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Activision To "Monetize" Call of Duty Online Play 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the paypal-now-for-ammo-reloads dept.
With Call of Duty: World at War set to hit store shelves this November, Activision has been making plans to monetize the online component of the game. "Infinity Ward-developed CoD4 has paid downloadable maps available on digital storefronts, but with CoD5, developed by Activision studio Treyarch, downloadable content will be a considerably bigger priority. Griffith added that Activision 'plans to increase online monetization' with CoD5, offering '3x the amount of content available for download and premium content called Day One Advantage.'" Activision also announced that for Call of Duty 6 they will be going back to Infinity Ward for development, the company who developed the first, second, and fourth offerings in the series. Treyarch made the third and fifth installments.
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Activision To "Monetize" Call of Duty Online Play

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  • Better not have to pay the same as PC/PS3 users since we already have to pay for a gold account to play online in the first place :(

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nursie (632944)

      Oh don't worry.

      You'll be paying a little more. After all, they know you're paying for online service already, so you're the kind of guy who'll part with a bit of cash for an extra-double-plus-good online experience. You are the primary target.

      it's not like they get any of that gold account money anyway.

    • by Pazy (1169639)
      The money you pay for the Gold Account dosent get given wholly or partially to activision etc. so this will never happen. I dont think M$ will even try to get the content slightly cheaper as a way to bring people over since the money you pay for the Gold Account is used for the upkeep of servers and other neccasery things (though there is quite a bit of profit in it as well). Wishful thinking basically, the best you can hope for is to get it the same day as everyone else.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bobtodd (189451)

      Xbox and Live users are directly responsible for companies believing they can charge for content the rest of us used to get for free. No sympathy here, you've made your bed, and messed ours up into the bargain.

  • Monetize
    Money ties

    I've bought the game
    but in order to play it properly, I have to spend more
    and more
    and more

    • you mean WoW?
      • If you need to spend real money on something for wow you really suck unless you are counting the 1xpac thats come out in 5years....

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Culture20 (968837)
          Blizzard would be interested to know how you play without paying monthly fees.
          • How many games can you buy in a month for $15?
            • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Better question: when did it become acceptable that the purchase of a computer game would guarantee less than one month of enjoyment? I may not be able to purchase a new game for $15 outside of the bargain bin, but when I do spend that 2-3 "month's worth" on a new game, my expectation is that it will be as enjoyable/diverting for as long as the comparable WoW subscription. I've recovered from my WoW addiction, but it was very favorable in the money to fun ratio as compared to picking up the latest PC game

              • for 65$ (cost of a regular game) you get wow with 4months..... I dont normally stick with a game longer. And if you look into mmos there is huge server costs and pretty big dev fees. And players stick around for 5+years some of them thats WITH paying per month. If it was wrapped up into 1 payment you'd be looking at a 200$ game or more lol...

        • I paid $25 to transfer a character, am i bad?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BigDork1001 (683341)
        Blizzard has introduced a lot of extra content, bug fixes, buffs/nerfs, and many other tid-bits of digital gooodness through periodic patches over the years. So while I'm not a huge fan of paying a monthly fees it isn't all for not. And still... for what I pay to play it's money well spent.

        It costs me about $20 a week for league bowling (nerd alert!). So I spend more in one night than I do for a month of WoW. As far as hobbies/habits/addictions go, WoW is far-far-far from the most expensive.

        • by xSauronx (608805) <xsauronxdamnit@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @11:38PM (#25034403)

          you think bowling is expensive, you should see what i spend for heroin!

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Well the problem here is it AIN'T WoW,it is CoD. And when these companies start throwing the buzzwords like monetize that usually translates into "We take everything that would have made the game worth playing in the first place and make you pay extra for it". personally I'm starting to wonder if the big games companies aren't trying to torpedo PC gaming. Sure they make money on it but the bean counters I'm sure have a much greater love of the consoles. Between EA trying to turn their games into really expe

    • Re:word play (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @01:53AM (#25035255) Journal

      I loathe that damn word, "monetize". The software industry is without a doubt the greediest industry in the world. I mean the movie industry have tried, with DIVX, to make you pay every time you watch a movie, but that failed miserably.

      The software industry, though, has a customer base largely filled with suckers who pay for an account on an online service, and who then pay for content that should have been in the game in the first place in many cases. Almost the entire industry is fueled by greed, treats their customers like thieves with increasingly intrusive and restrictive DRM, and comes up with more and more ways to fleece the consumer.

      Valve have the right idea. Treat the customers decently. The content updates for TF2, they've already said they're being forced to charge for them on the Xbox even though they don't want too. The PC versions will remain free, as Valve believe in not fleecing their customers. Same goes for Stardock. Galactic Civilizations 2 has received two expansions, but they've added SO much stuff for free. The upcoming 2.0 patch includes some fairly major additions. Far beyond what you could ever expect for free from the likes of Activision.

      It's nice to know there are a few holdouts who seem to believe in putting the experience and the games above the financial avarice of the likes of Activision and EA.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        That's always been the case... A few years ago you'd get a "sequel" which was actually just the same game with a bunch of new levels and a couple of bugfixes..

        • A few years ago? You still get that now. *cough*Stalker:ClearSkies*cough*

        • This is not inherently bad if the original game was any good. Nobody was really bitching about Doom II. Making multiple games with what is essentially the same engine + a few tweaks is a good way to spread out the cost of R&D. It's also nice not to wait years between games from your favorite developers.

          Of course it depends on the genre too. Madden's yearly release schedule is made all the more ridiculous by the fact that basing it on the game of pro football doesn't leave a whole lot of room for wild
          • Of course it depends on the genre too. Madden's yearly release schedule is made all the more ridiculous by the fact that basing it on the game of pro football doesn't leave a whole lot of room for wildly different content or rule changes between outings.

            Why does everybody bash Madden? Its yearly release schedule means that games are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Each year there are plenty of UI, feature, graphics, and AI changes (for better or worse). Most slashdotters should know that there are

      • This is exactly why my PS3 gets far more use then my 360. I get so annoyed by MS and their "You have to charge for ANY DLC, and WE(MS) set the prices" PS3 wins on so many fronts. Ability to add user made content for free (UTIII allows any mods), KB/mouse supported (MS refuses to allow mouse moving), free online gaming forever, ability to use ANY standard 2.5" sata drive, built in wireless vs a $100 (i could kick them for this one) wifi adapter, ability to use MANY types of steering wheels, not just the hor
  • Day One Advantage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @10:37PM (#25034077)
    So basically they unbundled the stuff that should have come with the game and charge you extra for it, I love the new freaking game industry.... It's like they see the money that Blizzard is making and just figure, hey it's online so it MUST be a license to print money. What crap. What they fail to realize is that Blizzard made money online for a long time without raping the customer. Hell they still make money off the Diablo model to this day.
    • Re:Day One Advantage (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Renraku (518261) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @10:57PM (#25034181) Homepage

      If they want me to pay monthly for a game, its not out of my budget.

      Nor is it out of the budget of MOST dedicated gamers.

      However, they have to earn it. I don't consider 'Gun +1' to be worthy of buying. So count that out. If they REALLY want my money, what they can do is give my characters a chance to build up. Not just unlock items. Even farther, I demand moderation and active cheat protection..not just a program that loads into the background if any, but a fast and timely response to banning cheaters. Lets go another step, since I like money..I want free content. New maps semi-regularly, maybe new talents, new customization options, etc, for free. I'll pay for an expansion in the future, if it offers a LOT of content.

      But I expect that a LOT of content also be released, over time, for free, if I'm paying monthly for the game.

      • by Moraelin (679338)

        However, they have to earn it. I don't consider 'Gun +1' to be worthy of buying.

        Actually, I'll go even further and say that any game which officially sells in-game advantages (e.g., "Gun +1") for RL cash has already elliminated itself from my purchase list. It taints any claims of skill or achievements, much in the same way as being able to pay to use a horseshoe in the glove at a boxing match.

        Honestly, what's such a rigged contest supposed to prove? Who has a bigger disposable income IRL? I just need to lo

        • by ballylama (536318)

          Honestly, what's such a rigged contest supposed to prove? Who has a bigger disposable income IRL?

          Just setup servers where this is allowed, and those that do not allow the ability to buy their way through.

          I used to buy gold in UO(Ultima Online for the youngsters), because I had a life. I would buy it from friends that didn't. It worked out for everyone involved, and made my experience all the more fun.

        • by steveo777 (183629)

          I agree 100%. I won't play a game that allows players to compensate for ability for cash. If you want to be able to level the playing field then use handicaps. If one guy is too good for everyone else. Reduce his/her health and damage dealing ability. How hard is that?

      • Team Fortress 2 releases "a lot" of content for free, semi-regularly.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      oh yes! ignore the man behind the curtain! pay for monthly content AND pay for expansion packs! but no! no! ignore that you're still paying to play a game online.

      such hypocrisy is disgusting.

      so what, exactly, makes it ok for people to pay for wow expansions and monthly fees on top of that but makes paying for a map pack so much less virtuous?

      and i just love how paying for anything under any circumstance is considered rape unless it's one of the darling companies of slashdot.

      it's a fucking game. don't li
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by afidel (530433)
        Actually I dislike the WoW model. I bought BC because I thought it might bring enough enjoyment with new content to make the game worth playing again, I played for about 15 days and vowed never to touch WoW again because BC was the same game with some new sprites, definitely NOT worth the money for the expansion pack and certainly not worth the monthly fee. I prefer the Diablo model, free online play and new content via expansion packs. I'm frankly quite suprised that there wasn't a second expansion pack fo
        • vowed never to touch WoW again because BC was the same game with some new sprites...

          I prefer the Diablo model, free online play and new content via expansion packs.

          ...

          Cause D2: Lord of Destruction wasn't the same game with new sprites at all. No sir, completely new game. Good grief man, at least apply your criteria consistently!

          • by afidel (530433)
            Considering the number of new classes, the balance changes, and the complete skills overhall, yeah I'd say LoD was a significantly different game than D2 pre-LoD.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *

              BC added just as much. New skills, balance changes, new profession (and a very useful one I might add), significant new recipes for all other professions, TONS of new areas, flying mounts... the only thing LoD had that BC didn't was new classes. Oh, and new cutscenes, but then again, WoW didn't have them in the first place (I'm not counting the intro, I mean actual cutscenes that advance the plot), so that isn't exactly a fair comparison.

              Saying that BC just put a new coat of paint on WoW, while LoD made D2

              • by mollymoo (202721)
                On occasion I find myself in foreign country, unable to understand the local the language. Usually I find myself wondering what the locals are saying to one another. But sometimes, I don't.
      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        >so what, exactly, makes it ok for people to pay for wow expansions and monthly fees on top of that but makes paying for a map pack so much less virtuous?

        My guess is that people hate to see 'Paris Hilton' like chars buying all their stuff without any sweat in games as well.
        They hate being reminded that they are 'little people' there too.

        Or at least it has to be that way, they don't want to know.

        • Personally I'd pay $10 for access to a new WoW PvP Battleground map if they could pump them out a little more frequently. Three of the four have been there since the base game. And it looks like they're only adding one more. And interestingly, arena, IS ONLY DEATHMATCH STILL!!! New PvP modes please.
    • An update from the article says:

      Treyarch Community Manager JD took to the webs to clarify rampant rumors regarding this "Day One Advantage"; it's not a way to earn experience quicker; it's not a DLC pack available on "day one" ("we are putting absolutely all of the content we can onto the disc"); and it's not a free backrub from the developers at Treyarch. Instead, it's "immediate access to a high-level rifle (for pre-orders) or LMG (for collector's edition) that other players will have to unlock via rankin

      • This is not a new concept (how many MMO's have given exclusive items to people who pre-order?)

        Yeah, but it's normally something cosmetic like a pet or a different look armor. I can't think of any examples that affect gameplay.

        • by MBraynard (653724)
          On the flip side, this premium is a little more fair since you CAN earn it yourself, as oppose to unique items you can ONLY get through joining early or by paying someone who has.
  • by creature124 (1148937) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @10:46PM (#25034133)
    I suppose that explains why CoD3 was so horrible. I suppose that means we will be waiting till CoD6 to get another CoD game worth playing.
  • Monietize WTF? (Score:1, Insightful)

    I love how they invented a totally new word that really means screw the consumer.
    • Re:Monietize WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by grahamd0 (1129971) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:53AM (#25034879)

      I love how they invented a totally new word that really means screw the consumer.

      They didn't invent the word, actually, but you're pretty close on the definition.

    • by cliffski (65094)

      monetize means earn money from. if you equate a game developer making money with 'screwing the customer', then I just feel sorry for you.
      Its attitudes like that that encourage games makers to not bother with the PC any more.
      How DARE PC gamer developers actually earn money????

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Everyone has a different level of profiteering that they will tollerate, relative to what you actually get for your money...

        Do you think people will complain about a new innovative game that's priced at say $30?
        How about a version of solitaire that just comes with a new set of card graphics for $70?

        Games now are far more expensive than they used to be, and in many cases the gameplay isn't as good and a lot of games are encumbered with drm schemes that hinder the paying customers (and don't mention pirates,

        • by cliffski (65094)

          If you don't want the game.... err....... don't buy it?

          And games are NOT mroe expensive now than they used to be. Console games might be, I wouldn't know, but PC games certainly arent more expensive in real terms.

          Nobody forces you to buy these games you don't like. Go buy dwarf fortress, mount n blade, or heck, go buy my games, which heavily prioritize gameplay over graphics and are all under $23.

          Some people love games like COD, and are happy to pay for them. I'm one of them. It's a free market and its a lu

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            The point is that many potential customers won't pay, and resort to piracy instead.
            Those that do pay also usually feel the price is too high, but aren't militant enough to do anything about it.
            And then there's all the kids who simply can't afford to buy games at the current price points.

            When i was younger and had an Amiga i looked at the average price of games ($25-35), looked at how much money i got a week to spend ($4 and sometimes larger amounts for birthday etc), and figured that it would take me 7-8 we

      • by zoward (188110)

        Actually, in almost every case where I've seen the word used (including this one), "monetize" is a direct synonym for "charge for". so the headline really reads:

        Activision to charge for COD online play.

        They don't want to use the words "charge for" because it has the negative connotation that they're going to charge you for online play, so they use the word "monetize" instead, even though it means the same thing.

        It will be interesting to see how this plays out. People playing PC or PS3 shooters are accust

      • by acvh (120205)

        No. Monetize means "to convert into money". Different concept. If I own a toll road and collect tolls, then I earn money from collecting tolls. If I sell the right to collect tolls to a third party in return for a large, one-time, payment, then I have monetized my toll road.

        When Microsoft sold "Upgrade Assurance" they were monetizing their future, potential, upgrade revenues in order to obtain cash today.

        As applied to this article, "monetize" is the wrong word. They aren't trading future revenue for present

      • Monetization usually is followed by lawsuits to protect said monetization effort. "O you are working on a mod for our game? Looks great, now cease and desist while we take your idea for free and sue you for using our IP in a way that displeases us(doesnt make us money)." Do you really want a game developer thinking "How can i put in the least amount of content possible to shift X amount of units and then 'monetize' my installed base by selling them content that should have been included in the first place
    • I love how they invented a totally new word that really means screw the consumer.

      Yeah because individuals never try to monetize their skills and services.
      How dare that kid who used to help fix my car open a shop and charge me!

  • With all the complaints surrounding Call of Duty 3, and then Call of Duty 4 being critically acclaimed, you would think Activision would realize NOT to go with Treyarch. I guess they're cheaper than Infinity Ward?
    • The best part is, even though CoD 5 isn't out yet, they've already decided to hire Infinity Ward for CoD 6 (I'm guessing they realized that everyone hated Treyarch, when CoD 5 was 3/4 done). What the fuck are they smoking at Activision management, and can I have some of it?
      • The best part is, even though CoD 5 isn't out yet, they've already decided to hire Infinity Ward for CoD 6

        The reason for alternating developers is to shorten the turn around time on the next game. If it takes 3 years to make a new Call of Duty game then with two developers working on the series they can release a new game every 18 months. It makes sense from a business point of view but from a gamers point of view it is a terrible idea. CoD 4 was an incredible game, but that has no bearing on what CoD 5 is

    • by zoward (188110)

      I think it takes the time of two iterations of the game for Infinity Ward to write, test and polish a high-quality COD title. Rumor has it IW is alrady working on CoD 6. Rather than wait for IW to finish the game, Activision has a different developer do the odd releases so they can make more money. Clever, eh?

      The problem remains that if CoD 5 sucks ass and Activision tries to charge extra for online play on top of the cost of a bad game, then they will burn up a lot of goodwill for the CoD franchise. I'

  • ...when the Day One Advantage simply isn't sufficient. That's when you go for the 0-day advantage. [tech-faq.com] Monetisation creates antagonistic customers and reduces the player base. Sure, you may get more out of that player base, but there is going to be a larger-than-otherwise percentage that just doesn't want to deal with it--and suddenly you have cracked servers.
  • by Landshark17 (807664) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @11:32PM (#25034375)
    in the game dropped off after I saw it wasn't being developed by Infinity Ward.
    • My level of interest... in the game dropped off after I saw it wasn't being developed by Infinity Ward.

      And after seeing what IW did to the CoD franchies in CoD 2 - my interest level has been "don't give a crap" for a while now.

      The original IW folks came from Medal of Honor's team and decided to do things better in CoD (version 1) then MoH's style. Meaning, no more endlessly spawning waves of enemies until you reach the next checkpoint, and things like that.

      Guess what lame tactic they reverted to in
  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@gamerslas ... .com minus berry> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @11:40PM (#25034419) Homepage Journal

    They're trying to run a racket on console gamers.

    PC gamers do not put up with these bullshit tactics.

    If this game is going to make you pay for all the content, they had better sell the game at a very steep discount. I'm talking $19.99 for nextgen consoles. Anything more would be offensive and unethical.

    This is part of the reason why I don't play mmo games. I'm not paying for content that should be in the game, and I'm not paying to play.

    I forsaw this years ago when I first heard about DLC. This is an unethical attempt to rob their customers by nickel and diming them for content that is already on their disc but cannot be used due to this shit.

    I hope they get sued for putting the Day One DLC on the disc. Simple explanation is, I've paid for this game and I can't use the stuff on the disc because EA is charging ransom for it.

    Good night gaming.

    • by grahamd0 (1129971) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @01:01AM (#25034937)

      I forsaw this years ago when I first heard about DLC. This is an unethical attempt to rob their customers by nickel and diming them for content that is already on their disc but cannot be used due to this shit.

      I disagree. Downloadable content is a great idea, assuming a full game is shipped in the first place.

      For example, take Forza Motorsport 2. It would be hard to argue that they sold an incomplete game. It has a dozen or more distinct tracks, each with several variations, as well as hundreds of cars.

      Every few months they release a new car pack with 10-12 new cars for ~$5. I'm happy to pay for them, because I get new content that revitalizes an already awesome game.

      It would be another story if they sold a $60 game with 10 cars and made you pay for the rest, but to suggest that game publishers and developers can't charge money for new content is ridiculous.

      • Exactly. This isn't necessarily screwing the customer this is selling more of the same.

        If I offered to sell you a game for $120 that had twice as many maps many people would say "thanks but no thanks, I'm not THAT into the game." On the other hand there are certainly players who can't get enough of it. Normally these came out in expansion packs. But Consoles don't get expansion packs... or at least they didn't use to. So you would have to wait for a complete new release. Now with DLC they are able to l

      • by zoward (188110) <email.me.at.zoward.at.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @07:56AM (#25036885) Homepage

        I would, agree if the DLC is question hadn't already been written and added to the original disc for the initial release, then made available for an extra sum later. Quite often with DLC on the 360 you download a 300k "key" which unlocks content that was shipped with the original game, and held in abeyance until the consumer ponies up more cash. I'm not saying this is the case with Forza 2; I really don't know. But the trend to post-charge for content shipped with the game is infuriating.

        • by grahamd0 (1129971)

          I would, agree if the DLC is question hadn't already been written and added to the original disc for the initial release, then made available for an extra sum later. Quite often with DLC on the 360 you download a 300k "key" which unlocks content that was shipped with the original game, and held in abeyance until the consumer ponies up more cash. I'm not saying this is the case with Forza 2; I really don't know. But the trend to post-charge for content shipped with the game is infuriating.

          That particular model, I agree, is heinous and unconscionable, however I haven't found that to be that case in any console game I've purchased, nor would I knowingly purchase a game where that were the case.

          Every game for which I've purchased dlc has had content packs that required tens to hundreds of megabytes of download space. Far more than any "unlock key" would require. While I'm sure that something like you're describing happens, it's hardly the norm.

          You'd have a hard time persuading me that the ext

      • by Thirdsin (1046626)
        Does anyone remember the old model? Let's take the PC Classic and near and dear to my heart, the Command and Conquer series.
        C&C comes out, great success. What next? They sold an expansion pack that had some new units, music, missions and maps which was another great success.
        The formula worked. So now we have Red Alert + 2 expansion packs, Tiberian Sun + expansion pack, Red Alert 2 + expansion pack, C&C Generals + explansion pack, C&C3 + expansion pack.

        To make this work on consoles via downl
    • by drsquare (530038)

      PC gamers do not put up with these bullshit tactics.

      PC gamers pay $15 a month to play a game they've already bought.

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Yes, I agree it's entirely unethical to put the content on the disc and then charge you extra to actually use it, it's underhand and involves hidden costs to rip you off further for the same product rather than selling you an expansion pack that was developed later.

      On the other hand, i have no issue with paying to play an online game, i actually prefer this since the company actually has to continue working in order to guarantee their revenue stream. You're buying a service that it costs them time and money

    • by WDot (1286728)
      In cases where the "download" is a key to unlock content on the disc, I completely agree with you. Heck, if the game has 20 soundtrack download packs and 8 picture packs and other types of BS meant to just fatten up profits (I'm looking at you, Soul Calibur IV), I also agree with you. But on occasion, the DLC is worth buying to support the developer if:

      1. DLC is done sparingly (i.e.) a game should never have more than a couple of paid downloads, and

      2. The DLC is worth the purchase price. $.99 for
  • People need to start realizing how the game industry works. You have multi-million dollar franchises at stake and games generally only get one shot to make their money. They don't have 3 releases, they have one. Movies can be shoved to theaters, make money there, then shoved to DVDs, online rentals, and TV. Games take a lot longer than most movies to make and are far far more complex to make than any other entertainment out there. Stakes have become higher with next gen games. It takes a lot more effo

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Nah, there are just so many game titles, game developers and game publishers, that there is always another variant of a game style the plays just as well. Over the years a lot of games and games studios died, when trying this stuff on, selling an underdone game which you finish playing in very little time and expecting the gamer to keep paying more for extra.

      The catch is when then game comes of a being short or lacking depth, then the gamer expects the same from any additional content and simply avoids t

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lordvalrole (886029)

        Well, I agree on the fact that an undone game is something that should never happen. Especially when it comes to polish in a game. I don't really don't want to ever play a buggy game. The problem lies when that is very subjective. Some people think COD 4 is the greatest gift to mankind, and to me it isn't. You are right, it can become very stale gameplay. Publishers don't like to take risks. That is why gaming is in a rut. Halo 3 was not much different than Halo 2. I bet you anything that they didn't

    • by gozu (541069)

      People need to stop hating on developers for decisions made by publishers. It just needs to stop.

      I didn't realize people were "hating" unless by hating, you mean "not buying their product because of a bad publisher".

    • Activision Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft, Midway, Microsoft, etc. they are all corporations and their main focus is to get your money and make sure their shareholders are satisfied. (emphasis mine)

      Blizzard has shown quite clearly that you can make a good living without nickel and diming for every last piece of content. The Warcraft RTS line, the Starcraft series, and the Diablo series all made Blizzard quite a bit of money without charging customers for anything but the upfront cost of the game or an expansion. The


    • I disagree. What a decrepit model. What we are going to see is another iD software come along, release a free (*ahem* shareware) product, that is so good, people want to pay for it.

      The industry is ripe for another iD, and the talent is out there. Not another Carmack, mind you..
  • by srothroc (733160) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:21AM (#25034637) Homepage
    Computer hardware notwithstanding, I always saw online gaming as a kind of meritocracy where the most skilled could advance to the top and achieve some kind of fame in whatever social circle they played in.

    These kinds of "monetizations" seem to unbalance that a bit by offering new, useful things in-game to people who can afford to pay a bit more. Can't afford to buy the maps? Well, too bad, because you won't be able to practice all you want on those maps. Can't afford the gear, the guns? Too bad, you'll have to make do with what you have.

    It's a shame. I think they should either just put the stuff in the game or not put it in at all.

    Can you imagine if you had had to pay three bucks per upgrade in Mega Man X, and ten bucks for the special hadouken? What a ripoff.
    • by Rix (54095)

      It's more of a temporalocracy. Rule by those with the most spare time.

    • #1) You can't practice enough to be the Best Fragger The World Has Ever Seen because you can't pay $3 for the map you want to play 4,000 times
      #2) You can't practice enough to be the Best Fragger The World Has Ever Seen because you can't donate $3,000 of billable hours to play the map 4,000 times

      This is more of a serious question with MMORPGs, particularly those whose grind is not actually fun to play. (WoW was fun, the first time through. I think WAR is really, really fun from what I've seen so far. Ev

      • by Daimanta (1140543)

        True, but that's like saying the 100 meter sprint is unfair because other people might have practised sprinting the 100 meter more. Putting in you own time into a game is part of the actual game and if you play longer, you will get more.

        Wouldn't you be upset if an athlete could give $1000 to an official so he'd get a 10 meter headstart?

        "Outside the game" activities(giving money) shouldn't trump over "inside the game" activities(grinding,leveling,training) because you are reducing the importance of the secon

      • There's this assumption among many people that unless you play one game 8 hours a day like those darn unemployed teenagers, you will invariably suck. That's silly. Most online games of a genre share enough similarities that some skills will transfer. Sequels even moreso. You can play Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Call of Duty in almost the exact same way and do fine (assuming you learned how to play MOHAA). Scifi gladiator deathmatch games like UT, Quake, and Halo are slightly less transferable,
  • I think this all went downhill when they started charging for pizza delivery. "Why?" You ask. Well for one they had a survey that asked if people would pay more for the pizza if it was for delivery. People stupidly said yes...however that money doesn't go for the delivery at all, it goes straight into the coffers. Same principle..people paid for DLC, now everyone is going to start having DLC on their games because people pay for it. Even now I saw a commercial for Samba de Amigo and Wii points... I'm not g
  • In these times of economic uncertainty, Activision can't afford to give away stuff that we are willing to pay for (ie: stuff we really enjoy doing). Consider it a real "Call of Duty" for us gamers who received stimulus checks from the government.

    If you haven't received the check because you're not american or didn't qualify, just..save up and send some money to them. Where there is a will, there is a way. That's what my mom used to say.

  • I know console users are willing to pay for extra content (800 M$ (£6.50) per map pack on Halo 3 for example) but I doubt PC users are. When its something like Shivering Isles for Elder Scrolls IV then it makes sense its a vast amount of content, more than any mod could realistically produce and its at a fair price but what PC user is willing to pay for new maps or guns etc.? Up till now all game additions were free (especially on the UT series from Epic) and with the mod community able to pump
    • I am not willing to spend money on map packs. I have a 360 and CoD4 and have not purchased the new maps and don't plan to.

      I am willing to pay for more content like expansion packs, but to pay for weapons and armor like in Battlefield: Bad Company is ridiculous.
    • by mmalove (919245)

      Hell, in the case of certain DRM laden games users aren't even willing to front the 50 bucks for the original box. Good luck selling add-ons.

      I see a certain onset of chicken-egg circle. Users aren't willing to lay out money for games that offer no new experience. Developers/Publishers aren't willing to lay out money on a market that doesn't deliver. PC Gaming saw a nice burst where rapidly advancing hardware enabled a lot of old ideas to be redone in 3d with bigger, shinier graphics, but I think we're a

  • If you read the article it has been updated to explain what the Day One Advantage is. Its just unlocked content for pre-orders or collectors edition. This isn't anything new, or sinister. As usual though people on here have run off without being in possession of the full facts.

  • What content? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by g0bshiTe (596213) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @11:43AM (#25039849)
    I currently play COD4 I'd like to know what content is being charged for?

    This model makes no sense if it's a map.
    You pay x for the map, you upload it to your server, people join, your server is set to allow map downloads. Not sure about other servers, but the one I play in. that's 10k people daily getting your map free.
  • Life imitates art... http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/3/26/ [penny-arcade.com]
  • EA, who's norotious for doing "Bad Things"(tm), is giving out downloadable content for free on Burnout Paradise. It's nice to see Criterion giving something back to the gamers instead of letting EA hang them upside down and shaking every last cent they have.

    I hear alot of companies justifying their paid DLC by saying they need to recover costs of making it. I'm seeing alot of people online picking up Burnout because of the buzz around the new DLC. In the event Criterion decides they want to charge fo
  • For affordable price give them less than they will need. For little more money, give them too much. They won't use 50% of the product, but who cares, you get extra money you wouldn't if you charged a fair price for the right amount of product. It is one thing that outrageous everywhere I go. From the 3 cup sizes at the movie theater, to cellphone plans, I get more and more agitated. I know I'm not the only one. How long before we rise up and outlaw marketing as a major?

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