C’mon … you KNEW it was coming.
First there was the price increase to $60 for this generation of games. That is easy enough to justify and accept based on the cost to product the graphics assets.
Next we started with DLC, which very quickly spawned the whole ‘Horse Armor’ DLC nonsense. DLC is paid ‘downloadable content’, and the ‘nonsense’ is that companies quickly realized that gamers would buy $2 – $5 DLC on impulse for games they like – and that it was possible to ‘hold back’ content or at least create it in parallel with the main game, making the DLC pure profit.
Then EVERYTHING became DLC … from armor to weapons to map packs. What was once free was now as much as $10!
Next EA came along with ‘Project $10′, as the first concrete action following several publishers calling ‘used games more of a problem than piracy’. With ‘Project $10′, if you buy a used game you need to pay a one-time $10 fee to access multiplayer game modes. Apparently this has worked well enough that EA uses it everywhere and others have adopted similar fees.
Now from the Wall Street Journal, we learn that Activision Blizzard is planning to make the majority of the multiplayer elements of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which will be released in November, part of a monthly subscription plan.
Here is a snip:
Activision Blizzard Inc. plans to launch an online service called Call of Duty Elite this fall that will work with the next major edition of the game, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” and future installments of the hyper-realistic combat-simulation game. In a move industry executives describe as a first, Activision plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for the service, which will provide extra content that isn’t offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give players new “Call of Duty” levels to play.
Activision executives said they haven’t yet figured out how much to charge for the service, but they expect the cost to be less than fees for comparable online-entertainment services, such as a $7.99-a-month Netflix Inc. movie subscription. Portions of the service will be free, including features inspired by Facebook Inc. that will let “Call of Duty” players meet for online gun battles with others who share various affiliations and interests.
It will be interesting to see how gamers respond to this move. Personally, this marks the end for me – I will not continue to pay into this money grab while these same companies call used buyers ‘worse than pirates. But for those who play the multiplayer for months, I wonder how they will react? Players of World of Warcraft get a completely different level of service, degree of new content, and so on. Will Call of Duty offer those things … or will they have the same exact multiplayer but now charge a monthly fee? I know how I would bet!
Source: Wall Street Journal