Will Activision’s New Subscription Service be Worth it?May 31st, 2011 | Written by Andrew Giese | Topic: Industry News
The Wall Street Journal reports that Activision will be introducing a subscription-based online service for their Call of Duty franchise. Pricing in less than $8/month, the service—named Call of Duty Elite—will supposedly offer subscribers exclusive extra content as well as advanced gameplay tracking tools they can’t get anywhere else. But the question is: will it be worth it?
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has come under fire in the past for being perceived as a bit of a money-grubber. Keep in mind, not only does Activision make the Call of Duty franchise, but they own the Guitar Hero franchise and are partners with Blizzard who made World of Warcraft. They’re not exactly eating out of the garbage cans yet. Could this just be a scam to turn a quick buck off the players?
On top of that, the whole toolset to analyze in-game performance, tracking stats such as which weapons allow players to get the most kills has already been done before. Bungie did, and still does this with their Halo franchise. They do it for free, and they do it very well. How can Activision justify to players something that is already being offered by another game franchise? Add this redundancy to Kotick’s complaints about getting gouged, and there’s a good case to cast doubt on this whole subscription plan.
On the other hand… it just might be worth it.
For those gamers who are buying expansion packs, new maps, and other extras associated with their favorite franchise anyway, this service will undoubtedly streamline things for them and possibly offer them a bargain. Instead of going through the hassle of buying Microsoft Points, before booting up the game and finding the DLC they want to download, subscribers could be automatically notified of new DLC to their game on startup, or even have it automatically download the new content as soon as it’s up.
Integrated seamlessly, the subscription service can be hassle-free for those who opt out, and potentially enriching for those who opt-in. This writer remains skeptical of the service, but until we get some more info at this year’s E3, it’s impossible to know for certain.