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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InfophileI know the ZE series was in the red in Japan, but international series boosted it to profitability. That may not mean it's more profitable in the west, but it does mean ZE3 wouldn't exist without the western market.07/04/2015 - 7:54am
Consterwhy aren't "Video game players" an option on the poll? :P07/04/2015 - 5:19am
Andrew EisenThat was quick! Pretty accurate cosplay of the new Ghostbuster uniform and proton pack: https://twitter.com/mirabellemusing/status/61673135125394227207/03/2015 - 6:23pm
Matthew Wilson@mast I dont know, but I do know it got a cult fallowing here.07/03/2015 - 6:22pm
MastermuneWasn't the Zero Escape series more popular here than in Japan?07/03/2015 - 6:19pm
Matthew Wilson@mast given the game was revealed in the US, I wouldnt be shocked if it was released at the same time.07/03/2015 - 6:15pm
MastermuneI don't trust the big AAA worldwide simultaneous releases though.07/03/2015 - 5:57pm
Mastermune@Infophile I have come to the conclusion that smaller games like zero escape, JRPG's and the like are actually worth preordering sinc they are limited quantities and since they usually release in japan first we know if there are any issues.07/03/2015 - 5:56pm
Infophile@Matthew! Awesome news. I'd preorder on that shout alone if I didn't have a policy against preordering anymore.07/03/2015 - 5:16pm
Matthew Wilsonzero escape 3 was announced today.07/03/2015 - 4:21pm
Matthew Wilson@pnx I am guessing a ddoss since that is what happened to neogaf, but sony needs to do a investment in psn as a whole. steam is still the most reliable and fastest digital platform I use.07/03/2015 - 3:06pm
PHX Corphttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/psn-is-down-sony-investigating/ not again: PSN is down, Sony investigating07/03/2015 - 3:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/digital-extremes-trespasser-keystone-pc/ if true, this is funny and embarrassing for Digital Extremes. companies need too have better security.07/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/ this is very good, and well researched.07/03/2015 - 12:41pm
InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
 

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