Bad Things happened when I inadvertently released my own game patch.
Look, I swear, it wasn’t my fault. C’mon, it all blew over in a few days anyways, so I don’t see what the big deal is. Fine, I’ll start at the beginning.
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is my favorite World War II game, so I like to tinker with it and add my own graphics and sound effects. I had created one add-on that changed a few things, like, well, I have that sound clip of Sargeant Schultz yelling “Hoooooogan!” every time a German soldier gets killed, and a tremendous farting noise whenever a grenade goes off. Stuff like that.
Anyways, I named my file “Medal of Honor 1.12 Patch” as a joke, since that’s one version number higher than the last patch. Then I uploaded it to a little community file site along with a readme describing the biggest changes (“Bazookas now honk like a clown horn when they hit.”)
Well, you know, those little sites are hungry for content, so they posted it on their front page in big letters. “Medal of Honor 1.12 Patch!” it said. I don’t think they bothered to download it.
I suppose one of the news sites was checking out the page and saw that the patch was out. So they posted the news on the web. Of course, other news sites were quick to jump on the story, writing full-page announcements about the “patch” availability.
And you know those file sites – they love to make sure they have all the latest – so they all downloaded it and posted it, too. And they sent out news. I don’t think any of them looked at it, either. They certainly didn’t read the readme (“Al Pachino now screams ‘Hoo-ah!’ just before explosives detonate.”)
I can’t really tell what happened next, but I imagine it went like this. Some PR flackie at Electronic Arts saw all the coverage, printed it out, and passed it around at a department meeting or something. “We’re getting a lot of good community press about the new patch – look at all these front page news stories!”
And somewhere, some big guy – I imagine he had a comb-over hairdo and a stripey tie – he said, “What? Why didn’t we issue a formal press release about the new patch?” And everyone got all sheepish and didn’t know how to answer, so he was like, “GET ON THAT!”
So, desperately trying to get a press release onto the wire, the PR department frantically called the Producer at the development studio. “What’s the new patch do?” they barked. And the producer was probably like, “We released a patch…?” and the PR team was probably saying, “Fools, it’s all over the net! You need to tell us when your programmers do stuff like this.” They hung up, and I imagine the programmers got yelled at in a meeting that was really confusing for everyone involved.
Meanwhile, the desperate PR team was forced to download the patch, and they actually bothered to read the readme. The result hit the wire later that afternoon:
NEW PATCH BRINGS HORRORS OF WAR CLOSER THAN EVER Medal of Honor: Allied Assault version 1.12 now available REDWOOD CITY, CA -- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) Announced that the Medal of Honor(tm): Allied Assault patch to version 1.12 was now available for download on all major Internet gaming sites, adding a whole new level of drama and excitement to the Allied Assault experience. The new patch adds the celebrity voice talents of such renowned actors as Al Pachino, Samuel L. Jackson, and the announcer from Iron Chef. A suite of new sounds and visual effects promise to Dazzle gamers and create a more authentic down-in- the-trenches feel. "You can actually hear the men ... farting?" observes Product Manager Joel Halley. "And dying soldiers now scream out to one another, calling out, uh, Hogan's name and -- did that guy just quote the anal probe episode of South Park?" "Players will now feel the full war experience," says EA Vice President of Franchise Development James Myers. "Hunkered down in the trenches, they'll know that their sacrifice was not in vain as the German objectives finally shatter in a fiery, fart-sounding spray and Samuel Jackson announces 'It's my duty to please dat booty.'" Noting EA's commitment to quality and excellence, he adds: "Is that the Sanford and Son theme song playing between levels?" The version 1.12 patch is available on all major download Sites and has been submitted to EA localization teams for Translation into other languages.
So uh, yah. That patch? That was me. Sorry about that thing with the clown horns. And Homer Simpson screams.
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