Devs can’t ship bug-free games, claims Treyarch

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Treyarch community manager Josh Olin has discussed Call of Duty: Black Ops’ bug-laden reputation on the PS3 and PC, and added that the studio is making “every effort to ensure that every fan is happy.”

Speaking to in an interview last week, Olin pointed out that many of the game’s current bugs exist on all three platforms. “The PS3 and the PC issues are not exclusive to the PS3 and PC – the Xbox 360 has had its own fair share of issues. Every platform has issues.”

“It is unfortunate that those [bugs] have to exist at all. In an ideal would we would love to ship a completely bug-proof game. I can’t think of a single developer in the world, though, that could achieve that,” he added.

Singling out the PS3 version of Black Ops – which has so far enjoyed a reputation of being inferior to the Xbox 360 version – Olin pointed out that the vast majority of PS3 players are happy with the game. “There’s hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of players on the PS3 who have absolutely perfect, pristine experiences,” he said. “I talk to them everyday – I see @replies to me on Twitter all the time from people going ‘I don’t know what people are complaining about. The game is perfect for me!’ So they do exist. I know that doesn’t make the people who are experiencing problems feel any better, but it should put it into perspective.”

Olin also pointed out the difficulty of maintaining the world’s most popular online shooter. “If you look at the population size of the Call of Duty franchise, just a single hour of gameplay collectively after the game’s been out – you add up all the man-hours that all the fans put into it – that’s more time than you could put into Quality Assurance in a lifetime.”

“The sheer number of people [playing] is staggering, and they hit buttons and they hit glitches and walls in such weird, strange ways that we could never predict or think of,” he said.

Treyarch is focused on nipping problems in the bud, however. “When they pop up, though, it’s really important that we are well equipped to quickly address them and quickly patch them,” says Olin. “So we’ve had, like, six or seven patches, depending on which platform you play on, since the game came out – so we’re talking six or seven patches over the span of two to three months. That’s a lot of post-release support, and that’s something that we’re going to continue – that’s not going to stop.”

“Even if the bug is only hurting a hundred fans, if we can find the cause we’ll patch it,” he added.

Call of Duty: Black Ops, which received a 9/10 from, launched in November 2010 to become the fastest-selling game in history. Olin agrees that the game “definitely exceeded expectations in a pretty profound manner.”

The game’s first DLC map pack, the 8/10 grabbing First Strike, was released last week as a timed exclusive on Xbox 360.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops

  • Release Date: November 9, 2010
    • - 09 November 2010 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii, Nintendo DS)
  • Platform(s): iOS, macOS, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Genre(s): Action, First Person, Shooter