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False Advertising by Activision?


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#1 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 01:51 AM

Like many of you, I recently picked up "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Game of the Year Edition" for Xbox 360. Before I purchased it, I researched the game and thought it was a good deal considering the fact that it included the original game plus the "Variety Map Pack." However, when I got the game home, I found that the keycode to download the map pack was missing.

I contacted Activision customer support via their website to obtain the map pack and their response to me was:

The only Call of Duty 4: Game of the Year versions that include the token for the Variety Map Pack have the green patch, stating "FREE 4 New Multiplayer Maps."

This was a temporary promotion/limited time during March 2008 and mid-summer 2008 and only through several retailers, like Gamespot, EBgames, Target, Walmart and Best Buy.

If your game case has the green patch, but does not have the map pack token, the retailer must honor this and provide you with the map pack.

My copy of the game did not include this "green patch" so Activision told me I was out of luck. Given the fact that I had already opened the game to look for the keycode, Best Buy would not allow me to return it for my money back.

I did not recall any announcements or advertisements stating that the map pack would only be included for a limited time, so I researched various Activision press releases and articles on gaming websites but could find no evidence of this claim. Here are a few examples of articles I found:

http://www.gamershel...ion/406831.html
http://www.gamershel...ion/412572.html
http://xbox360.ign.c...2/14242235.html
http://www.1up.com/d...ory?cId=3166984
http://www.joystiq.c...ion-next-month/
http://kotaku.com/36...ap-pack-details

Given that there was no disclosure from Activision to the public regarding the fact that the map pack had been removed, and the fact that all reports from the games press continue to state that the "Variety Map Pack" should be included in the "Game of the Year Edition," I do not see how Activision could possibly expect consumers to know they should be looking for a "green patch" on the box to make sure they obtain the map pack.

Furthermore, the only differentiating features between the original release of "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" and the "Game of the Year Edition" were the box art and the inclusion of the "Variety Map Pack." If Activision did not want to include the map pack, it would have been very simple, and much clearer to consumers, to stop production of the "Game of the Year" box art and simply return to manufacturing the original version of the game.

My question to all of you is this: Does this seem like false advertising to you?

Some of you might think, "It's only $10, get over it." But if Activision can mislead 100,000 people to buy the game, they potentially made themselves a million bucks.

I look forward to your comments on this issue.

Edited by MourningCoffee, 10 June 2009 - 02:12 AM.
typos


#2 Scorch

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 01:56 AM

Wow, that's pretty shitty. I thought all copies had the map pack code in it..

Do I think it's false advertising? Not exactly, but it's sure as hell misleading. They never said anything about it being temporary, but without the sticker being on the box, they're not really obligated to provide a code. Thanks for the heads up, though, that is surprising to me.

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#3 heatison777

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 01:59 AM

I got rid of my COD:4 and have been thinking of getting it again when it drops in price, and the free Map Pack was a big reason why. So I'm with you on this one. Seriously Activision, get your act together. They were complaining about the systems not coming down in price during E3, how about not charging $60 a game and being tricky with rerelease of your products.

#4 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:02 AM

Thanks for the feedback Scorch. I just want to get the word out there so other CAGs know what they are getting into if they buy the game.

It just makes me angry when big corporations try to pull stunts like this.

#5 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:04 AM

Heatison, even if you are the only one who benefits from this post, it was worth it. Thanks for your feedback!

#6 SlimJim0725

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:07 AM

Not that this will make you feel much better, but the maps really aren't that good anyways. I ended up downloading them day 1 and then deleting them off of my hard drive in order to not have to play them again. I know multiple people that I now play with that have done the same, but it still sucks that they did that.

#7 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:11 AM

It's good to know the maps aren't very good. I wasn't planning to buy them given the fact that I'm pretty miffed at Activision right now, but thanks for the info SlimJim!

#8 camoor

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:12 AM

Ridiculous. Like it costs them so much to just include a few maps. You'd think they'd do it just to avoid the bad press, let alone a potential class action lawsuit.

Sadly it seems Activision cares about PR about as much as the RIAA does.

#9 MourningCoffee

MourningCoffee

Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:18 AM

You'd think they'd do it just to avoid the bad press


That's just it. The games press is totally ignorant of the switcheroo Activision has pulled. They tend to look forward to games that have not yet been released, and tend to ignore games as old as COD4. Plus some media outlets might not want to blow the whistle for fear that Activision will deny them access to advance copies of "Modern Warfare 2."

I hope the games media pick up this story and prove me wrong.

Edited by MourningCoffee, 10 June 2009 - 02:19 AM.
typo


#10 mykevermin

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:23 AM

Without the variety map pack, what does the GOTY version offer that the standard does not?
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#11 Strell

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:29 AM

I thought it was common knowledge that the GOTY edition no longer offered the additional maps. I seem to remember reading in various deal threads that everyone was aware of that. Could be wrong though.


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#12 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:33 AM

I thought it was common knowledge that the GOTY edition no longer offered the additional maps. I seem to remember reading in various deal threads that everyone was aware of that. Could be wrong though.


Hi Strell. If you could dig up a link where this was discussed, I'd appreciate it as I have not found any prior to this week's weekly ad deals post.

#13 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:34 AM

Without the variety map pack, what does the GOTY version offer that the standard does not?


The artwork is different on the box and on the game disc. That's it.

#14 heatison777

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:41 AM

Elder Scrolls GOTY---->includes DLC
Fallout 3 GOTY---->will include DLC
different company, I know, but how about...
Call of Duty 2 GOTY---->includes DLC
Call of Duty 3 GOTY---->includes DLC
Every other GOTY, including Activisions last 2 COD's had the free maps.
Gee, I wonder why people assume that 4 would follow the same pattern!

http://www.amazon.co...44601451&sr=8-2

ps i have no idea who mourningcoffee is, this crap just really pisses me off!

#15 Ziv

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:44 AM

Though they never stated that it was a limited time offer, they haven't included the map pack in quite a while.

As for what it offers: a darker box about it now. It's not they sell the non goty edition anymore either.

#16 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:46 AM

ps i have no idea who mourningcoffee is, this crap just really pisses me off!


I'm just a regular guy who loves games. I hardly ever post on forums, but I do listen to a lot of gaming podcasts and read gaming websites. I've been following the CAGcast for a while and I figured this site was the best place to post this information as it was likely to benefit the most people.

Feel free to friend me up on Xbox Live. I'm always looking for new people to play with.

#17 wolvinator

wolvinator

Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:49 AM

I just bought the Game Of The Year Edition recently too so that I could have the map pack. It has always been common knowledge that they were included. Pissed me off majorly to find out they jipped us by no longer including them. Why the heck pay more for an edition that is no different. It is false advertising to name it something different hoping you will buy it for the xtra dough. At least you got an answer from Activision while they are ignoring my question about it. That's another thing I hate about them. Just to ask a question I had to fill out an account with them online. The whole situation is total BS. Thanks for bringing it up.

#18 Abalistar

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:51 AM

As others have said, it's not technically false advertising, but it IS incredibly misleading.

Including that map pack was the only real difference between the versions, it does seem like they're still trying to trick consumers.

I'm glad to know this, as when I do finally buy the game, I can probably save a few bucks by getting the non-GOTY.

#19 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:54 AM

Thanks for bringing it up.


Hi Wolvinator. I only wish I had posted this earlier so that you wouldn't be in the same situation as me.

#20 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:55 AM

I'm glad to know this, as when I do finally buy the game, I can probably save a few bucks by getting the non-GOTY.


Cool. I'm glad we were able to get you the info before you make the purchase.

#21 Strell

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:02 AM

Hi Strell. If you could dig up a link where this was discussed, I'd appreciate it as I have not found any prior to this week's weekly ad deals post.


Yeah, that's not gonna happen. I'd have no idea where to look. This was months ago, and is a vague recollection at best. Sorry.


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#22 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:12 AM

Yeah, that's not gonna happen. I'd have no idea where to look. This was months ago, and is a vague recollection at best. Sorry.

Oh well. It was worth a shot. Thanks anyway for your feedback.

#23 SlimJim0725

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:12 AM

Well I know it had been brought up multiple times in the CoD 4 thread in the 360 section about people not getting the code, I can't say either way for any other thread though.

#24 hostyl1

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:14 AM

I thought it was common knowledge that the GOTY edition no longer offered the additional maps. I seem to remember reading in various deal threads that everyone was aware of that. Could be wrong though.


Though I cant remember exactly where I first saw it, I too remember coming across the info that CoD4 GotY was devoid of maps. That news stuck out to me as I wonder what the hell was the point of a GotY edition if there is nothing special about it other than they gold banner.
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#25 MourningCoffee

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:42 AM

So I did some digging in the Xbox 360 COD4 thread and found a link to the following NeoGAF thread.

http://www.neogaf.co...ad.php?t=340243

(Here is the CAG page where I found the link: http://www.cheapassg...t=COD4&page=304)

It looks like this change went into effect some time ago but the gaming press never picked up on it. Thanks SlimJim and Hostyl for the tips on where to look. It seems like nobody was upset enough to publicize the highly questionable marketing of this game. That doesn't make it any less distasteful if you ask me.

#26 SlimJim0725

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 03:51 AM

So I did some digging in the Xbox 360 COD4 thread and found a link to the following NeoGAF thread.

http://www.neogaf.co...ad.php?t=340243

(Here is the CAG page where I found the link: http://www.cheapassg...t=COD4&page=304)

It looks like this change went into effect some time ago but the gaming press never picked up on it. Thanks SlimJim and Hostyl for the tips on where to look. It seems like nobody was upset enough to publicize the highly questionable marketing of this game. That doesn't make it any less distasteful if you ask me.


Not a problem and I don't disagree with you about how little they worked to inform that it was at least only temporary. I still think you are far better off without them though, only one of the maps was decent at times and that was not enough for me to keep them on my hard drive to play them.

#27 Ronin317

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 04:29 AM

Not that this will make you feel much better, but the maps really aren't that good anyways. I ended up downloading them day 1 and then deleting them off of my hard drive in order to not have to play them again. I know multiple people that I now play with that have done the same, but it still sucks that they did that.


This is absolutely ridiculous. I know it's opinion, but Chinatown and Creek were great. Killhouse is an absolute blast when playing private matches...
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#28 Josef

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 04:53 AM

Without the variety map pack, what does the GOTY version offer that the standard does not?


Apparently, the words "Game of the Year Edition" and shinier cover art. Very misleading indeed.

#29 jkanownik

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:34 AM

Send an email to Robert Bowling (link) to complain.
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#30 SlimJim0725

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:53 AM

This is absolutely ridiculous. I know it's opinion, but Chinatown and Creek were great. Killhouse is an absolute blast when playing private matches...


Everyone I have ever asked regretted buying them as did I. Chinatown and Creek have always been full of campers (not just one or two, entire teams) which bores me even if they aren't good. I wouldn't know about Killhouse, cage matches and private matches are a waste IMO since I always have full groups of people to play with. You are entitled to your opinion of course and who knows, the OP may have enjoyed the maps as well. I was simply stating that I personally don't feel like he lost out on anything by not getting the map pack code.