CODBloopers: A Mass Production Error

Shepherd's not been looking after himself

We’re still waiting for Call of Duty Black Ops 2 wot-I-think code here on RPS, but some punters who’ve already lain hands on the PC version of Activision’s latest Manshooter Titan have found themselves equally unable to play the thing. But why? Had it been tampered with by the fugitive head of an anti-virus company? Had wolves eaten it? Would it not install until Mason told them what the numbers meant? No, none of those. Something for more eerie. Some purchasers have discovered that the second disc of their brand new foreigner-killing game was a copy of Mass Effect 2, that 2010 guns’n’conversation title from Activision’s arch-rival EA. Conversation in the best-selling game of guns? Scandalous!

There’s no solid word on how widespread this mistake, presumably due to someone pressing the wrong button at the disc fabrication plant (note – it is almost certainly not called that), might be just yet, but Reddit’s tracking multiple reports of it. It’s not the end of any worlds as CODBLOPS2 requires Steam to run anyway on PC (pause for the usual cries of outrage) so the whole game can be downloaded once the serial number’s entered, but it’s obviously a big old ache in the rump for anyone with a slow broadband connection or download caps.

This doesn’t need to be ascribed to anything other than a random manufacturing accident that could have happened to any game. It reminds me of my days working on a computer mag, and the fateful issue whose coverdisc somehow wound up containing 45 minutes of the John Cleese movie Clockwise instead of the usual assortment of drivers, demos and anti-virus programs. And then there was the console mag which carried hardcore porn instead of game footage. There sure were a lot of terrified people making angry phone calls that day. Sometimes, I miss the farcical, ever on the knife-edge of panic world of magazines.

(Speaking of which, commiserations to staff at Future Publishing’s Xbox World and PSM magazines, which were closed today. Apparently they’ll all be relocated within the company – I hope their new roles are rewarding ones).


  1. Ansob says:

    More outrageous is the fact that you can’t rent servers, to be fair. This is merely pretty hilarious.

    • Jazzy Josh says:

      More outrageous is that you can’t run your own server instead of renting it.

      • jon_hill987 says:

        What Josh said. Seriously, when did renting servers from the dev become the norm?

      • Getterac7 says:

        I second this. A server-based multiplayer game where you can’t host your own dedicated server… something is wrong with the world.

  2. Tei says:

    I am somewhat surprised is that people with computers still install games with mechanical devices like cd’s.

    • citiral says:

      I install games through CD often. I have a limited download cap, so I can’t afford to download each and every game I get.

      • MrLebanon says:

        Same… Oh Canada…

        • shagohad says:


          i live in Canada and have 300GB…. you crezzy

          edit to add opinion: hard copies are great, not sure why you would choose digital over when there is no price difference and most games can be activated digitally should you lose or destroy the hard

          • Fazer says:

            Because you have to physically go to store to buy it (and not everyone has shop with games in his town) or order it and add payment for shipping, which can take some time, but then you risk other people that live with you will notice you buying games, which may be interpreted as childish behaviour.

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”Because you have to physically go to store to buy it ”

            Unless you buy it off Amazon, in which case you generally pay around 20% less, at minimum, than the digital copy and get it mailed to your door for free (in the UK at least, not sure about elsewhere). Even if you pay for release day delivery it’s often still cheaper. For new releases they are almost always my go to option.

          • Brun says:

            but then you risk other people that live with you will notice you buying games, which may be interpreted as childish behaviour.

            This might be why he wasn’t ordering from Amazon.

          • The Random One says:

            I never walked into a games store just before Christmas to discover that they were selling ten different games at 90% discount.

          • Pray For Death says:

            I have unlimited download here in Montreal. Don’t go with the big ISPs, go with 3rd party companies. Plenty of good ones.

        • Kakkoii says:

          Huh, we have great internet in Canada, actually O_o. What part of Canada are you living in? If it’s the west, time to switch to Shaw, or slightly worse, Telus.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            You call that good internet? I live in the tiny (but ancient) country of Bulgaria, where I pay around 12 Euro for wonderfully unlimited 60 mbps. I get genuinely cranky when my download speed stays below 6 mb/s for more than a minute or two.

          • Zeewolf says:

            And I live in the best country in the world (seriously, it’s now called that), and get at max 81 kilobytes/sec. I can’t get a better offer without stupidly low download caps, and I pay way more than 12 euros/month.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            That genuinely sounds like a nightmare to me. I lived in Germany for some years, but damn, even they have better internet. Out of curiosity, where are you from?

          • Dozer says:

            I live in rural Tasmania. We have a satellite connection – too far away from town for ADSL. It costs, I think, $50 or $100 per month, and for that we get about 10GB of ‘high-speed’ (about 500 kilobyte/sec) internet each month. When we reach the cap, it drops to an astounding 15 kilobytes per second.

            Goodbye, YouTube, it was nice knowing you…

    • MrTrent says:

      I still buy physical copies because i’m a bit of a hoarder and i like the look of physical media on my shelves. Also my internet connection isn’t brilliant, with a restrictive 15GB/m transfer limit, so downloading everything isn’t possible.

      • MichaelPalin says:

        People in countries with download caps should rise up in arms and start a revolution. Internet connections in Spain are very expensive, but at least download caps are just a myth here.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I would love to buy physical copies, but they just aren’t priced competitively where I live. Best Buy has TOR for $50 still, even though its about to go f2p. Many stores in the area have stopped lowering their game prices below $20, and have such a small selection it hardly seems worth it. Sadly, Target has started doing this, and they were the last place I could rummage through bins to get cheap physical copies.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Often enough, as steam and other digital outlets are about 30% more expensive than retail despite a 25% VAT here in Denmark.

    • Styles says:

      I buy physical copies because here in Australia:
      1) Steam is unreliable (for me at least) and over-charges (yes, you read that right)
      2) unless you’re buying a game on day 1 of release it’s usually significantly cheaper than steam
      3) Installation is many many times faster
      4) If my HDD screws up or I want to install on another PC I don’t have to re-download it
      5) I don’t have to log into an account every time I want to play a game (and keep track of user names and passwords <–becomes tedious when multiple people use the same PC)
      6) Many of Steam's digital download competitors which actually have reasonable prices will not let me purchase from AU.

      • Mattressi says:

        My experience, as an Aussie, is the opposite to yours. Game prices are still always at least $70 in store (usually $89.99) and remain that way for a very long time. Eventually they’ll have their price reduced down to $50 (the release price of the game in the US). If there’s a sale, it’s usually 25% and rarely 50%. Games on Steam are generally $50 at release and will often go on amazing sales (I’ve got many AAA games for ~$5 on Steam, when the best I’ve seen at retail is $20 for 6 year old games).

        Then again, terrible games like CODBLOPS cost $89.99 USD on Steam for me, but I don’t tend to buy terrible games. There are some games which I’ve abstained from because of this stupid price-fixing on Steam, but not many have been afflicted with this crap. The only game which was marked up on Steam that I bought was Skyrim – and I bought it from overseas for $40 USD. I really can’t wait until either all game retail stores in Aus go bankrupt and close down, or at least stop stocking PC games. Hopefully then, we won’t have these ridiculous mark-ups on Steam.

        • drewski says:

          Buy “retail” from one of the 20 or so online stores offering EU/NA imports and get your shiny new game for A$45-55 and get the best of both worlds.

          Steam can do one for new releases, as can EB. JB Hi-Fi occasionally have realistic prices though.

    • trjp says:


      I opened my laptop’s CD drawer today to rip a ‘new’ CD I’d bought (first one in years) and in there was the LAST CD I bought :)

    • Aankhen says:

      You do realize that not everyone is sitting pretty with a 1 Gbps connection, right? I’d rather not wait two days for a game I’ve bought to finish downloading.

      Of course, most publishers take the decision out of my hands these days by putting nothing more than a Steam stub on the installation disc (thanks, guys!)… but that’s neither here nor there.

  3. derbefrier says:

    Pretty funny stuff. Even more amazing is I am actually looking forward to blowing off the dust on my console box when I get home amd enjoying some mindless fun with my friends. I don’t think I have turned on my xbox since I built my new pc over a year ago. I hope it still works…

  4. coffeetable says:

    Someone at the disc presser was just trying to rectify CoD player’s taste in games.

  5. Ginga121 says:

    People are still buying COD? God they’re dumb. How many times are people going to pay repeatedly for the exact same game before they realise they are wasting their money?

    • dontnormally says:

      I agree with you.
      I’m going to buy it anyway; used.
      It’s a paradox.

      • Soolseem says:

        I thought this was supposed to be a haiku, and now I’m irrationally annoyed that it’s not.

        I agree with you.
        I’ll buy it anyway; used.
        It’s a paradox.

        There. That’s better. Carry on.

        • Jenks says:

          I thought the same thing
          But then out came my fingers
          And away my joy

    • mpk says:

      I point you to the continued success of FIFA, NFL and other assorted games with only acronyms for titles, and shake my head sadly.

      As Lord Vetinari once said, “People don’t want ‘news’, they want ‘olds'”

      • The Random One says:

        Those are sports games. I don’t think that means you’re wrong; I think that means people think of war as a sport now.

        A gritty sport.

    • WoundedBum says:

      This is the first CoD game to change up the singleplayer enough to really justify a sequel, really.

      • Gonefornow says:

        I’m going to “buy” it as well, just to see if the nonlinearity really is worth a damn.
        It also retains the old cod silliness in it that made past editions worth a grind.

        • colw00t says:

          If the campaign is halfway as loopy as CODBLOPS, I will consider my $20 used-purchase to be well-spent. The first one was easily my favorite COD game since the first one, thanks to the sheer ridiculousness of it.

          Since there seems to be a running horse-chase/gunfight/helicopter shoot sequence set in the 80s (PLEASE let it be scored with a power ballad) I have high hopes.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      The answer to those question is always the same: marketing.

    • elmo.dudd says:

      People are still making these comments?

    • derbefrier says:

      You know its fine if you dont like cod but please refrain from the bigoted remarks. It only makes you all look like close minded fools.

    • int says:

      Mind your own business. I enjoy almost all FPS.

    • yourgrandma says:

      Most people are extremely shallow and stupid so it makes sense.

      • Pray For Death says:

        You sound shallow and stupid when you say that.

        • yourgrandma says:

          You sound even shallower and stupider when you say that.

          … but in all seriousness you have to have very shallow tastes to still by buying these games. People should be ashamed of themselves supporting this product.

          • MasterDex says:

            The taste in shallow games/movies/etc doesn’t rule out any taste in deep games/movies/etc. The CoD series has its issues but what it does good, it does very good.

          • drewski says:

            If you like shooting mans, there is good manshooting,

      • Kallist says:

        link to
        There you go. Thats why I continue to support them. Because they, unlike others, are helping with real world issues.

    • abandonhope says:

      I see that the season pass is $49.99, a savings of $10! Four map packs and a zombie thing! I don’t know how anyone takes this shit seriously anymore.

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    As long as nobody shoots their mouth off I’m sure it will resolve peacefully.

    • methodology says:

      Thank god the cod community is known for their patience and mature behavior.

  7. Enzo says:

    Lego Lord of the Rings also had some problems today – they put demo versions of the game inside the box instead of the full version.

    How does this even happen

  8. MichaelPalin says:

    No, no, no, there is obviously a conspiracy here somewhere! I think the most reasonable explanation is that Activision and EA have always been the same thing, they just needed two brands to experiment what kind of assholery (it’s a word look it up) customers stomach more easily. That’s definitely it.

    • NathanH says:

      Wasn’t that the plot of Deus Ex 2?

  9. citiral says:

    Black effect 2!

  10. Eukatheude says:

    I did some skimming through reviews and apparently this one’s trying to innovate.

    • RobinOttens says:

      I’m almost interested to play it, if it weren’t for the creepy fascination with gruesome violence and ignorant writing that’s apparently worse than it’s ever been, and the somewhat more serious (read boring) tone compared to the previous BlOps.

      And I realized that even though the singleplayer’s supposed to be more non-linear, with player choice and less narrow levels. That’s not enough reason for me to buy it when I also have Dishonored and a bunch of unplayed Thief games lying around. But kudos to Treyarch for trying.

      As a fun multiplayer passtime with friends I can see the appeal.

      • MichaelPalin says:

        Not sure how the non-linearity will actually play out, but the example I remember from some months ago was “snipe from high position/shoot your way through ground level”. Gears of War had that already in 2007 and it was not that impressive either.

      • Pray For Death says:

        You seem to be assuming an awful lot about the game.

  11. Mr.Crack says:

    Can’t people just use the disc from Codblops 1? There shouldn’t be much difference in content anyway.

    • elmo.dudd says:

      No, they can’t. Probably has to do with that different campaign, different story, different weapons, enemies, dialog, vehicles, the DX11 backend for PC, a rather gutted and rebuilt multiplayer system, the additional multiplayer modes and maps… …but yeah I guess all of that aside they could probably use the original Black Ops disc. Or about any other game that involves shooting.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        Whoa, hey, don’t start rebutting lazy criticisms in here, fella. We’re trying to get a circle jerk going, if you hadn’t noticed.

        • TsunamiWombat says:

          There’s always that one jerk thats gotta show up and actually look at the other blokes willies

      • Jenks says:

        Check it out, a Call of Duty fan. I know whose taste I suddenly value even more highly than my own.

        • elmo.dudd says:

          Judging by the quality of your comment, I find your disapproval reassuring. Thank you. :)

          • Jenks says:

            Surprise, smiley face punctuation. Next time end it with an “lol.”

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            It’s true. I hate the COD games pretty much across the board, but the hilariously smug, self-congratulatory detractors are much worse, and have been for a while.

          • elmo.dudd says:

            The period was the punctuation, the smile was a smile. However I never said I was a CoD fan, rather I was calling out a ridiculous assertion. You can hate a franchise all you like, but hate it for factual reasons.

        • Raiyan 1.0 says:

          Ugh. I hate smug bastards.

  12. caddyB says:

    no conversation wheel?
    not a game for me.

  13. Keymonk says:

    How does that even happen? An EA game that ends up in an Activision box? Is that… how does that even happen?

    • Moraven says:

      As said in the article, someone pressed the wrong button at the disc maker place. And both companies use the same disc maker people.

  14. MegaAndy says:

    In the link below an activision staff has commented:

    link to

    Oh, and Ha.

  15. X_kot says:

    Surely the header image deserves the “staring eye slits” tag, no?

  16. Guvornator says:

    I can imagine their shock “Hey, there’s a fucking game I can PLAY in here! I only like game that play you…”

  17. Beelzebud says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that screenshot looks like a younger meaner Joe Biden?

    • InternetBatman says:

      Young Joe Biden was still well-kempt and surprisingly handsome to boot. That guy looks like a mess.

  18. Roz says:

    So…do they get to keep mass effect?

  19. Text_Fish says:

    Future Publishing is a dickhead. Surely “XBOX World” and “PSM” are generic enough titles to remain relevant to the next generation? But what do I care, I haven’t picked up a games mag since Future stuck a slow puncture in PCZone’s tires and then feigned sadness when it finally limped to the scrapheap. What a dickhead.

    • PostieDoc says:

      I loved PC Zone, bought every copy from the first issue onwards.
      I read PC Gamer now, it’s good but lacks the vulgarity of the mighty Zone.

  20. HKZ says:

    The only thing people are missing are cutscenes and QTE. The game practically plays itself. Big whoop.

  21. RakeShark says:

    What a Renegade interrupt!

  22. Xzi says:

    People would be better off playing through Mass Effect 2 again rather than wasting their money on anything CoD. This is probably the kindest gesture Activision has ever made to its customers.

    BTW, just out of curiosity, is that screenshot from the Playstation 2 version of the game?

  23. NarcoSleepy says:

    I couldn’t give half a turd about COD (really – I tried, but I prairie dog’d it). I just have to say that you guys have hilarious headlines.

    • pbnjoe says:

      The prairie dog part made me choke on my supper with laughter, thanks. :P

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  25. Qofi (Hero(in(e))). says:

    “Something for more eerie.”

    I think you mean ‘far’. For the record.