CoD: Advanced Warfare Blocks Share Play, Sony Say Developers Can Disable At Will

We first noticed that Share Play didn’t work on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare a few days ago. We didn’t report it then, because we had a couple of issues with other games previously, and we figured it might have something to do with it being pre-release with the Day Zero edition.

The message still persists, even though the game is released now, and it’s a bit strange, suggesting that the Share Play host is watching a blocked cutscene. Previously, Sony had stated that while publishers could block certain parts, every game would be suitable providing it didn’t utilise a peripheral such as the PlayStation Camera.

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Now, in a statement sent to Gamespot, Sony have claimed that the developer can do what they want in accordance with what they feel is best for the consumer.

Share Play is a system level feature enabled by System Software Update 2.0 making it available for all PS4 titles, however the option is available to developers to disable the feature according to what they feel will best benefit the consumer experience.

This clearly isn’t the best consumer experience, and I was rather disappointed that I couldn’t test out the game before buying – something that would’ve perhaps seen me pick up the game sooner.

Hopefully Share Play remains a feature which many publishers and developers will choose to have enabled, rather than something that is blocked in many triple-A games. It’s a really good feature which brings people together even in single player settings, perhaps even boosting sales due to the time-limited nature of the service.

UPDATE: Activision have sent a statement to GameInformer regarding Share Play and the new Call of Duty.

Delivering a great gaming experience for fans is our top priority. We’re focused on launching Advanced Warfare and ensuring that people have a great time playing it, which our fans seem to be. Share Play is a new feature that was introduced as part of the recent PS4 firmware 2.00 update. Our engineers didn’t have access to it before it launched, so we haven’t had a chance to evaluate it to see how it will impact the experience across all modes of play. Of course we wouldn’t include a feature in our game without having the chance to test it. Once we’ve fully analyzed its performance, we’ll determine how to support it going forward.

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41 Comments

  1. Well done Activision, keep building that bad rep.

    • I’m so glad the article has an update to quash people’s cynical opinions. It was obvious that the new firmware update had been rolled out too late for the new CoD.

      Activision is a huge company and they want to look after customers as well as they can whilst making money. If SharePlay does that (or doesn’t impact them but still looks after consumers) then they’ll enable it in a jiffy, I’m sure.

      • Rolled out too late.
        Seems to work perfectly fine on games that have been out nearly a year…. they have made a physical choice to disable, as it is automatically available.

        Whatever spin put on this, i smell shenanigans.

      • Do all previous titles work as default? That might be a decent reason as future releases (including this one) come with a “it’s over to you switch it on” and they caught the cusp of the firmware update. The other thing to remember is that CoD is primarily a multiplayer game so the idea of there being more lag (as someone is connecting to someone else’s PS4) might be a very real situation for them to assess. The last thing I’d want is extra lag in a twitch-based shooter running at 60FPS. Thankfully, I can’t stand the genre so it won’t affect me. That… and I don’t have the game! :-)

        Then again, you might be absolutely spot-on, fella.

      • I heard shareplay is locked at 30 frames, so here’s my theory – acti figured someone trying the multiplayer via shareplay would probably do terribly due to being on a lower fps than everyone else and definitely wouldn’t want to buy it after getting slaughtered?

      • Agreed. Could easily be that. I think they should just enable it for the single player campaign.

  2. Hmm. Considering devs can block this feature I’d imagine they may do so more often than not. Most devs wake up in cold sweats at the thought of losing a sale (or publishers I mean). If they want to give you a go at it without buying it they can go down the trial route.
    Shame really as this iteration of COD seems really good so share play could sell some more copies when people realise it’s a fresh experience (for COD anyway).

    • Producing a demo version of a game obviously requires a lot more extra development time than allowing Share Play. For a demo, the development team has to create an entire new build of their game with only certain scenarios included or certain features enabled, then pass it through both internal and console-holder QA before it can be pushed to the stores.

  3. My mate wanted me to get it but I said no and he tried to convince me that it feels like new different CoD especially on PS4 with a good engine, so thought hey share play and I’ll decide…. sadly not getting it because it wouldn’t let me try it out to see whether I like it or not.

  4. What’s the point in introducing a feature like share play if you’re going to let developers switch it off at will? They’re all going to do it. What a pointless move on Sony’s part. It’s a typical move that makes it look like they’re doing something good for their customers and making the developer the bad guy by switching it off when Sony never should have allowed it anyway. I hope Sony isn’t getting complacent in their success. The PS3 should have left a pretty lasting impression that these days success goes as quickly as it comes when you don’t make the right decisions.

    • They might have heard from enough developers where they realised it needed to be their choice whether to enable it or not. Makes sense. The industry needs to be looked after as well as us consumers.

      • Is this really going to damage the industry though? It’s akin to your friend coming round to your house, sitting on your couch and playing with you. Only you don’t have to be in the same room. It’s not as if it’s Steam’s family sharing mechanic which allows you to play the entire game someone owns that you don’t to which, ironically, there doesn’t seem to have been any opposition and CoD is regularly one of the best sellers. I don’t know. I just feel as though this needn’t have happened.

      • Sorry, Jay. When I meantioned “the industry” I meant the companies that make up the industry. If enough concern was expressed – let’s say 35% of developers and publishers were worried about how this might affect the game-play/sales of any individual title – then it makes sense that Sony gives them the control to implement it where they feel it would add benefit to the experience or, at the very least, give consumers the wonderful feature it truly appears to be if it has zero impact on said title.

        For me, Jay, I think it’s a stunning feature. It’ll benefit some games (ie. local co-op) and hopefully bring pretty much any game to the attention of the folks sharing. God knows that if I shared an hour on something and really liked it, it would go straight down on my “must by this soon” list. :-)

      • *mentioned

  5. Well this sucks. I was planning on giving it a go to see if it was worth getting, guess I just won’t get it now.

    With the decline of demos in the past gen, I thought this would have been a great way for the Devs to get there game out there even more without having to put the time into creating a demo, but I guess not.

    • Ironically, I can see the attitude behind this on the part of devs being ‘we’re not gonna do that, people won’t buy our game if we do’. When in actual fact, as you point out, in the decline of demos this service could provide one and promote people to buy the game for themselves if they enjoy it. After all, in games like CoD it’s the online component that people want and that has a long lifetime. All devs like COD’s are doing is make people view them as dickish and refusing to buy their product out of spite.

      • Yeah, and it’s weird that Steam often has free multiplayer weekends for COD and you always see it high up on the top sellers at the time so it clearly has an effect in persuading people to buy it.
        Maybe it’s just a temporary block and it’ll get removed once the initial high sales starts to drop off.

  6. Seems Sony weren’t entirely honest when they said it would be available for all games then. I just watch a game on twitch if I’m unsure about buying.

    • Strange, it’s been known for ages that devs have the option to turn off share play. They’ve always said the OPTION is there for all games but the dev has the CHOICE to use it or not. Don’t believe me? Here’s an article from the 27October saying just that:
      http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/ps4-update-2-0-what-you-need-to-know

      Then again i wouldn’t expect you to do any research when you think you have an opportunity to undermine Sony and/or the PS4

      • Well I’m not sure about everyone else, but I haven’t the time to comb through every piece of gaming news everyday.

        Furthermore, Sony’s promotional video for Share Play mentions naught about any developer control over the feature. Not even the small print at the end of the video features the information. The official Playstation page on Share Play mentions naught about only certain games supporting the feature.

        I’d hardly call it ‘ages’ either. Your linked article is 10 days old. Hardly a lifetime.

        Frankly I hardly think Starman is setting out agenda to ‘undermine’ Sony. You want comments that directly undermine, go look for Blighty’s comments.

      • To be honest, Scythegpd, it’s one of those details that’s easy to overlook. I knew about it being optional but it was also touted in such a way that it would be easy to think “oh, good god… this changes everything for every game!” and look no further.

    • Sony did mention that it’s up to the dev from the day they announced share play just most articles failed to mentioned & also it’s only one developer so far & the chances are EA will do the same

  7. This reminds me of remote play from ps3 to Vita, apparently all games could do it but the devs just had to check a box, which nearly all didn’t bother with. Why have a great feature but let devs decide not to incorporate it?

    • Seems like devs just aren’t interested in making the most of gadgety features, that could be Sony’s fault or the greedy publisher board members, who knows? Like you say PSP remote play was woefully underused, but worked beautifully, the same goes for Vita and Playstation App second screen modes, you could say the same about the Eye Toy, Move and PS4 Camera too. All these features are so impressive but need to be developed for constantly to make them better, sadly that doesn’t happen and SharePlay could be blocked out of all existence by a fear of lost revenue.

  8. Sadly I feel this will go down the route of ingame music and screenshots on PS3.
    Not good at all.

  9. Can’t Sony force devs to include this feature? They don’t have to be nasty about it. Just say, if you want to release this game on our platform, you have to include these features. Are devs really going to risk loosing two-thirds of their total sales?

    • You never know if they did it could actually backfire.

      • It’s a bit like with Microsoft saying that every game must release on the XboxOne same time as the PS4 or they won’t allow it on there platform, except in certain circumstances where they would be willing to talk work something out,i could see that maybe coming back to bite them at some point.

      • didn’t Microsoft force achievements on all games released on Xbox?

    • Those massive titles make Sony money too, fella. Keep in mind that Share Play might screw the game-play up somewhat. It makes sense that the selfish actions of Share Play gamers don’t actually ruin it for everyone else. Twitch-based multiplayer games really might not see much Share Play love.

      However, what’d be fantastic would be to see it still enabled for the single player campaign. :-)

  10. I do think they should maybe limit the amount of time you can share play a title to encourage people to buy the game.

    • Yep, perfect solution! What I can’t understand is why Activision didn’t take the opportunity to turn the full game into a demo by allowing SharePlay in just one story level, or one map or mode in multiplayer. It stinks that they’ve seemingly used cutscene blocking to bodge a total game block and it stinks even more that they claim they ‘haven’t had a chance to evaluate it’. Of course they have, the greedy board members all decided they didn’t want any part of their game being freely available so asked the poor engineers to block the lot then passed the buck. Sorry, I hate being negative but stuff like this really gets under my skin, a even though I’ll never buy this game it feels cathartic to moan about lies and greed from big companies.

    • I thought share play sessions were supposed to be limited to an hour or two?

      • They are limited to an hour in duration, but the amount of times is limited. So when one hour is up, you can just restart the session and pick up where you left off on a friends game.

        I agree that it could’ve been helped had they limited the number of sessions. But then, it wouldn’t of been a great feature to advertise, unlike now where it’s implied that the possibilities are endless and it sounds great.

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