Activision Can Take Its Black Ops And Go Home, You Know

Activision Can Take Its Black Ops And Go Home, You Know

A huffy customer support worker at Activision, no doubt fed up dealing with people complaining about Call of Duty: Black Ops’ poor online performance, has snapped over an email exchange with tech blogger Jason Koblovsky.

Koblovsky, who for months has – along with many others – experienced connection issues with the game when attempting to play over the PlayStation Network, decided to email Activision’s customer support over the problem. He was put in touch with a Mr. Dov Carson, a Senior Tester/Senior Support Representative at Activision, who had the following to say:

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.

Again, that’s “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.

People, including Koblovsky himself, are understandably upset at the blunt nature of the response. Especially since it fits with everyone’s “evil empire” idea of the giant publisher.

Me, I just like the fact he got a gruff, personal response from a customer service representative, and not an automated email or fob. So much of this crap is run by machines and emails these days that it’s nice seeing a human face to it all, even if it is a surly, mildly-threatening one.

[Activision Threatens to Pull PSN Support, via Game Politics]


  • That must be the hacker-prevention measure they implemented in Black Ops that the Infinity Ward guy was talking about yesterday.

    Just make the network code bad enough that nobody can actually play it – that way the hackers can’t really do much to make the experience any worse for legitimate users than it already is. Ingenious!

  • People are deluding themselves if they still think they would get adequate service from Activision. It’s never going to happen.
    But I did like this response.

  • Well not knowing what the tone of the complainants inquiry was like Mr. Dov Carson could have just been attempting to keep it as professional as possible.

    Seems to be an adequate response anyway, and the offer to swap the game over seems more then fair.

    Although it sucks that they may be considering to shutdown the servers for the PS3 version rather than try to fix the problem. Wonder if the system issue is on Sony’s or Activision’s end?

  • I’ve given up on Black Ops on PSN. Way too unreliable, considering how awesome IW got Modern Warfare 2 going. So many times I’ve been in a party with my friends and then get dropped, only to find that my friends are actually still in the game!

    So now we’re playing zombie mode almost exclusively. After that, we may just stick to Borderlands and not even bother with Black Ops anymore. Middle finger, Activision!

  • “The publishers have the right to shut down the servers for their game at any time…” is fine.

    Most online game EULA have this in them.

    However, “based on the number of reported posts from users may be a viable solution over the free PSN” is uncalled for and said without authority.

    • IMHO MW 2 and post-release support for the game was shithouse. Far too many glitches existed for far too long. And Aussie matchmaking sucked arse on that game, 50% of the time it put you in a yank game.

      At least Treyarch GENERALLY listen to the community and implement fixes fairly quickly! I haven’t seen one exploit or glitch that has affected my online play adversely, I find the game far better balanced and stable than it’s predecessors. COD 4 still wins for overall satisfaction, but Blops is the best installment since.
      /off high horse

  • I think whoever received this email should be more than happy with the options they were given and should quit complaining.

    Black Ops is buggy, everyone knows it but they have been offered pretty much a refund or free exchange. What more does he want?

  • Interesting, I dont think Activision understand how retailers work. An unopened copy of the game is just as useless as an open one if the purchased copy is outside of its return period…

  • “Its fair enough he got good options.”

    “Good for Activision guy, he was honest!”

    “Refunds and exchanges, what more do you want?”

    How about (one of) the highest budget, highest selling, most insanely over-marketed, non-innovative piece of mainstream derivative game detritus should actually work?

    Seriously. What is Black Ops doing that hasn’t been done before? Why shouldn’t it work? What kind of excuse do they have for hyping this thing as the second coming of videogame messiah when it can’t even deliver on the core value of a FPS?

    Oooohhh its only a problem on the “free PSN.”


  • The response was unprofessional and certainly not the way I would like my employees to talk to my customers.

    I would sack the employee, apologise to the customer for the tone of the response, thank them for their feedback and offer him a free game.

    Why are so many companies so horrible at looking after their customers these days? And I mean companies in general, not just game related ones. Its getting pretty shocking out there.

    • Maybe because when the internet is an avenue for customer complaints, they have to deal with more and more bullshit? It stands to reason that when the quality of complaints declines into a sea of insults, delusions of entitlement and idiocy, that the customer service would decline also. Not saying that what this guy said is justified, but when you’re a peon in a huge, hated video game corporate giant dealing with countless complaints that are surely abusive and frequently void of valid issues, you can’t help but get pissed off every now and again.

    • Aaahh… but the big question is – if it was your company, would you fix the shonky product that he was complaining about in the first place?

    • Nope, I agree with you: I think a blogger who’s a bit too big for his britches (or, trolling for a response…) has been dealt with quite fairly – certainly the tone is fine because I’ve had worse when giving a company a compliment (seriously).

      And I’ve only ever had awesome customer support from Blizzard (they’re a merged company, so they must be the same, right…?) so he would probably have to threaten to kill someone if I were to be fazed at all by this…

  • He hardly “snapped”. Yes he’d have been better off leaving that sentence aside, however if you download and read the supposed full transcript, Koblovsky has been pretty aggressive from early on.

    I’d suggest that the rep was inserting a bit of sarcasm (not a good idea particularly in an email exchange) as a direct result of Koblovsky’s previous post which included a long list of “reported posts”.

    Koblovsky seems to be on a crusade, and having trouble keeping his journalism separated from his personal complaint.

    The service rep is only human, and shouldn’t suffer any more than a chat with their supervisor who’d point out how it could have been handled better.

  • Lol – it’s funny cause majority of people that hate on COD are either former COD players who most likely played on the PC and got screwed over with MW2. Activision is an evil empire, that I can admit – but I have no hatred towards Treyarch or Infinity Ward because really they make great FPS games. Yeah they seem the same year by year when Activision are throwing them out the door every 365 days, but these developers are doing their jobs!

    Then they throw in a Battlefield comment – I’ve played both and neither really offer anything *NEW* to what their last instalment in either series or compared to any other FPS. Basically among all genres, you can’t make it that vastly different. Storyline and characters and theme yes, but it’s still going to be a FPS or TPS or a RPG. You either play the game or you don’t, why waste your time hating on something, its beginning to feel like YouTube with people who will continually bash an artist or a YouTube user repeatedly on their videos because they have nothing else to do, yet they contribute to that person or things popularity.

    Besides, 19,999,999 other people like COD as do critics. Critics aren’t always something you go by, but their much more on par with reviews on games compared to movies or music and they seem to agree mostly that COD games are decent FPS.

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