Even as Activision and its RedOctane publishing arm have had a great couple of weeks of sales of theirrecently released hit, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, some fans of the game have been complaining about its quality control problems.
On forums and on game blogs, some users are reporting that wireless versions of the game's guitar aren't working properly.
"I was having some real problems once I hit tiers 4 and 5 on medium," wrote Mark Methenitis on his blog, Law of the Game. "I found that the red and yellow buttons were not registering being pressed. After disassembling and re-assembling the guitar, the problem continued."
The issue, the theory goes, has to do with the contact points on the wireless guitars' detachable neck. The result? That some measurable percentage of the time, the buttons don't respond as they should.
"When I hold down the red fret button sometimes, it doesn't respond," wrote a user known as SpyroTheDragon on the official GuitarHero.com forums.
"You know why this happens? Because they thought a detachable neck would be a good idea for PINS AND METAL DOT CONTACTS," answered another forum participant, vsTerminus.
And still another user posted similar unhappiness on the blog, splith.org: "I've noticed some flakiness in the frets while I was playing. I would hold down certain frets and the game would not respond."
In many of these cases, the users reported that upon returning their original guitars, their replacements would have better success. So if true, that does point to poor quality control at manufacture, and not to some across-the-board defect.
And of course, this is by no means the first measurable quality control problem in the industry. For example, Microsoft had a great deal of trouble with the Xbox 360, as has been widely reported.
But it's unfortunate for a company like Activision that some of the good will that its new game got upon release--especially as measured by the strong initial sales--is being squandered on poor quality control.
Let's hope Activision and RedOctane will be quick to allay users' concerns.
A call to RedOctane for comment was not immediately returned.