Why Activision Wants To Charge MP Fees

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 1 Why Activision Wants To Charge MP Fees

Millions of players are hooked to Call Of Duty’s online play and publisher, Activision, wants to take advantage of it.  It seems that releasing 2 expansion packs for $15 isn’t enough for Activision.  The publisher wants to make more money, in a recent interview with IGN, CEO Bobby Kotick said:

“We’ve heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft’s] subscribers are principally on Live because of Call of Duty.  We don’t really participate financially in that income stream. We would really like to be able to provide much more value to those millions of players playing on Live, but it’s not our network”

How will Activision provide more value to the players?  If they offer extra weapons and maps that’s fine, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to pay a subscription fee to play a certain game online.  There’s other games out there that doesn’t charge and they’ll get my business.

One of the major reason they want to earn new income is because of the slow sales in video games.  One theory for the decline can be traced back to games like Call Of Duty and Halo, where players just keep playing it online and don’t feel the need to buy other games.  Another reason for the lower sales are used video game stores like Gamestop.  Once a used game is sold, the publisher doesn’t get a percentage of the sale.  Some companies are trying to stop this practice by having a unique license key for each copy of the game.  This strategy makes sense because stores are making money off their games and publishers are actually losing sales from consumers buying used games.  So far, publishers only make money if the game is sold brand new.

Michael Pachtner, a video game analyst, predicts that Activision will start charging for online play when Call Of Duty: Black Ops comes out:

“We think that it is incumbent upon Activision, with the most popular multiplayer game, to take the first step to address monetization of multiplayer.  It is too early to tell whether that will be a monthly subscription, tournament entry fees, microtransaction fees, or a combination of all three, but we expect to see the company take some action by year-end, when Call of Duty Black Ops launches.”

Look, MW 2 has already sold 20 million copies in the world and the majority of that sales come from the multiplayer experience.  If Activision starts charging for online play, not only will they get bad publicity but sales will also drop.

Come fall maybe I’ll be playing Medal Of Honor instead of Call Of Duty.  It’s up to Activision if they want to be greedy or not.

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