Gamers' Voice and Pachter in war of words over Black Ops complaint

Analyst says lobby group is an attention grabbing "crybaby", organisation hits back

Gamers' Voice has hit back at analyst Michael Pachter over comments he made in response to the consumer group's plans to report Activision "to the relevant government agencies" over problems with the "unfinished" PC and PS3 versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops.


Earlier this week, Gamers' Voice accused Activision of treating PS3 and PC Black Ops players like game testers by releasing buggy products, and Pachter subsequently labelled the organisation a "crybaby".

Pachter told IncGamers: "All games are buggy, some more so than others. Have you tried Fallout: New Vegas? Buggiest game ever.

"I suppose this helps to explain why the game sold only 20 million copies instead of 25 million, and why it received only a 90 metacritic rating instead of 95 (sarcasm intended, in case you didn't pick up on it).

"If people don't like it, they can take it back to retail for a refund. Most bugs are patched within a reasonable time, and any serious gamer expects bugs."

Pachter added: "In my view, this is a blatant stunt by a politician to grab attention. He should probably pay more attention to keeping gaming jobs in the UK than to pissing off a large company that can create or eliminate UK jobs."

Gamers' Voice released the following statement this morning in response: "His comments are inaccurate and insulting to computer and video game consumers with his reaction describing Gamers' Voice as little more than 'cry babies'. This presents the gaming industry as both arrogant and uncaring to the audience it serves.

"He hasn't even bothered to do any research into who we are, or what we do. This is clearly evident in the final piece of the Inc Gamers piece in which Pachter refers to Tom Watson MP.

"Tom Watson did found Gamers' Voice but what Pachter is obviously unaware of is that he did so in response to another political stunt by another MP called Keith Vaz. Since founding Gamers' Voice Tom Watson has not been involved in the day to day running of our group since he is far too busy doing his actual job of being a politician and representing the people who elected him.

"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.

"He also talks about how people should take the game back to retailers if they are not happy with it. This is not acceptable as the game as the game should not have been released with such problems, hence our campaign.

"In the era of game patches, why can't Activision rectify the fatal bugs in the game now? On a related note, he talks about seasoned video game fans expect there to be errors in games and that they are patched out in a reasonable amount of time, failing to highlight that the 'bugs' in Call of Duty: Black Ops are actually show-stopping ones which have been present since launch last year.

"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.

"His comments that it is the specialist press' job to highlight errors in code to developers is also laughable, would it be the job of a book critic to look for typographical errors? It is the job of the developer's quality assurance (QA) department to discover bugs and remove them before the game is published at all, not the media that reports on it!

"All we can say is that this response from someone who is deeply ensconced in the corporate side of the video game industry only adds fuel to our fire, to the point where we will continue to pursue this issue until it is brought to a satisfactory conclusion."

Earlier today, Black Ops developer Treyarch launched the latest in an ongoing series of patches for the PS3 version of Black Ops. PS3 Patch 1.06 aims to address numerous issues with the shooter, add a few new features and tune the gameplay.