Gaming Advocacy Group Reports Black Ops to UK Government

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Gaming Advocacy Group Reports Black Ops to UK Government

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The group has its fingers crossed that its complaint might result in a legal precedent against broken games.

UK-based gamer advocacy group, Gamers' Voice, has made a formal complaint to the UK's economic regulator, the Office of Fair Trading, about the problems that PC and PS3 gamers are having with Call of Duty: Black Ops. This is the second attempt by Gamers' Voice to force Activision into some kind of action over these issues.

Last month, Gamers' Voice wrote Activision an open letter, detailing the problems. These included, but were not limited to: the game freezing as it loaded maps, consoles and computers locking up during play, and connection problems during multiplayer matches. It noted that none of the issues seemed to apply to the Xbox 360 version of the game, which Gamers' Voice believed had been Activision's main priority, and therefore the version that had received the majority of the QA testers' time.

Gamers' Voice thought that the PC and PS3 versions of Black Ops were so broken that they didn't fulfill their purpose as pieces of entertainment, and decried Activision's decision to release the game on these platforms in such a state as an act of "crass profiteering." In the letter, Gamers' Voice offered Activision a simple ultimatum: If the publisher didn't explain what had gone wrong with the PC and PS3 versions of Black Ops, and let consumers know how they would be compensated, Gamers' Voice would report the game to the OFT. Gamers' Voice gave Activision one calendar month to respond, but the publisher chose to ignore the letter's demands, leaving Gamers' Voice no other option but to make good on its threat.

Gamers' Voice's head of industry relations, Chris O'Regan, said that the publisher's inaction meant that it would now have to face pressure from the government department. O'Regan said that the problems with Black Ops was exactly the sort of issue that the Office of Fair Trading was designed to handle. He hoped that the OFT would initiate litigation against Activision, as that would set a legal precedent that selling games in an unfinished state was unacceptable.

He didn't expect the issue to be resolved quickly though, and said that a formal investigation by the OFT could take months. He thought that Activision might react a little more quickly, but didn't expect anything from the publisher except a rebuttal of the letter's claims.

Source: IncGamers

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Here's hoping something does eventually come of this.

Lolwut?

There's nothing wrong with my PS3 copy of Black Ops. Seems very polished, though I'm only about half way through the campaign and have only done a few hours of multiplayer. I've not experienced a single bug. I'm a QA software tester by profession, just in case that seems relevant.

just get it on the 360 and stop complaining. jeez. its not that hard.

EDIT: though it is a crying shame that they would release "broken" versions of the game. you do realize microsoft paid good money for their advertising of the game as being playable "better" on the 360, right? well, still. companies shouldnt release broken products. BAD ACTIVISION!

Azaraxzealot:
just get it on the 360 and stop complaining. jeez. its not that hard.

Not everyone can afford two consoles, and it should work equally on all versions.

For reference, I own a 360.

should I say it?

yes, I should.

YOU bought a game.

If the game is not up to expectations of what YOU think it is, by all means sell it.

this is like someone buying a shit sandwich and complaining that their shit has corn in it.

edit: I mean really, if a game isnt good then get rid of it and voice why you got rid of it, example, Halo Reach because it was just Halo 3 with jetpacks.

Actual:
Lolwut?

There's nothing wrong with my PS3 copy of Black Ops. Seems very polished, though I'm only about half way through the campaign and have only done a few hours of multiplayer. I've not experienced a single bug. I'm a QA software tester by profession, just in case that seems relevant.

Me too. My wife, friends, and I have played quite a bit of Blops and haven't found any big issues.
Then again, I've heard some people say the same about Fallout New Vegas which is completely broken in my experience.

Has this advocacy group mentioned anything about New Vegas. That's a game I feel like I should've been paid to play as a beta tester rather than get charged $60 for.

So where were these guys when Fallout New Vegas came out? *ba dum tish*

Seriously though, that does suck, and I think thats a pretty interesting tactic. If there actually are problems with Call of Duty's Multiplayer (I have no idea, I own an Xbox and live in the states) and they get the OFT to crack down on them, this will make companies think a lot harder about releasing a broken game and hoping nobody notices.

MrMoustaffa:
So where were these guys when Fallout New Vegas came out? *ba dum tish*

Seriously though, that does suck, and I think thats a pretty interesting tactic. If there actually are problems with Call of Duty's Multiplayer (I have no idea, I own an Xbox and live in the states) and they get the OFT to crack down on them, this will make companies think a lot harder about releasing a broken game and hoping nobody notices.

I was going to say oblivion, but far ninja

Let's hope that this amounts to something. I haven't been able to finish Black Ops on PC because it'a a glitchy piece of shit.

I wish these guys would have played New Vegas when it first came out...

OT: I've not played the ps3 or pc version myself but I've never heard complaints about this kind of thing when talking to friends about it.

Azaraxzealot:
just get it on the 360 and stop complaining. jeez. its not that hard.

EDIT: though it is a crying shame that they would release "broken" versions of the game. you do realize microsoft paid good money for their advertising of the game as being playable "better" on the 360, right? well, still. companies shouldnt release broken products. BAD ACTIVISION!

lol ya, lets ditch our platform of preference because "it's not that hard". i never play FPS' on the xbox, those are reserved for my PC. personally, I experience no issues, but a glance at the black ops forum on steam will give you an idea of what kinda issues people are being faced with.

on the topic of it working for me and not for others, it really does make one wonder just what the issue is. i almost want to say it's geared more towards people who bottleneck their systems, have piss poor configurations, or some other user-end error. i've definitely noticed a trend with the newer video cards causing the issues, between a certain time frame of GPU release anyway. my 9800GT, before it died (RIP), played it flawlessly alongside my E8500. so many people pick up the lower-end models of the newer cards and expect wonderful results with their i7's, and sometimes the other way around (lower clocked CPU's with the higher-end GPU models), and I guess it's just general ignorance on how these things should work.

Well now that would be something! A game actually needs to be finished before release? Wow. Who would have thought that would be a good idea?

I'm more curious to see where this goes. I didn't pick up Black Ops, but if this does push through then we might see more game companies delay release dates rather than have 3 patches within the first 2 months. I then wonder if the fan fallout would be more or less intense than a buggy release.

I want them to accomplish their goal, not because of the PS3 version of Blops is that much worse (haven't played the 360 version, so I have no way to compare), but because this could set precedent for the future where there really is an obvious difference between versions.

Shitty port jobs for a game made specifically for the Xbox 360?
Sounds like Game of the Year material to me!

uppitycracker:
on the topic of it working for me and not for others, it really does make one wonder just what the issue is. i almost want to say it's geared more towards people who bottleneck their systems, have piss poor configurations, or some other user-end error. i've definitely noticed a trend with the newer video cards causing the issues, between a certain time frame of GPU release anyway. my 9800GT, before it died (RIP), played it flawlessly alongside my E8500. so many people pick up the lower-end models of the newer cards and expect wonderful results with their i7's, and sometimes the other way around (lower clocked CPU's with the higher-end GPU models), and I guess it's just general ignorance on how these things should work.

Could just be they only tested on older cards. Yea, it works on this card, has to work on the newer ones, right? Sure, just ship the thing.

Happens quite a lot. Old graphics card is fine, newer one and my game is all of a sudden unplayable.

Would be good if this worked though. I have a list of games for them to look at..

While I am glad to see quality control come up as an issue in gaming why not choose new vegas? It seems to have more bugs.

You can be punished by law for making buggy games?

Kalezian:
should I say it?

yes, I should.

YOU bought a game.

If the game is not up to expectations of what YOU think it is, by all means sell it.

this is like someone buying a shit sandwich and complaining that their shit has corn in it.

There is a difference between not being what you expected due to fault of your own, and not being what you expected because the developers failed to do their job properly. It's not like the painful analogy you thought up; it's like someone ordering a sandwich and complaining because there was something on it they didn't want and were never told was there, or the sandwich was in an unacceptable condition.

If they failed to do their job properly then you have every right to complain and seek a resolution to the issue. You shouldn't have to sell the game; you should get what you paid for in the first place.

It's about time that gamers stood up to these companies that keep ripping us off with half baked and overhyped games. BO is a shoddy piece of work that hides behind the franchise. Treyarch are absolutely incompetent fps designers and should never have been given the job. They ignore any and all complaints and it's about time they were pulled into line along with the publishers. This has got to stop.

Actual:
Lolwut?
I'm a QA software tester by profession, just in case that seems relevant.

It is, given that your comments are merely anecdotal and prove nothing.

A lot of people are having problems with this dreadful game and they shouldn't. This is one area the gaming media should be getting it's teeth into, but they are too afraid to bite the hand that feeds it, clearly.

Kalezian:
should I say it?

yes, I should.

YOU bought a game.

If the game is not up to expectations of what YOU think it is, by all means sell it.

this is like someone buying a shit sandwich and complaining that their shit has corn in it.

edit: I mean really, if a game isnt good then get rid of it and voice why you got rid of it, example, Halo Reach because it was just Halo 3 with jetpacks.

Are you serious? Since when is 'working as advertised' unreasonable?

Senaro:
You can be punished by law for making buggy games?

No, but selling a buggy game and claiming it works perfectly is.
something obsidian should be charged with.
fallout new vegas as ok a game as it was has such a metric ton of bugs its hard to believe it left beta.

strangeotron:

Actual:
Lolwut?
I'm a QA software tester by profession, just in case that seems relevant.

It is, given that your comments are merely anecdotal and prove nothing.

A lot of people are having problems with this dreadful game and they shouldn't. This is one area the gaming media should be getting it's teeth into, but they are too afraid to bite the hand that feeds it, clearly.

I play every game as a QA tester, occupational hazard. I do not miss bugs, many people will happily play a game without even noticing them, I don't; my profession is relevant.

As far as anecdotal goes, there are very few different PS3 builds, if I'm not experiencing the bugs neither did the team who QA'd it and the people complaining are just whiny little bitches.

I agree that the industry needs to be held to a higher standard, a couple of good examples of atrociously QA'd games are Empire Total War and Fallout NV (though FO:NV was very enjoyable despite the bugs), I can only assume that Black ops has been targeted because people love to jump on the CoD hate-wagon.

phoenix352:

Senaro:
You can be punished by law for making buggy games?

No, but selling a buggy game and claiming it works perfectly is.
something obsidian should be charged with.
fallout new vegas as ok a game as it was has such a metric ton of bugs its hard to believe it left beta.

True, but it was still a blast, and they fixed it very shortly after releasing it. I'd like all of my games to be bug-free, if that were possible, but it's still funny hearing about people trying to punish them by law for it. This is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing happening.

Might not be applicable, I can't be sure; some video games are edited to work in certain regions, just like european machines would break or not work on american electric power, but also there is some regional censorship or option removal (some do not release with all languages while some editions are). So there's probably versions in UK that are broken and not some other place of the same product.

Hope it sets the precident that games makers will be held liable if the games does not work properly. I am not talking about whether a game is good or bad. That will still have to be a risk taken by the buyer. But whether a game is good or bad, it should work. I.E load and stay loaded.

When talking about movies you cannot report a movie for being rubbish, but you can if it does not play properly due to some defect in the manufactoring proccess or how the menus, etc are coded. Why can we not have the same expectation for games.

The only by product of this might be even less games on the PC though as it will be too risky a platform to have a 100% working games on all hardware combinations.

I encountered 3 game breaking bugs in the campaign and that was on the 360 version.

I got very unlucky though, haven't heard it happen to many others.

I hope this goes somewhere cause I wasted £35 on the PC version of Black Ops. The game flat out refused to run properly on two different PCs, both of which are perfectly capable of running a game that technically demanding; other games in the series have worked without a hitch. If you sell something that doesn't properly run on the system it's designed for, there's no reason why you shouldn't be reported to the OFT.

Jesus fuck would people stop complaining about New Vegas, it's hard for a game to work bug free when it's been built on a shitty engine. I will agree that there are bugs that could have been fixed in beta but there's just some stuff that will never work right. Now if it continues with Bethesda's new engine when Skyrim comes out all bets are off.

The only problems I've had in Blops is lag that only happens on Launch and during the occasional Napalm Strike.

This is definately not a shock. I hope Activision gets a large book thrown at them in court.

This is something I've always wondered about with the games industry, because it doesn't seem to work the same as any other industry. If I bought a book that had one page where the ink had run and was completely illegible, I would be fully in my rights to have a refund and replacement, if I got a DVD that due to an error didn't have the end of the movie (happened when I bought Predator, I'm not just hypothetical) then I take it back and get a refund for a faulty product. If I buy aguitar I expect it to work as advertised.

In fact, if I buy any piece of technology, especially at full price, I expect to be fully compensated if it doesn't work as advertised. But games get away with having multiple bugs and glitches, most of which are never fixed, and yet I never get a refund, or a replacement, or even an apology about how crap the quality of the game is.

Game developers provide a service, which is developing a fully functioning game, I pay them the full amount of money they demand for that game, and I expect it to work as a fully functioning game. It should be a contract in the way that all purchases are, but for some reason videogames don't seem to be held to the same standards.

On an unrelated note, this Captcha thing is starting to really piss me off.

Although I'm doubtful, I really hope something comes of this. In the meantime, does anyone know of a comparison website that lists the best console to play multi-platform games on?

I never want a repeat of PS3 Bayonetta again.

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