Call of Duty expansion breaks the game, invalidates Xbox points

Microsoft mistakenly released the latest downloadable update for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 at the wrong time, creating all sorts of problems in the game and even slowing down the process of validating prepaid Microsoft Points cards.

The “Stimulus Package” update to MW2 was released on Tuesday as planned, but Microsoft forgot to patch the game first to allow the update to work. The result was an “unpredictable” series of problems for the game when users tried to legitimately install the update data.

“Once they [the game update and the the enhanced-content patch] had been released out of order, it wasn’t a simple thing for us to resolve. For a couple of hours the result was unpredictable but most people couldn’t get into a game through matchmaking. In technical terms, it was a big hairball that we had to unwind,” wrote Xbox Live operations manager Eric Neustadter in an official blog post.

Neustadter also blamed the Call of Duty update on scattered billing issues, primarily the fact that people who purchased Xbox Live Points cards were unable to redeem them.

“The Stimulus Package has been so popular that our [prepaid card] vendors that make those magic point cards work are a little backed up,” he wrote.

Microsoft has worked to fix these issues, and they were mostly taken care of earlier in the day. However, intermittent game errors are still reportedly popping up, and card activation is still not completely up to snuff.

It’s one of the biggest flubs in the history of the Xbox 360, which was the first console to offer “downloadable content” (DLC) through a streamlined platform for console games. This was first DLC pack released for Modern Warfare 2.