Surprise, surprise. Activision wants more money from Call of Duty players, but for additional services for the already incredibly popular franchise.
With one of the world’s best selling franchises in video gaming, Activision has been raking in the dough hand over fist through massive Call of Duty sales. But when you’ve got a product that hot, what reason do you have to stop making it bigger, and enticing consumers to part with more of their hard earned cash? None, apparently, and Bobby Kotick seems quite confident about their new plan to do so. While details on what exactly will be offered in exchange for incremental payments were virtually nonexistent, confirmation of the new plan has pointed to Beachhead Studios as the central development force behind it. Mr. Kotick made it clear that all currently free services will remain intact and free of charge, and are to be accompanied by the new premium content:
The Beachhead initiatives will be… an integral part to the innovation signature nature of the Call of Duty game that we’re releasing this year. And I just wanted to back up on the earlier question [and] make sure that I underscore that while we are attempting to deliver new incremental experiences that have yet heretofore been unseen by our players, we are not attempting to monetise or take any experience away that currently comes as part of the value proposition of buying the game. I think, very importantly, our community of Call of Duty players is one that we celebrate and you will see a lot of new services and capabilities that will be provided free of charge to all of our customers.
Hearing Bobby Kotick use the word “innovative” in reference to Call of Duty certainly sounds hypocritical at this point, but with the franchise long past due for some new inventive features, maybe this plan will really pull out the big guns. It seems unfortunate that new features and innovations would not simply be included as a part of the packaging for their next release, so hopefully whatever is up their sleeves is worth the cash. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg elaborated a bit on their intended direction:
Well, we haven’t yet released the details of the business model of Beachhead. The passion that people have for the game, the amount of time they’re willing to engage with one another in a connected way. Our goal has been to create an experience that was amplifying enough and energising enough and igniting enough to that community to be able to be monetised.
The Call of Duty franchise is already well endowed with additional content for each iteration, with expensive map packs offering a measly four maps for $15 each. It’s certainly possible to nickle and dime players further by offering unique weapons, killstreaks, perks, costumes, or other accessories for purchase, but that would be as simple as the standard practice of just releasing new DLC. Therefore, something better must be on the way, and we’ll find out what soon, since more details were promised to be revealed in the coming weeks. PlayStation LifeStyle will deliver the good word when it arrives. Until then, what would you like to see coming from the new Call of Duty business model?