When many would have had their eyes on the sneak peaks released by Sony of their eagerly awaited PlayStation 5, another games titan was wrestling with a less glamorous side of the industry. It seems that Activision were able to act quickly and resolve the download issues surrounding Call of Duty Season 4, but it is a reminder as to how hard all publishers have to work in keeping their players happy online.
Launching new games and providing necessary updates, fixes and patches in digital form is no easy business and very different to putting out boxed product. Indeed in the UK it is important to remember that different legal rules on consumer contracts and distance selling now apply to content supplied in digital form than content on a disc. Those rules need to be factored into the sales and supply terms and user licences at the outset as well as when problems occur. The rules take into account that complex digital products, like AAA rated games, are different to a simple music track, or a giveaway mobile game, so even within digital content generally and the games sector specifically there are variations as to what the law expects.
Perhaps more fundamentally it once again raises the question of what is a "game" (and many other forms of media content) when that is no longer defined by a physical format.
The makers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare say they have "resolved" a problem that caused updates to the video game to be more than twice the size they should have been.