX all were sponsored by the publishers for their CoD4 tournament, one would assume those sponsorships are gone. So looking at those events, who has the money to support without Activision?

Multiplay have already announced that they will be moving to CoD5 for April's i36. Multiplay boast a strong relationship with Activision, and demo'd CoD5 at i35 so one can assume their hands are tied. The Antwerp eSports Festival is supposedly not happening this year, whilst I'm yet to hear that from Belgium dfb, a number of reliable sources claim to have. However, The Experience sit right now with the ace up their sleave with confirmation that they will be returning this year with another event. TeX are poised to play their hand in January with the announcement of their game titles, that decision will prove crucial for CoD4.

That leaves two other organisations who could throw money CoD's way, Crossfire and UKeSA. Crossfire will be running our next event under the brand of eSports Heaven in April. It will include, ET both CS's and perhaps CoD4. The question is can the CoD community prove that it can organise itself into action to both make a decision and stick to it.

This is where CoD must learn from ET, ET's biggest strength is its centralisation and by that I mean if you want to do something in ET post it on Crossfire and everyone will read it. For Call of Duty you've TeK-9, the biggest CoD site. Cadred the CoD site with the most bespoke (articles and columns) content right now, LLL who have Bocerbo and Crossfire at the end. Then you've got one other organisation who perhaps dont know their importance just yet, #CoD4.wars - A channel with 1500 people in it at 2pm in the afternoon, some of whom who dont have an account on any of the sites above. Beyond that you've got a number of regional websites, Gotfrag vaguely serve the US scene, play a very active role in the games development beyond Sweden and then there other nationalised sites beyond that.

No offence to all of those organisations, but that fragmented approach is hurting the game if you are looking to an ET model to save and centralise the game.

Somehow, CoD needs to either come into one place or have one group of people working for its betterment. The likes of Morg, Klieneman and fRijec have all put many hours into this however, if they want something posted somewhere they dont have the access (other than on cf ofc!) and thats what it will take, it will take those three having the ability to post the non-important newsposts about the events on every one of the organisations I listed above. It will also need the help of Clanbase and EnemyDown.

Information will be king to CoD's success, right now Call of Duty's #1 site (TeK9) is 100% dependent on its star JetSet. Posting on Cadred is limited to those who have access, posting on Crossfire will only get you a small proportion of the players. Posting about community news on Clanbase is impossible. However it HAS to happen, there must be the uprising of the middle skilled players to fill the void created by the top's departure. There must be an opening of arms to new players rather than the shunning or simple lack of information distribution to get them to play.

So to answer the many PM's I got this week about what game Crossfire will support in the CoD series for our next event, its quite simple. Fix the institutional problems I've listed above and I'll pick CoD4 and I'll increase its CC5 prizepurse. Show me that you care enough to save your game.