Monday, June 6, 2011

Call Of Duty Elite

Never let it be said that Activision doesn't know how to milk a franchise. The company the flooded the market with endless Tony Hawk titles and drove Guitar Hero into the ground is now pondering a new revenue stream for its Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty Elite will be a premium service offered on top of the current Call of Duty release and will offer subscribers access to exclusive maps, enhanced statistics and social networking features. This is akin to milking the cow by putting a giant bucket underneath it so you can slash the udders open and collect all the milk that spills out.

While players won't have to subscribe to Call of Duty Elite in order to play online, what is happening here is that Activision is creating a two-class player system. While it's true that each player has the choice to subscribe to the premium service or not, it's also true that a choice MUST be made. I'm sure as Hell not going to pay for a subscription, which will give the 12-year-olds that constantly frag me yet another reason to trash my playing. "LULZ! DIS N00B DONT HAZ E-LEET!  FAIL!".

This whole thing is incredibly stupid, but the real problem here is that the masses will buy into this because Call of Duty is the only franchise of this type that they are familiar with. I, myself, only play Call of Duty because that's what the rest of my friends play. And, like many others, I'm guilty of shelling out $15 for an expansion pack that offered little more than a few new maps. This needs to end here and now before it gets out of hand. Activision is becoming the Zynga of console gaming. You can't tell me that Bobby Kotick doesn't fall asleep on his pile of money every night laughing at people who pay for Farmville and the like. Those games look like crap, yet people keep paying for them over and over again.

In the end, Activision can put the Call of Duty cow into a pneumatic press in the hopes of squeezing as much milk out as possible, and, so long as the market will bear the cost, they'll get away with it.

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