While Treyarch has previously been very coy on specifics regarding the multiplayer component upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the latest news is at least a couple of steps back in the right direction for hopeful PC gamers.
Breaking the silence, Treyarch's Director of Technology Cesar Stastny has thrown us a bit of a bone, tweeting simply
"Confirmed: Ranked Dedicated Servers for #BlackOps2" (Thanks Game Informer
Disappointed PC Call of Duty players will no doubt recall that dedicated server support was removed from the series with Modern Warfare 2 and although it was reintroduced with the original Black Ops (via an exclusive deal with gameservers.com), Modern Warfare 3 then made a further misstep by only offering them as "unranked", meaning that playtime on them did not contribute to persistent stats and unlocks, which left them largely unpopulated.
That's all the details we have for now, but based on the original Black Ops approach, we're going to assume that these will once again be operated exclusively by gameservers.com until we hear otherwise -- which at least means there should once again be some low-lantecy options for Australian and New Zealand Black Ops 2 PC players. And console players will likely still have to stick with player-hosted matches and probably still largely won't give a toss.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is due on November 13th 2012 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.