Activision’s Hyped Call of Duty Elite Continues to Stumble [UPDATED]

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Posted by patrickklepek (3468 posts) -
Call of Duty Elite appears to be a victim of its own success, but when fixed, will folks come back?

UPDATE: Activision is now backtracking about Call of Duty Elite's on PC. Apparently the service will show up in some form eventually.

"We misspoke," said the company on Twitter, likely in response to media reports. "Our goal has always been to provide a free PC offering for ELITE. Stay tuned for an update as timing is still being determined."

--

If I didn’t know any better, I’d have assumed Call of Duty Elite was the launch of a Call of Duty MMO, given how many problems the service has experienced getting off the ground.

As of today, many Call of Duty Elite features are still disabled, as Activision and its internal teams grapple with the massive amount of traffic, and have revealed PC owners may be out of luck entirely.

“We are working towards a universal Elite experience but we cannot guarantee if or when a version will be available for the PC,” said the official Twitter account last night.

Call of Duty Elite’s issues have been severe enough for Activision to give everyone a 30-day extension of the premium services, and the Twitter account is just dozens and dozens of customer service messages directed back at people having trouble getting Call of Duty Elite to work properly.

The issues facing Activision’s own expanded version of Bungie.net have been there since day one, and Activision has held back the mobile applications connected to Call of Duty Elite until everything on the web side stabilizes.

In an update last night, Activision acknowledged many of the continued stresses but didn't outline much of a timeline.

“For those of you who have logged into ELITE,” said the company, “we’ve improved the stability for both the console app and website and while neither is yet working at 100%, you should be seeing the results of that work.”

Activision is working to “increase the number of users who can access the service simultaneously,” which is a big problem.

For what it’s worth, the actual multiplayer component in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is working mostly fine.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (3468 posts) -
Call of Duty Elite appears to be a victim of its own success, but when fixed, will folks come back?

UPDATE: Activision is now backtracking about Call of Duty Elite's on PC. Apparently the service will show up in some form eventually.

"We misspoke," said the company on Twitter, likely in response to media reports. "Our goal has always been to provide a free PC offering for ELITE. Stay tuned for an update as timing is still being determined."

--

If I didn’t know any better, I’d have assumed Call of Duty Elite was the launch of a Call of Duty MMO, given how many problems the service has experienced getting off the ground.

As of today, many Call of Duty Elite features are still disabled, as Activision and its internal teams grapple with the massive amount of traffic, and have revealed PC owners may be out of luck entirely.

“We are working towards a universal Elite experience but we cannot guarantee if or when a version will be available for the PC,” said the official Twitter account last night.

Call of Duty Elite’s issues have been severe enough for Activision to give everyone a 30-day extension of the premium services, and the Twitter account is just dozens and dozens of customer service messages directed back at people having trouble getting Call of Duty Elite to work properly.

The issues facing Activision’s own expanded version of Bungie.net have been there since day one, and Activision has held back the mobile applications connected to Call of Duty Elite until everything on the web side stabilizes.

In an update last night, Activision acknowledged many of the continued stresses but didn't outline much of a timeline.

“For those of you who have logged into ELITE,” said the company, “we’ve improved the stability for both the console app and website and while neither is yet working at 100%, you should be seeing the results of that work.”

Activision is working to “increase the number of users who can access the service simultaneously,” which is a big problem.

For what it’s worth, the actual multiplayer component in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is working mostly fine.

Staff
#2 Posted by LKPOWER (154 posts) -

Hello

#3 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

Damn!

#4 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

They know how big COD(not the fish) is so they should have been prepared. Fail.

#5 Posted by snetErz (120 posts) -

@phrosnite: Indeed, that is a big ole fail on their part, knowing the success of the previous games.

#6 Posted by XenoNick (1390 posts) -

How did they not prepare for this??? It's Call of Duty. Of course Elite would have a ton of traffic.

#7 Posted by Nightriff (4911 posts) -

@XenoNick said:

How did they not prepare for this??? It's Call of Duty. Of course Elite would have a ton of traffic.

This

#8 Posted by Twisted_Scot (1175 posts) -

If they give me my money back for the game & Elite then I'll just walk away from the whole thing. I don't mind doing my bit.

#9 Posted by boylie (305 posts) -

@Nightriff said:

@XenoNick said:

How did they not prepare for this??? It's Call of Duty. Of course Elite would have a ton of traffic.

This

Agreed

#10 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

By this point if activision wants to maintain a shred of credibility, they need to offer the Elite service for free and build a new business model for the next release, and roll it out then.. properly.

#11 Posted by Koshka (187 posts) -

Wtf?

So many things about what I've seen make me happy I didn't buy this game

#12 Posted by Superfriend (1526 posts) -

Did they think there would be only like 10.000 connections at one time? Delusional fucks.

This is why you run a proper beta test, folks. Or hire professionals who have done this sort of thing before.

#13 Edited by AnEternalEnigma (280 posts) -

Bungie.net has always worked perfectly going back to when Halo 2 launched. It worked from day 1 of Halo 2.

They even had a beta for this (which I was a part of), which I guess was worthless now. GG, Activision.

#14 Posted by LordCmdrStryker (346 posts) -

Let's all continue to throw money at Activision because they clearly have their shit together. *sigh* At this point I'm just barely hanging on to Starcraft 2. There are too many other good games out there for me to stand for garbage like this.

#15 Posted by sbarre (18 posts) -

The answer is probably more obvious than everyone thinks: Large web teams invariably have weak links (i.e. crappy developers) and a company the size of Activision probably doesn't implement best practices in these add-on products (like unit testing, proper stress testing etc) because the budgets aren't there.

That or they might even be sub-contracting the development of the product to a third-party company.

Setting up stress testing to simulate millions of users and then properly log and analyze the performance of those tests takes skill and money.

#16 Posted by Jayzilla (2555 posts) -

$60 still in my pocket for a multi-player that i loved but feels old hat now. So glad I didn't buy this game.

#17 Posted by MaddProdigy (1041 posts) -

Totally ridiculous. At this point Activision should be renamed Call of Duty Inc. and yet they still get "overwhelmed" with traffic for a service based around their only product that matters? 100% of their resources should have been put into this. They have enough cash in the bank, enough talented engineers. Someone was just cutting the corners a little too closely.

#18 Posted by HadesTimes (802 posts) -

It's certainly a big misstep. But the service is working at around 85%, at least it was a s of last night. I'm guessing they gave the 30 day extension because that's how long this might take to get resolved. :(

#19 Posted by endaround (2138 posts) -

If only there was another large division of Activision that had a huge amount of experience dealing with on line stats and leader boards. But alas how could they have known what was needed?

#20 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -
@Buzzkill

By this point if activision wants to maintain a shred of credibility, they need to offer the Elite service for free and build a new business model for the next release, and roll it out then.. properly.

And suffer the angry backlash of all the people who already paid for it? Yeah right.... That would hurt their credibility a lot more than this little mess ever will.
#21 Edited by WJist (313 posts) -

I'm not an expert™, but stat tracking and the technical stuff around the Elite service don't seem that difficult. At this point, I'm kind of just hoping they will release the DLC free without incident since that's all I was really looking to get out of the service. Not excited for contests I'll never win, noob tube, "founder" status, etc.

#22 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

@Enigma777: Well crap I forgot people are silly and willing to invest in unproven things.

#23 Posted by PhanThomas (90 posts) -

I can't even create an account on that page. Anyone else have that problem? When I click "send" the screen goes white and... that's it, nothing happens.

#24 Edited by 234r2we232 (3181 posts) -

Fanning the flames. You smell that? That's the smell of journalism.

It's disappointing that it's taking this long to set up a stats service, but most people who paid for it probably only care about the DLC anyway.

#25 Posted by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

Battlelog is working great, just for the record.

#26 Posted by Aus_azn (2224 posts) -

What's with the campaign screenshot? I spy a Captain Price.

#27 Posted by neek (32 posts) -

I didnt really care about Elite at all, but when it has worked it is actually kinda cool.

#28 Posted by solidlife (877 posts) -

lets do a "beta" to prevent this shit from happening btw beta meaning marketing tool we dont actually test our shit harrrr.

#29 Posted by 014 (347 posts) -

The question now is whether or not this is annoying enough to reduce the number of buyers of the next CoD game.

#30 Posted by mdub0814 (14 posts) -

I made it on for a minutes last night after trying for the last week. The free stat tracking stuff didn't seem much more in depth than what is available within MW3. The fact that Elite is launched as a separate app from MW3 kind of limits its value to me.

#31 Posted by Vexxan (4615 posts) -

For some reason I though the Elite service was PC only. Reading that there is no current PC version of Elite really surprised me. 

#32 Posted by Crono (2639 posts) -

Battlelog works perfectly, doesn't cost a thing, and offers a better experience overall. That isn't being elitist, its being objective.

#33 Posted by laserbolts (5311 posts) -
@Jayzilla

$60 still in my pocket for a multi-player that i loved but feels old hat now. So glad I didn't buy this game.

Same here my roomate bought it and it's almost as bad as call of duty 3. Money well saved I think.
#34 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1724 posts) -

You'd think with the numbers that the COD series makes annually they could at least put out a functioning service, especially considering you have to pay for it. 

#35 Posted by theveej (811 posts) -

Bungie.net has been doing this since Halo 2 and it was free and it never failed this hard.....

#36 Posted by chickdigger802 (501 posts) -

I thought people realized this when they didn't announce a harden edition for pc o_O.

#37 Posted by Brackynews (4045 posts) -
@Superfriend said:

Or hire professionals who have done this sort of thing before.

Uh, can you recommend someone who has pulled off the largest game launch in history, without a hitch?
I mean, someone who doesn't already work for Activision...

The game earned a staggering $400 million dollars in the first 24 hours after its release, making it the biggest opening day seller ever. The previous record holders? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which earned $310 million in its first 24 hours in 2010 and Call of Duty: Black Ops, which earned $360 million in the first 24 hours after its release.
 
Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for 'Star Wars' and 'Lord of the Rings,' two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement.

#38 Posted by MalkavTheClown (39 posts) -

Utter Bullshit Activision.

#39 Posted by KillyDarko (1888 posts) -

“We are working towards a universal Elite experience but we cannot guarantee if or when a version will be available for the PC”

Apparently, and according to Activision, the PC isn't a part of this universe.
#40 Posted by murse2008 (240 posts) -

I'm so relieved that I sold my shares a while ago...

#41 Posted by eccentrix (1499 posts) -

Maybe I'll try logging in again. I've tried a few times at about 8am but it's never worked yet.

#42 Posted by Talis12 (488 posts) -

once again they fail to deliver

#43 Posted by MrKlorox (11206 posts) -

Know what's awesome? Battlelog.

#44 Posted by N7 (3573 posts) -
@Brackynews said:
@Superfriend said:

Or hire professionals who have done this sort of thing before.

Uh, can you recommend someone who has pulled off the largest game launch in history, without a hitch?
I mean, someone who doesn't already work for Activision...

The game earned a staggering $400 million dollars in the first 24 hours after its release, making it the biggest opening day seller ever. The previous record holders? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which earned $310 million in its first 24 hours in 2010 and Call of Duty: Black Ops, which earned $360 million in the first 24 hours after its release.
 
Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for 'Star Wars' and 'Lord of the Rings,' two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement.

That's bullshit! If Tetris can launch on the PS3 with no networking hiccups then I'm sure the fastest selling game ever made can do it too!
#45 Posted by vonFlampanker (327 posts) -

@MrKlorox said:

Know what's awesome? Battlelog.

BattleLog definitely turned out better than I'd expected (though it's got its kinks). I thought CoD Elite was by far the better looking of the two services design and usability-wise. I haven't seen it lately, though. Just watched the demo video that came out over the summer.

#46 Edited by TheKing (822 posts) -

Seeing how the actual game worked perfectly fine at launch (unlike the other "big" modern military shooter this holiday) and they gave everyone a free month I fail to see why people are bitching. Oh right, it's Activision.

#47 Posted by Frostburn (36 posts) -

Even better is myself and 2 friends joining a game in progress, killing someone and getting -1999998839 EXP. I'm now level 1 and won't be digging myself out of that hole anytime soon. Called Activision after waiting on the phone for over an hour and they are supposed to take care of it at some point. Good thing we don't have dedicated servers on PC right? Safer that way...

#48 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

Way to fail horribly at ripping off Halo Waypoint haha

#49 Posted by Skel (23 posts) -

The game itself works fine. Personally, all I want Elite for is my free 2 hours of double XP. Not losing sleep over this.

#50 Posted by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@TheKing said:

Seeing how the actual game worked perfectly fine at launch (unlike the other "big" modern military shooter this holiday) and they gave everyone a free month I fail to see why people are bitching. Oh right, it's Activision.

I don't know what game and service you were using, but Battlefield 3 worked without problems for me out of the box on launch and Battlelog was up and running perfectly the moment I signed-in the same day (and since).

As for MW3, I could barely get into parties and matchmaking was a nightmare of "Could not migrate to host" pop-ups and static screens waiting to find me a game. A complete mess of a launch.

Not just that, but having actually signed into Elite and messed around with it... there's not much to get all that excited about. Battlelog tracks an infinite amount of stats more than Elite does and navigating Elite, for the time being, is a sluggish mess of an experience. :|

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