Call of Duty Black Ops Massive Multiplayer Problems on PC, Still Sells Seven Million Maybe

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Apparently, about 1 million people were simultaneously playing Call of Duty Black Ops on the Xbox 360 while only 77,000 or so on the PC. How can there be such a massive disparity for what is likely to be the largest ever video game launch?

Easy, there are game stopping flaws in the PC version in regards to multiplayer which have been preventing many from playing the game online. Doing a little investigation, after GDN’s Shane Dickson alerted me to the massive problems he was having with the game, uncovered the fact that, while it might be the biggest launch of the year, it might also be the worst, at least from the PC multiplayer side of things.

The Steam forums are alive with talk about glitches, crashes, laggy online play and more.

David Voderhaar is quoted as saying "I’m not going to talk about it publicly. We are disinterested in making mini-celebrities out of ****bags. You better think twice before you glitch."

This from the guy who is design director for Call of Duty: Black Ops’ multiplayer and quite possibly, ultimately responsible for these problems. Not to mention, if Black Ops did just sell seven million copies, according to VGChartz, he stands to line his pockets with cash for a nice profit (at $60 that’s about $420M in revenue). You could read his comments yourself at the Black Ops forums, but they’re closed, or down for maintenance or were. I guess they got sick of hearing that their game is the "glitchiest multiplayer launch of the year," according to Shane Dickson.

Here’s a response: Don’t be a ****bag and make a game that functions properly.

In the Steam forums Activision has acknowledged a so-called ’memory leak’ (meaning they knew about it or they’re baffled by it) and has suggested that gamers roll back to DirectX 9. If that is an option you might try it (see instructions at the end of the article).

The question remains, how does a game of this magnitude, ship with a set of glitches so large they prevent people from actually playing the game? Was there no PC Quality Assurance or Beta Testing done (we know there was)? Surely, there must have been. Perhaps, programming the game for so many platforms at the same time was simply beyond the actual capabilities of Treyarch or perhaps Activision rushed them to launch the game before it was done as they had invested so much into the marketing machine that drove millions to buy a game with major flaws.

Some comments from Treyarch in the official game forums include:

PC community. We are listening and have been working on updates. We have deployed a couple already below, more to come.

Regardless, the fact remains that there are massive faults in the game which now appears to have been rushed to market to meet some imaginary deadline as MW2 was released this time year year, COD8 will probably be released this time next year. Perhaps they should first fix the product that is already in the market before moving ahead full steam on a new one.

If this were a consumer electronics product, it would require a multi-million dollar recall and potentially years of lawsuits. Since it’s software, it seems they think that releasing an incomplete version is acceptable. I am not generally one to favor litigation as I think we as consumers can easily do enough damage by simply not buying a game or returning it. However, the amount of hype and marketing given the game made it obviously irresistible to millions of gamers who have now been burned by Activision. Perhaps the next time round, everyone will rethink their strategies, gamers and publisher/developer alike.

Note: The GDN Glitch Award is based on the Glitch tool from the CG-animated show, Reboot. It was awarded to Treyarch, Activision and Call of Duty: Blacks Ops for the gameplay stopping glitches at game launch. Congratulations to all involved, this is the inaugural GDN Glitch Award, you will be remembered forever.

Maybe they should call the next game Call of Duty: Caveat Emptor! (that means Buyer Beware!)


Props to "sas30uk" on Steam for getting some possibly usable info out of them. This might not work for you as many have said it does not. Plus, a major drawback is that you have to roll back your whole PC, not just for the game. So you could find you have more problems if you go this route. This would also not fix any kind of problems with Internet connection when trying to find games or play.

At this time our development team is working resolving this issue regarding poor performance on the PC version of Black Ops.

One quick work around you can try is installing DirectX 9 and try running the game after DirectX 9 is installed**.

** the following site is not operated by Activision
http://www.softwarepatch.com/windows...-download.html

Could you also attach a DX Diag so we can attempt to troubleshoot you further?

Here are some steps on how to run the DX Diag program as well as attaching the text file to this incident;

1. Click on Start.
2. Click on Run.
3. Type in "dxdiag" (no quotation marks) in the new window that appears.
4. Choose "Yes" in the next window that appears.
5. Once the DirectX Diagnostic tool opens up, give it a minute so that all of your information is recorded.
6. Click on "Save All Information"

Once the new text file is created you will need to attach the new text file with your question.

7. Login to your account at http://activision.custhelp.com and click on “Support” at the top of the page.
8. Click “My Stuff” and then click Questions.
9. Find your current incident and click on it under the Subject column.
10. Click Update Question.
11. Under “Attach Additional Documents to Question” you will see a Browse button. Click that and browse your computer for the Dxdiag on your desktop. When you locate the file, double click on it.
12. Once the file appears as attached, you can now enter any additional information about your Incident in the “Results and/or Additional Information” field.
13. Click “Submit Update to Question” to send the Dxdiag

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you, Activision Customer Support.

Caveat Emptor!

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