In the days and weeks following the release of Modern Warfare 2, you likely heard a lot of complaining. PC players were (and still are) pissed about the lack of dedicated servers and seemingly ineffective patches, console players were afraid of getting inadvertently banned for playing on ‘hacked’ servers, and both groups were really, really annoyed at the prevalence of all the cheaters.
According to Infinity Ward, these complainers were just a small, vocal minority. In an interview with CVG, Robert Bowling stated that the cheating problems — particularly the care package glitch — had absolutely no effect on their player base and that they saw no drop in numbers as a result. According to Bowling, only 1% of MW2 players even encountered this glitch in the first place, so the vast majority of players had pristine, untainted gameplay experiences.
Having not played Modern Warfare 2, I can’t personally comment on the scope of the cheating. I have a hard time believing though that it was limited to 1% of the total player base — virtually everyone I know who plays the game ran into cheaters at least once… even my dad. That said, I’m not terribly surprised that the cheating didn’t put a dent in player numbers, especially if it affected as few people as Bowling claims. For some people, it probably made the game more fun.