Continuing the trend of popular things getting completely broken on launch day, Call of Duty: Elite has been struggling since launch, with servers buckling under the pressure of millions of nerds trying to access it at once.
The general outcry is “surely they should have known.” Call of Duty is huge, Activision is huge, so surely such an enormous load on servers should have been expected and prepared for. According to Call of Duty VP of production Daniel Suarez, it was.
“We knew MW3 was going to be big and we planned for a big demand, it’s just the infrastructure is struggling to keep up with volume,” he said.
Despite their being a beta test of the service to help ward against this exact kind of issue, Suarez says it just could not anticipate the sheer numbers they would be hitting.
“We did a beta, the beta was intended to give us the data on how everything would behave with people hitting different parts of the service and different parts of the site. But when you add the complexities of it being not only an online service but one that has a console component, a PC component, and a soon-to-be-released mobile component, all being released at the same time, it’s never been done before at this scale,” he said.
He again reiterates that they did know it was going to be huge, saying, “From the planning standpoint, we planned for it to be big. It’s Call of Duty, we have all our metrics. We know what our metrics are from Black Ops and MW2 and all the previous Call of Dutys, so we were planning for it to be big. But we just literally had so much influx right now from all the different areas, from the console and the web. It just hit us a lot harder than we thought.” So put more succinctly, they thought it was going to be really big, but perhaps not really, REALLY big.
If you’re one of the unlucky elitists who are starting to feel buyer’s remorse, Suarez unfortunately can’t tell you when the problem will be solved, saying, “We want to make sure the things we’re doing right now remain stable. Right now we don’t have a definitive goal to have everything up by this date, we just don’t have that data yet.”