Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN Servers an Option

January 18, 2011 -

If you have already read our story about Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward blaming Sony for the rash of hacks and exploits, then you get a good sense of how the PS3 Call of Duty community feels. They are pissed off, frustrated and feel like no one wants to help them. No doubt, Infinity Ward and Treyarch are equally frustrated with the problems they have encountered on the PS3 related to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops.

If you need further evidence of that, this blog post by Jason Koblovsky sums up the level of frustration that every player feels. The blog post focuses on the author's problems playing a decent online multiplayer game of Call of Duty Black Ops on the PS3. Users have been complaining about problematic multiplayer connections over PlayStation Network for quite some time, and Koblovsky felt it was time to reach out to Activision. Here is how Dov Carson, Senior Tester/Senior Support Representative at Activision responded:

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.

You can read Koblovsky's angry response on his blog, but the title of his post and the venom in his words are evidence enough that he was not satisfied with the answer. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that he was deeply offended by it.

Is replacing the game enough for consumers who simply want to play Call of Duty Black Ops online on their platform of choice (PS3) or is this particular player's response beyond the pale? After all, some might argue that Carson was simply doing his job and stating facts. Most games that offer multiplayer warn that the "online experience may change at any time."

On the other hand, when players read that the "online experience may change at any time," they do not expect it to mean that the "online experience may stop working at any time." Activision promised free online multiplayer, and for many players it was their core reason for purchasing the game in the first place. By many accounts, they did not deliver that promised feature on the PS3...

We will leave it to you to decide, but one thing is certain: Sony, Activision, Treyarch, and Infinity Ward need to address this issue in a way that is going to satisfy PS3 owners.

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Comments

Re: Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN ...

I've never really understood the point of hacking online Multiplayer, it must be an E-Penis thing I suppose. I used to have many good games of Homeworld online, nobody hacked and it was all very congenial, we'd usually meet up in the lobby afterwards and discuss various tactics etc. If you need to cheat to win, then you didn't win in the first place.

If it's over bad server response, well, I could say that centralising the Multiplayer experience may help in some ways, such as finding games, but it always seems to create more problems than it solves.

Re: Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN ...

" Activision promised free online multiplayer, and for many players it was their core reason for purchasing the game in the first place. By many accounts, they did not deliver that promised feature on the PS3..."

 

umm how so i ask? the MP is there, broken maybe, but it was toted as a "free" add on to the SP game they advertised for right?

but saying it wasn't delivered on the PS3 is wrong since it IS there, but like on the PC, its broken in many ways. so the promise is upheld, as they did not say "working MP" at any point :)

Re: Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN ...

 I'm sure if they could fix it, they would.  The network aspect here isn't rocket science, it's working for two other systems.  Something about PSN must be making this unusually challenging for them.

Re: Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN ...

The only challenge is getting Bobby Kotick to sign off on fixing the problems on the platform with the least amount of players. Everybody knows he could really use another twelve ivory toothbrushes.

And while I suppose the PC probably has viewer players they don't manage the servers there, since they're dedicated.

Re: Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN ...

Modern Warfare 2 didn't have any Dedi servers at all until someone came up with AlterIWNet.  IWNet, as you'd expect, suffer from the same weaknesses as the console games with an added bonus: the VAC only controls proved to be heavy handed, banning players for playing multiplayer because of the hacked lobbies.  Valve reinstated those that got banned and gave away copies of L4D2 to those that were banned before the update that was released at the same time tried to mitigate the problem as a result.

Re: Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN ...

I'm not really on either side of this... but... what do you expect them to do?

The platform itself was hacked in a major way.  I'm impressed that they offered him a chance to return it to the retailer (by sending him an unopened copy) or to trade it for another game...

The truth of the matter is that this is really Sony's problem.  ANY game played online on the PS3 is currently in danger of being hacked.  It's just that Call of Duty is the most popular series in the world right now, so it's going to be particularly affected.

With that said, I do understand the frustration as a player.  But IMO this is the best possible customer service that Activision can currently provide in light of this difficult situation that is in no real way their fault.

Spewing venom at them may not be the most effective response.  Considering this is Activision, I'm surprised they didn't just say "it says that online experience may change, it's Sony's problem, live with it."

 

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN ...

Just to point out something ... he is not complaining about someone wall hacking or using strikes before anyone could do so.  His complaint is about connection to their servers; one that from what I can tell has been going on way before the encryption key was made available.

This sounds like a fail on their part in having servers that can't handle the loads given and their own code dropping the connection.  It also surprises me (well not really) that suddenly its because the ps3 was hacked and not their code even though the game has had most of these issues way before the ps3 hack occurred.

Granted I could care less if the ps3 was hacked ... my online experience is exactly the same as it was yesterday as I don't play games online (if I wanted to hear a 12 year curse like a sailor then maybe I would play online).  But I do find it annoying that suddenly its because the system was hacked that all their stuff doesn't work ... next we will hear that New Vegas's bugs are caused by the ps3 being hacked and not because a certain company dropped the ball on testing (again).

Sorry last line was a little off topic.

 

**Edit**

And I completely agree that the customer service person actually responded in a way that surprises me too since this is Activision we are talking about.

**End Edit

 
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Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
 

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