On Monday we reported that UK gaming pressure group Gamers' Voice were going to
to the Office of Fair Trading, due to the PlayStation 3 and PC versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops being released in such a buggy state that it was almost unplayable. Since then, industry analyst Michael Pachter has labelled the group "
". Such a move has caused a war of words between the group and Pachter. Read on for the full 'Pach-Attack' story.
Following the announcement that Gamers' Voice would take action, Pacheter told
that "They sound like a crybaby to me," going on to comment that "It's the role of game reviewers to lower scores if they see bugs, and the role of the gaming press to report on buggy games. Consumers have many ways of discovering how good a game is before they buy, and publishers usually act quickly to patch bugs. I own the 360 version, and it wasn't particularly buggy, but I suppose I am more tolerant than most MPs." He also said that "In my view, this is a blatant stunt by a politician to grab attention."
Pachter's comments have been accused of being arrogant and under-researched, with his reference to the 360 version being irrelevant (the issue is with the PC and PS3 versions of the game) and his opinion that it was a politician PR stunt. Gamers' Voice - whilst founded by MP Tom Watson - is not actually run by him, a fact the group were keen to point out in
their statement yesterday
: "We are an independent group of gamers from all walks of life who decide our own policy. We are not influenced by politicians; we represent gamers who have a variety of concerns. We are reacting to Activision because we've had many, many emails about the game crippling issues from British (and international) gamers who are unhappy with the buggy product and poor service Activision have provided to PC and PS3 gamers." They go on to combat Pachter's points, saying that "Fundamental elements of the game do not function at all and it is this reason we have reported Activision to the Office of Fair Trading".
Today, Pachter has bitten back with a lengthy 'researched' response to Gamers' Voice, in which he still insists that the group are "crybabies". "Now that I have had the opportunity to take their comments into consideration, I think that I may have insulted all crybabies by using that word to describe Gamers' Voice. They seem genuinely unaware about standards for product performance in the UK and elsewhere; products must perform adequately, not flawlessly, unless there are safety or health concerns." He goes on to say that: "Gamers' Voice appears incredibly naïve in their approach, thinking that they can intimidate the world's largest publisher into delaying the likely best selling game in company history so that they can ensure a bug-free experience."
You can read Michael Pachter's full response over at
Many of you invested in the PC version of Black Ops and experienced some of the game-breaking bugs first hand, whilst others read about the issues in
. What do you think of the views presented in this battle of words and ethics? Should Activision be apprehended for releasing Black Ops in the condition it was, or should gamers expect an imperfect product on release day? Let us know in the comments.