How does a bug get fixed in a game like Call of Duty, and why does it take so long?
It’s no fun to see a bug in a competitive multiplayer game, particularly when it feels like a bug that gives other players an unfair advantage over you. It’s probably less fun to be a developer having to fix a bug – especially when millions of people play your game and are screaming at you to fix it five minutes ago.
Perhaps in an attempt to explain to players why bug fixes take time, Treyarch community manager Josh Olin has delivered a lengthy explanation on the topic on the official Black Ops message board. It’s a very interesting look into the development process at a studio producing one of the most popular games in the world – and a good explanation as to why developers like Treyarch can’t just immediately fix the bugs you see when playing the game.
From start to finish, the process has four major phases: Gathering information/reproducing the bug, testing the patch internally, getting approval from platform manufacturers and, finally, releasing the patch. The entire thing can take four or five weeks – and considering that Black Ops hasn’t been on shelves for even a month yet, that might explain why we haven’t seen a patch for any of the game’s bugs yet.
So the next time you get killed because of a bug in the game, take a deep breath and remember Mr. Olin’s words. These things take time, you know.