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).