Black Ops Bugs and the action taken by Gamers’ Voice

No Bugs
No Bugs

Perhaps you recently played the newest Call of Duty Black Ops game and have and continue to enjoy it. I personally played through the game and though it did not blow me away, it at least played well on my Xbox 360. However, that has not been the case for many gamers from the US and the UK that has had to deal with crippling bugs on their PS3 and PC versions of the game.

After receiving many complaints about the game, Gamers’ Voice, an independent pressure group representing video and computer gamers in the UK that seeks to act as a conduit to make all gamers voices heard in the government and mainstream media said this about the issue on their website.

The view of Gamers’ Voice is that it doesn’t matter how big a game is, it should not be released ‘unfinished’ or with bugs that make the game unplayable, which are words we have seen in a lot of emails to us recently.

Gamers’ Voice accepts that bugs do slip through the net as it’s impossible for developers to find every single bug. We do not accept however allowing entire sections of the PS3 and PC gaming community appearing to be used as game testers for an extended period after a game’s release, yet being asked to pay for the privilege. This is not a tenable way to treat consumers of video games.

This week GV will be filing a formal complaint to the UK consumer protection agency on this issue. Obsolete Gamer was able to get into contact with Gamers Voice UK chairman, Paul Gibson, to get more information on the issues and the actions being taken.

Gamers Voice UK logo
Gamers Voice UK logo

Many US games had no idea about the problems with CODBLOPS especially on the PS3 and PC can you tell as a little about the larger ones?

That’s not what we’ve heard! We’ve had quite a few emails from American gamers who have experienced the same issues as us in the UK. In fact, despite us being UK based, we’ve had emails from people across Europe and Australia too. The main complaint we receive is being not being able to connect to servers online, and there are a whole host of bugs that cause PS3s to freeze and need resetting, as well as similar issues with the PC edition. We seem to be getting new emails every day with a new game-wrecking bug found – we even got a link sent to us from NextGenTactics concerning this.

What was the initial response by Activision on the bugs?

We wrote to them a while ago, but didn’t even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement.

When did you first begin receiving feedback from fans to take action?

Almost as soon as it came out. We’re quite a new group, but we already have a big following on facebook, so people knew there was someone to turn to when their own complaints fell on deaf ears.

What action have you and will you be taking?

We have contacted the government trading standards body in the UK to request their involvement, and beyond that we have a few ideas we can’t discuss just yet.

What would be the response or action on Activision’s part that could solve this issue?

To fix the bugs! The dominant theme of many of the email we gets is one of frustration. It’s a fun game but only if you get to play it. If you can’t get online to play with your friends, or if you console or PC freezes mid-game (we have heard of isolated incidents of damage being caused to PlayStations due to this, although they are not confirmed, yet) then for many the whole game is ruined. If Activision simply ended their silence and said they are working on it, it would be a step in the right direction.

In your opinion do you think that with the legacy of having gamers beta test MMO such as Everquest and World of Warcraft coupled with the availability to patch on consoles and PC that more game companies are slacking off on bug testing and quality control?

That’s not for us to say, although there does seem to be a trend of games with fatal bugs being released recently. This might simply be due to the increasing complexity of the games and their size.

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J.A. Laraque

J.A. Laraque is a freelance writer and novelist. His passion for writing mixed with a comedic style and intelligent commentary has brought him success in his various endeavors. Whatever the subject, J.A. has an opinion on it and will present it in writing with an insight and flair that is both refreshing and informative.