I've not been much of a fan of Activision as a company of late. Between Bobby Kotick raking in boatloads of cash by milking franchises to death until they're nothing but dried up husks and the treatment of the developers themselves such as Infinity Ward's firing of its bosses (we'll see how the lawsuit plays out) or even Raven whose worthwhile game Singularity was given no real marketing at all, I've just not had much reason to like the company.
And assuming Jason Koblovsky
is telling the truth in his blog, and I see little reason for him to lie, then I certainly have reached a point at which I may just have to never even consider touching another Activision title for quite some time.
In utterly shocking news, Activision's recent release of their hot selling series Call of Duty has been having some issues with it's multiplayer component. I know that some of you are shocked by this news and I'm sorry to have to break it to you here.
Koblovsky, an independent freelance journalist, has been an active member of the PS3 Activision forums which has been busy with complaints levied against Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops online multiplayer extravaganza.
When Koblovsky asked the developers how they were going to make it up to the PS3 community as a result of the consistently poor performance of their game, Activision gave a rather threatening response:
Well I have nothing else to offer and I too follow forums and have many friends who play and enjoy the game for all of its features. As an avid gamer, I would also disagree with any legalities involving a single aspect of a game as online experience may change at any time. The publishers have the right to shut down the servers for their game at any time as well which based on the number of reported posts from users may be a viable solution over the free PSN. In any event, if you would like to send your game disc into us, we can either;
a) Exchange for a sealed (unopened) copy of the game that you can take back to the retailer
b) Swap for another platform
c) Exchange for another Activision title of equal or lesser value.
These are the options that we are able to offer to you as a one time courtesy.
Let us know how you would like to proceed.
Koblovsky, not to be silenced by such a threat, fired back at how Activision was threatening to silence PS3 owners who were being denied a fully functioning product that they purchased. He further threatened never buying another Activision product as well as potential legal action if Activision followed through on such a threat.
(For the full response by Jason I will of course suggest that you read Jason's blog which I have linked at the beginning of this post.)
I have to say that I wish I was surprised by this response by Treyarch and ultimately Activision. But, sadly, I am not surprised and I doubt that many of you will be either. It's utterly shameful that we have a company threatening to pull service from it's customers because they are not able to create a game that functions properly. It would one thing if many talented developers were having issues with creating a worthwhile PSN multiplayer system. But, and say what you will of Infinity Ward's Call of Duty titles, this is not the case for many multiplayer games including past Call of Duty outings. At the very least, previous Call of Duty titles were never this bad. So to have Treyarch threatening it's customer because they can't deliver on a platform owned by millions of customers who have caused Call of Duty, and most certainly Black Ops, to be a commercial success really just ends up being pathetic.
In an age where games can be patched and updated there is no excuse for problems to be so persistent in any game for a lengthy period of time. And yet, I think this generation of games has had more issues than any other that came before it. Games have been released riddled with glitches upon release and this includes single player games so you can forget simply blaming the emergence of internet multiplayer as the reason why glitches are so much more prevalent now than in previous console generations.
And to top it all off, now we're being threatened because we demand the games that we pay for to actually work! Seriously, we should all be ashamed of ourselves... Look at what we've bred into existence with these companies. Garbage in, garbage out. It was only a matter of time before this happened. We've been feeding the demon a little too well lately and now they think they control us. But the fact is, we control them. But until gamers learn to put their money where their mouth is instead of supporting horrible developers we'll be dealing with threats like this for a long time to come. If I'm giong to be honest though, this is just the beginning of what I think is going to be a royal mess.
But hey, I'd be really happy to be wrong on that.