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Online monetisation for Call of Duty?

Online monetisation for Call of Duty?

Activision has been hinting that online monetization - i.e. subscriptions - could be coming to Call of Duty.

Activision has been hinting that it might be bringing "online monetization" strategies and business models to other core franchises than World of Warcraft ever since the Blizzard/Activision merger. Now, the publisher has suggested it could be coming to Call of Duty specifically.

Speaking at the BMO Capital Markets Conference last week (via Joystiq), Activision's CFO Thomas Tippl mentioned Call of Duty specifically when quizzed about whether it would apply WoW's online business model to other franchises.

"It's definitely an aspiration that we see potential in, particularly as we look at different business models to monetize the online gameplay," Tippl said.

"I think it's been mutually beneficial, and you should expect us to test and ultimately launch additional online monetization models of some of some of our biggest franchises like Call of Duty," he continued.

According to Tippl there is a specific and strong demand for online business models among gamers - information which is probably drawn from a survey Activision did earlier this year.

You can read our full review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for more information on the latest game in the series, or just let us know your thoughts in the forums.

54 Comments

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adam_bagpuss 16th November 2009, 12:23 Quote
so not only have they gave us a DIRECT console port game now they are gunna start charing us for it too when the next direct port comes out. awesome guys just awesome
Syphon Filter 16th November 2009, 12:28 Quote
Question is, is this PC only or will it include consoles too?

Also, forgive if I am wrong but I am a little out of the loop on PC things, did they not get rid of dedicated servers? If that's the case what's the charge for?

As for the console side of things, I already pay a sub for my XBox Live Gold membership, no way I will pay addtional fees to play particular games online.
bogie170 16th November 2009, 12:34 Quote
Activision are becoming like EA was.

They will burn themselves if they carry out this money grabbing strategy. People will abandon them just like they abandoned EA.
Autti 16th November 2009, 12:41 Quote
And people wondered why they had matchmaking and no mod support, hmm maybe because they can force DLC down your throat...
capnPedro 16th November 2009, 12:48 Quote
"Right, the game is £50, and if you want to use dedicated servers that's £7 per month. Oh and I'll chuck in the ability to lean for a one-off payment of £2."
SNIPERMikeUK 16th November 2009, 12:48 Quote
Sod off u already started a new higher price for games, greedy....
AngusW 16th November 2009, 12:51 Quote
Lol if they do that nobody will play it!
Yemerich 16th November 2009, 12:54 Quote
just two words for them:
"Money grabbers"!

Looks like EA has lost its crown as the top mercenaries
fodder 16th November 2009, 13:06 Quote
This is a joke, right?

The servers are the users own machines, so no cost to them for 'hosting' the game. Just running that crappy IWnet farce. This (on a pc) would be charging for the right to use it online which should be included in the higher purchase price, after all it is advertised as having online play out of the box and does so at the moment.

It should be noted however that the MP splash screen does say they have the right to remove online play at any time. No master plan there then.
azrael- 16th November 2009, 13:10 Quote
Seems Activision Blizzard is just hell-bent on destroying the CoD franchise...
Dreaming 16th November 2009, 13:22 Quote
If there are new maps which they charge for I can see it as they as mutually beneficial. New content for users, more revenue for publishers. In World of Warcraft nobody minds paying because new content is continually being added.

The extra stuff you get though really has to be worth the money, and it's hard to think what you can get 'extra' that isnt gamebreaking (for example, super powerful guns that you have to buy to use give an unfair advantage to people with more money), or that is actually adding something to the Call of Duty magic. They've already got all the game modes pinned down with players, guns, maps, etc. so what more can they offer?
lewchenko 16th November 2009, 13:28 Quote
The way it would work would be like this for Call of Duty 2010 - Modern Warface Universe :

-Multiplayer world vastly expanded - bigger levels with more players on DEDICATED servers.
-Rolling battles and territorial league tables for sure.
-New battlezones added alongside new equipment and other 'content'
-Massive overhaul to character customisation and weapons etc.. think WOW style
-Supports Clan factions within your designated world zone.
-Monthly sub to enter the 'Battlezone'

-Free to play though out of the box using rubbish P2P on very small maps with hardly any players. If you want the real MP deal, then you have to sign up to the COD Shooter Universe for £4.99 a month

... and then along comes Battlefield 3 and takes a huge dump on the COD Shooter Universe. Business case now in bin.
impar 16th November 2009, 13:30 Quote
Greetings!

"monestization" :?
[PUNK] crompers 16th November 2009, 13:30 Quote
this is literally incredible, a monthly sub to play an fps? i reckon at this point even console players would will start to smell a rat. hilarious
steveo_mcg 16th November 2009, 13:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko

... and then along comes Battlefield 3 and takes a huge dump on the COD Shooter Universe. Business case now in bin.

Man when did EA become the saviour, I think i seen this in an episode of sliders. Very weird.
gavomatic57 16th November 2009, 13:37 Quote
I sincerely hope that MW2 online dies off very quickly and COD4 retains a healthy following. It may send a fairly clear message to Activision that the community is everything - screw with it at your peril.
general22 16th November 2009, 13:41 Quote
Hasn't their been a partial hack for dedicated servers? Won't this throw their idea out the window?
Bindibadgi 16th November 2009, 13:43 Quote
Most Evil Gaming Company of 2009 Winner: Activision.
impar 16th November 2009, 13:44 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by general22
Hasn't their been a partial hack for dedicated servers? Won't this throw their idea out the window?
Probably.
It also depends on whether the changes to the game are detected as cheats by VAC or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Most Evil Gaming Company of 2009 Winner: Activision.
Yep. EA, the winners of 2008 edition, will deliver the TrashCan award to Activision in this years cerimony.
Hustler 16th November 2009, 13:48 Quote
Dont you just love American corporate greed......
cheeriokilla 16th November 2009, 14:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
... and then along comes Battlefield 3 and takes a huge dump on the COD Shooter Universe. Business case now in bin.

I second that emotion... lol
leexgx 16th November 2009, 14:44 Quote
the Xbox system they have done for the PC is not very good it can be hit or miss and when lag happens it takes 5 mins for it to fix it self and the Host has ultimate advantage due to not having ping

i shooting players and losing the Ping war resulting in my death, the replay happens it shows that he shot me first when i let off a lot more shots
Silver51 16th November 2009, 14:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusW
Lol if they do that nobody will play it!

Don't you mean everybody will play it?

For a game so many said they'd boycott, it's sold a heck of a lot of copies.
13eightyfour 16th November 2009, 14:48 Quote
Who didnt see this coming? Its blatently obvious that this is where things were heading, The thing i dont get is that in any other industry if you **** on your customers they go elsewhere, It doesnt happen in the game industry though people will flock like sheep to the next CoD game even if they have to pay to get 'essential' items.
smc8788 16th November 2009, 14:52 Quote
Oh God, this is what happens when you put an accountant in charge of a successful game franchise: they single-handedly make it unsuccessful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crompers
this is literally incredible, a monthly sub to play an fps? i reckon at this point even console players would will start to smell a rat. hilarious

Yeah, console tards may not care about dedicated servers, or even understand what they are, but when someone starts charging them to scream at random strangers on the Internet, then even they'll be up in arms about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Most Evil Gaming Company of 2009 Winner: Activision.

When's the award ceremony? Someone needs to invite Kanye.
DarkLord7854 16th November 2009, 15:43 Quote
Lol.. can't wait to see this happen and see the backlash they get
NuTech 16th November 2009, 15:53 Quote
You know what the saddest thing of all is? Activision doesn't want to learn from other's mistakes.

After years of criticism, EA tried to make changes for the better, both big and small, to the way they operate. They're now posting some of the largest losses ever and cutting more jobs than anticipated.

Meanwhile ActivisionBlizzard is making record profits while acting like jackasses. They need to learn from EA's history that although immediate profits are great, soon enough all that bad publicity takes a serious toll.

It's no secret that at the height of EA's dickishness a lot of the best game developers avoided them completely, leading to a massive lack of talented people who were prepared to work for them. Their only option then being to buy out other studios and become bloated.
AshT 16th November 2009, 16:01 Quote
£8 per month for Modern Wardare 2 anyone?
liratheal 16th November 2009, 16:06 Quote
Hahahahahaha.

Oh god. This is just getting better and better.
AshT 16th November 2009, 16:06 Quote
Oh, incidentally while I'm in a Modern Warfare/Activision thread:

No point boycotting or getting up in arms about subscription based sales, look what happened to MW2, we all slagged off the idea of the console port and no-dedi's and they still managed to sell £300 million plus on the first day ...
13eightyfour 16th November 2009, 16:21 Quote
I cant imagine for 1 minute that they would go down the monthly subscription route for CoD, Console gamers just arent as used to the idea of paying monthly for a game as PC gamers are.

They'll chuck in a system similar to the free mmo's out there, small fees for extra weapons, camo, upgrades etc...

The problem with that is that its difficult to impliment without unbalancing the game, and if the £££ upgrades dont offer any benefit to the player they wont buy them.

so in summary

FAIL
SMIFFYDUDE 16th November 2009, 17:47 Quote
Quote:
According to Tippl there is a specific and strong demand for online business models among gamers - information which is probably drawn from a survey Activision did earlier this year.

Where its says gamers should it read shareholders? And was the survey done at Activision's last AGM?
Kenny79 16th November 2009, 18:02 Quote
You could see this coming a mile off, they really are trying to take the fun out of gaming. Its all gona blow up in there faces
alexicore5000 16th November 2009, 18:05 Quote
I think this is getting blown out of proportion somewhat. I'm pretty sure this is just an elaborate way of saying 'we are going to charge for map packs and DLC' which isn't really that uncommon. The map packs for CoDs 4 and WaW on the consoles are not free.

I don't see people showing the same amount of rage at all of the incredibly high priced DLC for Railworks heheheh
Drexial 16th November 2009, 18:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT
Oh, incidentally while I'm in a Modern Warfare/Activision thread:

No point boycotting or getting up in arms about subscription based sales, look what happened to MW2, we all slagged off the idea of the console port and no-dedi's and they still managed to sell £300 million plus on the first day ...

Yes, but was that total sales or PC sales. What do console gamers care about the way the PC port is being crapped on. The game was designed for them and then they decided, well I guess you PC guys can play too.
DarkLord7854 16th November 2009, 18:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexicore5000
I think this is getting blown out of proportion somewhat. I'm pretty sure this is just an elaborate way of saying 'we are going to charge for map packs and DLC' which isn't really that uncommon. The map packs for CoDs 4 and WaW on the consoles are not free.

I don't see people showing the same amount of rage at all of the incredibly high priced DLC for Railworks heheheh

They already charge for DLC. Thus this can only mean pay to play.
alexicore5000 16th November 2009, 19:07 Quote
Quote:
They already charge for DLC. Thus this can only mean pay to play.

If that is the case then I see it as more of a spin-off from the series, rather than a standard CoD. They'll release CoD as per usual in November which will retain the "standard" (I use the term loosely in reference to the recent changes) formular (story mode and standard fps multiplayer), but alongside, I'm guessing they'll release a sort of persistent world (online only) subscription based game where 2 sides do battle FOREVER... taking the idea of FPS with RPG elements on its next logical step.

With add-on packs released a regular intervals, of course!
BioSniper 16th November 2009, 19:16 Quote
Do it, kill the franchise, then everyone can stop raving about it as if it were the second coming of Jesus and I would get 5 minutes peace :P
Thedarkrage 16th November 2009, 19:27 Quote
I think alexicore5000 may be right COD heroes anyone? lol but im so happy to hear that there is a crack for the servers :) god bless the PC community!!!!!
RichCreedy 16th November 2009, 19:33 Quote
i dont like the new way multiplayer is done, finding new host mid game is a bit wierd, and sometimes its extremely laggy, if the host just happens to have a rubbish internet connection, rubbish pc that only just runs the game anyway without it hosting the game as well.

i think they should rethink the dedicated server position.
Reverse 16th November 2009, 20:22 Quote
If this happens, they are basicly forcing "us" gamers to play on cracked servers.
Yes, dedicated (or close to it) will probably be hacked aswell soon.

Just like they hacked the Developer Console today. =)
VaLkyR-Assassin 16th November 2009, 23:22 Quote
I can't afford monthly subscription fees, so if this ever happens, I'll never buy another CoD game ever again. I won't lose any sleep over it either.
bigsharn 17th November 2009, 00:28 Quote
I believe the phrase "nail in the coffin" applies here
knuck 17th November 2009, 00:39 Quote
despite what I said in the other cod6 thread, I have to reply to this one



I can't believe how good Activision are at getting worse and worse every time they do something, whether it's opening their mouths or actually taking a decision.

What's next ? Are they going to charge us for NOT buying the game ? Or will I get a bill because I heard "Call of Duty" somewhere. Am I going to get sued for treason because I played Medal of Honnor back in 2001 ?

WHAT DO YOU WANT ACTIVISION ? TELL ME WHAT YOU WAANNNNTTT

actually nevermind, I know what you want ... $$$$$$$$$
sandys 17th November 2009, 01:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
console tards may not care about dedicated servers, or even understand what they are, but when someone starts charging them to scream at random strangers on the Internet, then even they'll be up in arms about it.

Well apart from the millions who happily pay for xbox live, muppets. of course everyone else is going to want to do this can't have MS and Activision laughing in the face of other publishers now can we.
alexicore5000 17th November 2009, 01:28 Quote
Jeeezzzzz.....if you dont like what they do or what they're doing to the game play another game! It's not the apocalypse...i know full well that's not going to be caused by Activision. its going to be caused by Google and Apple (who I'm still reeling over the fact I didn't buy shares in both in 2001!)

but seriously Activision aren't stupid enough to make all forthcoming titles in the CoD franchise subscription based...it'll be probably be an offshoot (like WoW is to Warcraft)
knuck 17th November 2009, 01:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexicore5000
Jeeezzzzz.....if you dont like what they do or what they're doing to the game play another game! It's not the apocalypse...i know full well that's not going to be caused by Activision. its going to be caused by Google and Apple (who I'm still reeling over the fact I didn't buy shares in both in 2001!)

but seriously Activision aren't stupid enough to make all forthcoming titles in the CoD franchise subscription based...it'll be probably be an offshoot (like WoW is to Warcraft)

it is actually much more important than just a single game... everything has been said in the 25 mw2 threads, have fun reading
ZERO <ibis> 17th November 2009, 04:08 Quote
Ok now I just think they are trying to start internet flame wars and rofling back in the office...
alexicore5000 17th November 2009, 04:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZERO <ibis>
Ok now I just think they are trying to start internet flame wars and rofling back in the office...

yeah, but they havent stopped laughing since CoD3........best racing game ever
E_Spaghetti 17th November 2009, 07:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Dont you just love American corporate greed......
Because there's no corporate greed in your country??
AshT 17th November 2009, 08:40 Quote
Would be nice to get an Activision employees point of view (anon of course) from any of their studios, or even anyone from the games industry ... is subsciptions to publishers content and micropayments the future?

Actually will we be better off? Because let's say CoD:2010 arrives, we pay the first months sub of say £6 or $9, game turns out to be wank, we cancel sub ...
b5k 17th November 2009, 08:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexicore5000
If that is the case then I see it as more of a spin-off from the series, rather than a standard CoD. They'll release CoD as per usual in November which will retain the "standard" (I use the term loosely in reference to the recent changes) formular (story mode and standard fps multiplayer), but alongside, I'm guessing they'll release a sort of persistent world (online only) subscription based game where 2 sides do battle FOREVER... taking the idea of FPS with RPG elements on its next logical step.

With add-on packs released a regular intervals, of course!
They use a specific set of words. "Online monetization". If you're not sure of what the word monetization it basically means to either make into legal tender (i.e. obama suddenly declares basket ball legal tender to the worth of $20) or to take something that is either unprofitable or non-revenue generating and make it profitable / generate revenue. The best example of this is the .com boom. So many websites, the only ones that survived were capable of adapting. I.e. using Advertising and subscription fees to pay for hosting costs and what not.

Problem I have with this is that monetization turns something that isn't profitable into something that is, not taking something that's already extremely popular and charging even more money for it. That's extortion. We're already paying over the odds for DLC (way over the odds, considering how many people buy it the profit margins are INSANE) and now they want us to pay more.

Now, "Online Monetization" has one meaning, taking online play which is currently free, and making money off it somehow. It could go the subscription route, and it could go your DLC idea route, but the biggest profits to be made from players right now are microtransactions. 50p for a silencer/red dot sight/grenlauncher. Oh wait, you want a grip for your SAW? That's a high level upgrade. £1.

Those prices are probably way inflated on what they would be, but by playing things out with fractional costs to them, players are more likely to purchase not realise how much they are spending. If you think £10 a month is too steep to pay for a game, imagine paying 10p per upgrade. Most people might think this a reasonable price, until you think about upgrading every weapon. Then think about buying DLC and what new weapons / upgrades the DLC will contain. A game that cost you £35 could cost you in excess of £85 over time.

Crock of ****. This isn't "monetization", it's extortion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by E_Spaghetti
Because there's no corporate greed in your country??
Not saying there isn't, but in an American court if a group of shareholders go to a court and say "this company didn't act in our best interest because if they had implemented a micro-transactional system they could've made us millions." Everything a U.S. corporation does is to please shareholders more than it is to do anything for the industry. They view it more as part of their stock portfolio rather than publisher of games.

/sleepy rant. :)
Nicholas 18th November 2009, 00:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogie170
Activision are becoming like EA was.

They will burn themselves if they carry out this money grabbing strategy. People will abandon them just like they abandoned EA.

yeah and we know how well EA is doing right now - im kind of happy to see them abandon half their stuff - but firing alot of employees is bad... and its bad for their stock portfolio. It's a toss up in the economy we are in now i guess.

leave the "make people pay for it" to WarCraft... and xbox live!
impar 18th November 2009, 12:55 Quote
Greetings!

It seems that there is hidden content shipped with the game:
http://www.modernwarfail2.com/2009/11/17/unlocking-hidden-mw2-game-types/

Also, how to display ping in numbers:
http://www.modernwarfail2.com/2009/11/17/showing-pings-in-numbers-instead-of-signal-bars/
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