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First Person Shooters (Games) The Almighty Buck Games

Activision Reveals Call of Duty Subscription Plans 184

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
dotarray writes "Activision has denied it and denied it, but now it's been revealedCall of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will feature an online service (that's what Call of Duty Elite is), complete with monthly subscription fees. '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. Another feature of the service will give Call of Duty players tools, modeled on those from stock-trading websites, to analyze their performance within the game, gauging factors such as which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies.'"
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Activision Reveals Call of Duty Subscription Plans

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  • The number of Call of Duty gamers has plummeted
    • by nzac (1822298)

      The more likely result: ... Blackops is still far more popular than MW3

      I don't think we are ready for Pay to play FPS though.

      • by Tukz (664339)

        Nowhere does it say it's Pay to Play.

        • by peragrin (659227)

          If there is a monthly fee, then the moment you stop paying is the moment you stop playing.

          WOW is useless if you can't afford the monthly fee. At $150 a year it is a pretty expensive game.

          COD will be $100 a year.

          For that I can buy and beat 2-3 regular games.

          • by drzhivago (310144)

            From a cost per playtime standpoint, I'd reckon that Warcraft is a pretty good deal for $150/year. If the average gamer completed one new game per month or played only Warcraft in that entire year, they'd "save" about $600 in that year (assuming $60 for a game) by playing Warcraft.

            Now if you played the game as much as you'd play a single typical offline game (and still paid for the year), then yes, it's a very expensive game.

            • by N1AK (864906)
              It's not fair to compare the outright purchase price of a brand new game to a subscription game like WOW (not that I have any issue with WOW). If you buy a brand new game, you could get your 1,2,3 or whatever out of it and then still trade it in. In the UK most game retailers will offer new titles for £5 when you trade in a title from the last couple of months. After the initial ~£30 purchase you could get a new AAA title each month for £5. At the end you could still sell whatever title yo
            • by muindaur (925372)
              Agreed. I use it in lieu of cable, and get far more entertainment out of it. Compared to just the basic package for cable at $840 (seriously the cheapest package at $70 a month with all the real science channels on digital only so you still get crap), $180 a year is cheap. I just pay the Apple season pass fee for Mythbusters.

              To the whole issue of the pay part. I do disagree on needing it for map packs, instead of being able to buy them outright as DLC. That's how the article reads too.

              You will however, if you choose, be paying for extra content that isnâ(TM)t offered on game discs, and an assortment of map packs.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by lul_wat (1623489)
            Still cheaper than my child support. Then again I don't pay that either.
          • by Tukz (664339)

            No where in the article does it say you have to have a subscription to play the game.
            It's seems to be extra features.

            Like PSN Plus.
            PSN is free and you can play online for free, but you can get PSN Plus and get some extra stuff.

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            "WOW is useless if you can't afford the monthly fee."

            Not if you run on free private servers......

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          "Not yet". It's a clear long-term goal officially stated by Activision.

          • by Tukz (664339)

            I must have missed that official statement. Link?

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              Would have to look too hard for it, but I used to play WoW quite seriously, and back when it became activision blizzard there was an epic shitstorm raised by that particular statement by Kotick. People basically expected him to add more then just monthly to WoW based on those statements (and it is starting to happen now, as they are preparing to launch the first feature that impacts gameplay that will require additional fees on top of monthly for ability to queue for dungeons with people from other realms).

        • by elrous0 (869638) *

          Nowhere does it say it's Pay to Play.

          No, they'll just make it to where you only have to pay if you want to actually be competitive. The pay guys will all be carrying the Super-Elite-Kickass-M-58-Death-Bringer-Plasma-Cannon and the free guys will be carrying the Cheap-Ass-Pussy--.22-Caliber-"Peashooter."

          • by Onuma (947856)
            I like to think of it as "Pay to Win". It's happened before, though not exactly the same every time.

            I've been done with the CoD series since MW2 didn't have support for dedicated, private servers. BIG gaffe on the part of Activision/Infinity Ward, because they could've had a whole crowd of competitive gamers using their product as free advertisement. Any company who doesn't make use of free advertisement has some serious reconsideration to do, or they're just so large and fixed on milking the cash-cow
      • by morari (1080535)

        Aren't they already all paying just to be on Xbox Live? It doesn't seem to far fetched that those war game fanboys could be tricked into paying another incremental monthly fee.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hadlock (143607)

      Welp.

      MW3: The Best Way to Generate Publicity is Start A Controversy

      Step 1: Create rumors of a really bad idea, like pay to play online subscriptions
      Step 2: Vehemently deny those rumors you made up
      Step 3: Announce that those rumors are actually true
      Step 4: As soon as the established media goes to print, retract those claims and publish corrections
      Step 5: Sit back and cackle while the spergelords are corrected by the other spergelords that read the corrections, generating buzz for you
      Step 6: Profit!

      There is n

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Oh please let it be true! I can't be the only one that is sick of the Call of Dookie/ Medal of Humping "hey lets all run like chickens with our heads cut off!" style of MP gameplay along with the 50 bazillion ripoff thereof. I swear I thought it was bad when Halo 1 came out and you had dozens of games suddenly going pew pew with brightly colored laser crap, but I swear Activision and their "beat the dead horse and sell whatever oozes out" model is bringing frat boy MP BS to a whole new level!

      Oh please

  • Depends (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tukz (664339) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @06:28AM (#36294778) Journal

    I don't per se care about such a feature, but it all depends on the impact it has on non-paying members.
    If paying members get benefits over non-paying members (in game), it's a huge no go for me.

    I'm not talking about skins or whatever, but better weapons or utilities.

    According to the summery, it seems like it's mostly social features and perhaps early access to DLC and addon stuff.
    Fine by me then.

  • $40-100 for the game depending on your location and currency, then you have to rent to enjoy for $10's over a few months?
    Its all just cute "map packs" content, performance stats, for now... trust us .. its all free ...
    How long before they get you for free p2p networking vs rent only dedicated servers?
    • by Hadlock (143607)

      I saw "black ops" for sale in rural Mexico at the regional department store for the USD equivalent of $120. Most of the people within a day's walking distance lived in rough-hewn timber houses whose most advanced features were a roof and steps leading up to it. So $100 is not the upper limit for the price of a game. A new 125cc motorcycle cost $1000 usd and a 500ml (20oz) Coca-Cola cost $1.20 in the same store to give you a sense of scale of how overpriced it was.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        So $100 is not the upper limit for the price of a game.

        And $4/hr is not the lower limit for wages. And soon, if our overlords have their way, 12 will not be the lower limit for age of someone to work in a factory. And $100million is not the upper limit for CEO salaries.

        Welcome to the "free market". Where a rising tide swamps all but the biggest boats.

        • Welcome to the "free market". Where a rising tide swamps all but the biggest boats.

          Jesus Christ, irregardless of your understanding of economics you should at least be able to figure out that boats float. All of them. Like it's their job or something. That's the whole reason why the quote is "A rising tides lifts all boats".

          • I'm being lazy, so I'll just quote wikipedia: "However, Gene Sperling, Bill Clinton’s former economic advisor, has opined that, in the absence of appropriate policies 'the rising tide will lift some boats, but others will run aground'."
        • by poity (465672)

          The rationale behind pricing of a luxury good is not the same as that for wages. Get a grip.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            The rationale behind pricing of a luxury good is not the same as that for wages.

            Ah, the "rationale". So, the simple rules of the "free market" are not so simple after all?

            Is the "rationale" behind the wages of a CEO so very different from that of a worker in the same corporation? Is it 500 times different?

            I love the "free market" fundamentalists who all of a sudden see shades of gray when it comes to money flowing upward.

        • by Hadlock (143607)

          Go back to reddit.
           
          The rising cost of goods in third world countries is the result of lag time in the cost of globalization and the reduced cost of transporting commodities.

        • by tnk1 (899206)

          Except, that's not quite true, is it?

          There is always a minimum limit for wages. If you don't pay people enough to live, they will die. The smarter ones will stop having children and get around things that way. One way or another, your low wages only exist as long as the resource has no scarcity. Once you pay too little, the scarcity resolves itself.

          The only reason your example makes any sense is because we have only recently been able to expand the markets to include masses of low paid workers who have

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            There is always a minimum limit for wages. If you don't pay people enough to live, they will die. The smarter ones will stop having children and get around things that way. One way or another, your low wages only exist as long as the resource has no scarcity. Once you pay too little, the scarcity resolves itself.

            Do you assume that any corporation thinks of the long-term consequences of it's actions? I doubt that you can find a single one that thinks beyond the next quarterly profit report.

            The very same for

        • by Fjandr (66656)

          It's funny how so many people use the term "free market" as both salvation and pejorative, when no such thing exists (or really ever has, except on an icredibly limited scale) in the United States.

          There have been shades of it, but that's about as close as it gets. Sort of like calling what happened in Russia "communism," when it was anything but.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            when no such thing exists (or really ever has, except on an icredibly limited scale) in the United States

            No such thing exists, or ever has, anywhere in the world, ever in history.

            The "free market" is an article of faith, a quasi-religious belief system. It is my argument that it is used for the same purposes as religion: as a tool of oppression. In this case, economic oppression.

            • by Fjandr (66656)

              I would note that my comments were in a larger societal context. On a large scale I would agree such a market has never existed, just like communism. On a small scale, I would disagree, as both have occurred in local contexts very close to the idealized notion of what each is, and have in one form or another for likely the entirety of human history.

              They cease to exist when scaled past relatively non-complex interactions.

              • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

                They cease to exist when scaled past relatively non-complex interactions.

                Yes. I believe that your assertion could also be stated as, "Small, local markets can be run with a higher level of trust because of peer pressure."

                Once you get so big that the person you are doing business with does not live in the same community as the customer, it is impossible to have a "free" market.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        A new 125cc motorcycle cost $1000 usd and a 500ml (20oz) Coca-Cola cost $1.20 in the same store to give you a sense of scale of how overpriced it was.

        You can get a new 125cc motorcycle for $1000 in the USA, too. And the coke still costs $1.20. Of course, the motorcycle comes from China and you won't be able to get parts for it unless you can figure out what it's a copy of...

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        So do Mexicans have bigger milliliters or smaller ounces?

        Using US ounces and standard milliliters 500ml = 16.9 oz.

  • Say WHAT? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by senorpoco (1396603) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @06:36AM (#36294816)
    In what world is chatting with other COD players comparable to Netflix?
    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Kotick's and his "packaging people's".

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      An apple and and orange are both sweet, right? Well, there you go.

    • I remember it being stated before that Activation is trying to position itself as a multi-faceted, digital entertainment company. Relating an online FPS to Netflix or Facebook pitches it to investors in terms of other succesful businesses whose main product is delivered via the internet, and is enjoyed by the average consumer and not just niche gamers/geeks.

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      In a world where eBay Motors needs to get its shit together. Talk about overpriced!

    • No. CoD publishers are just jealous of WoW. Seriously. Haven't you noticed how FPS games have stared to add the time-sinks of leveling up, gear collection and grinding that MMORPGs like WoW have been perfecting?

      DLC Maps are ON YOUR HARD DRIVE, they don't have to be hosted, unlike MMORPGs where the game state is persistant and must be maintained on servers that run constantly. So, they have to create a reason to run their own servers, they have to come up with a service that they can provide (however

  • Que? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdot@@@spad...co...uk> on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @06:36AM (#36294818) Homepage

    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.

    Because my primary concern when looking for people to shoot in the face, in the conversationally-focused Call of Duty world, is whether they also happen to be fans of Firefly.

  • Be realistic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Motor (104119) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @06:44AM (#36294874)

    Activision won't be done until their entire customer base loathes them and thinks they are greedy control-freak imbeciles.

    They are modelling themselves on Sony.

    • A major chunk of the World of Warcraft player-base already loathes Activision. That is a great start.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        A major chunk of the World of Warcraft player-base already loathes Activision. That is a great start.

        I think a major chunk of those who bought Blizzard products loathe Activision for destroying Blizzard. I picked up StarCraft 2 and issues kept me from enjoying it for several weeks, by which point I ditched it (it got resolved, but I was hoping for SC2 to bridge me to Halo Reach, and we're talking about 1 month from when I could play again to Halo Reach's release. Go go indie game packs I bought.)

        The problem

    • Activision won't be done until their entire customer base loathes them and thinks they are greedy control-freak imbeciles.

      No, they just realized that they can abuse their customers more than any other game. It's the biggest game out there, gives it a certain amount of critical mass. If all your friends in high school are having a great time playing it, you'd have gladly given all the money in your pocket and might even promise to do two chores a day for a year if your parents would just let you buy that one shiny game. We were all that dumb back then, or at least I certainly was. Activision has merely recognized that deman

  • by Anonymous Coward

    By my interactions on COD I would say Call of duty plays are the biggest bunch of racist 16 year old cry babies on the planet. They are obsessed with Hitler, cheats, their penis and forced sodomy. I cant imagine paying for a service that increases my personal contact with these increasingly anti-social troglodytes.

    • By my interactions on COD I would say Call of duty plays are the biggest bunch of racist 16 year old cry babies on the planet. They are obsessed with Hitler, cheats, their penis and forced sodomy. I cant imagine paying for a service that increases my personal contact with these increasingly anti-social troglodytes.

      So... you're suggesting they put up a pay subscription service to allow you to mute voice chat in CoD? That's brilliantly evil! They'll make millions!

    • They are obsessed with Hitler, cheats, their penis and forced sodomy

      Hey now, don't slander the xbox live kiddies like that! They don't know who Hitler is!

  • by X.25 (255792) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @07:00AM (#36294938)

    If Activision gives the game for free, then this might even work.

    Heh. I am sure it will happen.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @07:15AM (#36295020) Homepage

    This one is next on the death list, after Guitar Hero already died. They're going to milk it to death, and they're pretty much hitting the tip over point now.

    They're also hard at work killing WoW with nickel and dime "premium" fees instead of stuff players want, like say new heroics that aren't recycled troll dungeons from previous expansions.

  • So I pay a monthly fee and then I get what?..
    -map packs: EA will have to sell map packs as a separate DLC as well. They'd be losing a ton of money if they didn't. Not everyone will subscribe.
    -Analysis Tools: Big woop, maybe some pro players care about that.
    -???? : HAS to be weapon mods of some kind. How else will this subscription make any sense? Take it, it'll piss off people who don't subscribe of course. And if you don't think EA would do something so dumb, just recall the battlefield 2 special forc

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The only question, as has been said elsewhere, is whether they will get a critical mass. There will clearly be takers. When I was a kid I had a Coleco Telstar until the NES was $100 because we was (relatively) po. My friend whose mom was on welfare had an NES and a Genesis when they were new. So clearly there are parents willing to give their kids lots of money they can't really afford to give them for shit they don't need...

  • From TFA, it seems that the only thing that has been decided is that Activision intends to charge monthly for some feature or set of features which does not include multiplayer or whatever Elite is. If the WSJ article is "factually inaccurate", then the only thing the author has to go on is the quote from Activision, which amounts to "we're not going to charge for MP or Elite, but we're going to charge for something."

    If they were to charge monthly for something like enhanced Facebook connectivity, or some o

  • The more I hear about this game the more excited I am about battlefield 3
    • by delinear (991444)
      I suspect it's not the dev team that are behind decisions like these. After all, they have an interest in keeping the franchise alive, not milking it for short term gain.
      • I suspect it's not the dev team that are behind decisions like these. After all, they have an interest in keeping the franchise alive, not milking it for short term gain.

        Given that four or five key developers left IW last spring (2010), probably the only ones left are either those who can't get work elsewhere, or the suck-ups that are yes-men.
  • by Syberz (1170343)

    "Another feature of the service will give Call of Duty players tools, modeled on those from stock-trading websites, to analyze their performance within the game, gauging factors such as which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies."

    So they're charging us for something that we already get for free on Gametracker [gametracker.com]? Or are they breaking an existing functionality by denying us usage of such sites?

  • - Guys, COD brings boatloads of money, but how could we bring even more ?
    - We could do like that Warcraft thing, monthly subscriptions!
    - Awesome idea! But we can't put goblins in COD, can we? What's it people like beside goblins and big cows with axes?
    - Errr... Mhhh... Hey, people love Facebook... we could, make a subscription only CODfacebook! We'll be rich, rich !!
  • So essentially they want to charge a monthly fee for stat tracking and pre-match chat? HLstats and similar stat trackers have been around for the PC market for over 10 years now. Pre-match chat isn't exactly a new novelty either.

    Yet another example of a greedy company charging for "features" that have been around free for years...

  • I realize that Activision is partnered with Blizzard and have felt the success of subscription based gaming, however they highly over estimate how much PS3/Xbox gamers love Call of Duty and how different it is from WoW. As a avid PS3 gamer who owned Call of Duty Black Ops and previous Call of Duties, I can honestly say if this is what they go to I simply won't buy the game since there are other first person shooter military options such as EA's Battlefield and SOCOM which is a 3rd person shooter made by Son
  • Support they didn't get with modern warfare 2, which was abandoned after release, except for the occasional money grabbing map pack. Activision will be expected to police hacking and cheating.
  • by jitterman (987991)
    They can bite me. 60 bucks for a game is already a chunk o' change. Plus, I'm 1) terrible at console FPS and therefore prefer the single-player campaign when using Xbox (PC is better for me); 2) I'm close to 40 - the younger folks tend to get pissed pretty quickly when I'm too slow by their metrics, again making me prefer the scripted profanity of the single-player campaign to the dynamically-generated profane content of multi-player. I don't need to subscribe to a service to get cussed out. :)

    MP is to
  • I am guilty of buying a hat or a key every so often in Team Fortress 2. Essentially i'm essentially paying a couple bucks a month over the year to keep my favorite game going. Of course, that isn't really presented as a subscription. it just happens to fulfill the same role as one.

    On top of that, my friends and I run a server (Team Funcom TF2 [no affiliation with funcom the game company anymore], come play it's a great server) we pitch in every year for hosting. So yeah. Someone somewhere is paying for h
  • Sounds like the service which came free with Halo.
  • I was about to throw my xbox out the window, until I noticed this was for the Activision release. You know, the guys who ruined the CoD franchise.

    Wake me when the Infinity Wars guys make a move. My casual clan of sorts all bought Black Ops, played it for a few weeks, hated it throughout for having a clumsy, laggy feel, and went right back to MW2, out of which we still play "the fuck". We even got the newcomers to buy MW1, which shows its age yet it still more fun than Black Ops.

    So whenever the guys who m

  • EA is releasing Battlefield 3 soon. As much as I enjoyed MW2, I will not purchase another Activision game. They have built their business on screwing over developers and customers. EA is not much better. It's sort of like voting for President at this point.. the lesser of two evils.

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