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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