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Activision To "Monetize" Call of Duty Online Play

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the paypal-now-for-ammo-reloads dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 114

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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114 comments

xbox360 users (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25033991)

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:xbox360 users (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036549)

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.

Re:xbox360 users (1)

Pazy (1169639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036813)

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:xbox360 users (2, Insightful)

bobtodd (189451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036967)

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.

of note: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034011)

I took a monster shit when I got home today. It started off as a big fat turd, but after dropping that one, I proceeded to plop down some softer feces (not diarrhea, more like cow shit). When I got up, I was surprised at the amount of shit covering the bottom of the bowl. It went down in one flush, though.

Re:of note: (0, Offtopic)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034125)

Ah so you are a Treyarch developer are you?

Seriously those guys have no clue. Infinity Ward IS Call of Duty. A comparison between CoD3 and 2 & 4 will show that.

word play (0)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034017)

Monetize
Money ties

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

Re:word play (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034151)

you mean WoW?

Re:word play (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034195)

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:word play (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034267)

Blizzard would be interested to know how you play without paying monthly fees.

Re:word play (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034323)

How many games can you buy in a month for $15?

Re:word play (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035295)

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.

Re:word play (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25039575)

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...

Re:word play (3, Insightful)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034365)

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.

Re:word play (5, Funny)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034403)

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

Re:word play (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035475)

MOD PARENT UP before he starts FORMICATING!

Re:word play (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036075)

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 expensive rentals and Activision trying to "monetize" the games it sounds more and more like you're paying $50 for an empty box.

Mark my words,as soon as they find a way to kill the used console games market we'll be going through a dray spell PC gaming wise. Which frankly won't bother me as there are still a ton of games I haven't gotten around to trying in my gaming categories(FPS and RTS) so I'll be able to find plenty to play for several years even if the boneheaded big game companies shoot themselves in the feet and kill off their market. Maybe when enough of these big titles bomb they'll get the message,but sadly in all likelihood they'll just blame it on piracy and switch more of their focus on the consoles. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:word play (4, Interesting)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035255)

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.

Re:word play (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035811)

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..

Re:word play (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036159)

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

Re:word play (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037969)

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 wildly different content or rule changes between outings.

Re:word play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25039191)

Criterion is another great developer who treats their customers well. They have supported and added lots of fixes and additional content for Burnout Paradise for free. This Thursday adds Bike, weather, and day/night cycle to their game for free.

I think that if you are a company like Vale or Criterion that treats it's customers well, and it's obvious they are not ONLY in it for the money but love their creations, then they get respect and loyalty as payment in return for free content. When they make a new game, people will be instantly interested!

Re:word play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25039237)

I love TF2, but let's be clear. TF2 didn't release as a complete game. Valve specifically released it with fewer maps than a standard game promising to release additional content as the game went on.

They have released a few maps, but not as many as I would have hoped. I see a lot of potential in TF2 being left on the table.

In their defense, they are only charging $19.95 for TF2 and I believe that is a very fair price. Would I pay $49.95 for a TF2 with more maps. The question is how many more? 3, no. 7, maybe. 10, yes.

Day One Advantage (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (4, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034181)

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.

I'll go even further (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035899)

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 look on my bank account to see whether I'm doing fine there, I don't also need to blow that money so a stupid game can tell me essentially, "yay! You're so great! Your $1000 payment puts you ahead of the guy who paid $900, but you're still way behind the guy who paid $20,000." (Don't laugh, I've been briefly in a web-based game where supposedly someone had paid that ridiculous sum for unfair advantages.)

And if anyone still thinks that that's a kind of achievement, hey, here's an idea: just send me the money and I'll put up a top score page with the rankings by sum paid. You don't even have to bother ganking newbies with bought loot or anything. It goes directly to your score. Won't that be fun?

Ah, wait, I forget that the whole point there is for some loser to pretend he's so much cooler and achieved something by paying for enough advantages to finally muster up the courage to attack a newbie. Carry on.

Re:I'll go even further (1)

ballylama (536318) | more than 5 years ago | (#25043783)

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.

Re:Day One Advantage (1)

ENIGMAwastaken (932558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25039351)

Team Fortress 2 releases "a lot" of content for free, semi-regularly.

Re:Day One Advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25041037)

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.

There's something terribly, terribly sad about seeing a grown man consider himself a "dedicated gamer."

Re:Day One Advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034283)

I think it's more of an artifact of the success of Microsoft XBOX Live than anything. Big Redmond showed the industry that you can charge $1.00 for 85 gamer points, which equates to one song off of a musical instrument game. At that rate, that equates to like $15.00 for a cd without having to provide physical medium. People are willing to pay 850 points ($10.00) for something which equates to a pumped-up adobe flash game.

Re:Day One Advantage (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034367)

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 like it? don't fucking play it. you're acting like someone is keeping milk from children or something.

Re:Day One Advantage (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034491)

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 for Diablo 2 at least as that game STILL sells copies today!

Re:Day One Advantage (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034563)

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!

Re:Day One Advantage (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034607)

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:Day One Advantage (3, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034689)

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 a whole new game, is absolutely ludicrous, considering that BC added every bit as much content as LoD did.

Re:Day One Advantage (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036881)

>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.

Re:Day One Advantage (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037145)

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.

Not exactly (article updated) (1)

dontthink (1106407) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034569)

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 ranking up in multiplayer."

So basically they're giving an extra incentive to pre-order or spring the extra $10 for the CE. This is not a new concept (how many MMO's have given exclusive items to people who pre-order?), and I personally still think it's BS, but it's not nearly as bad as the summary (and original article) make it out to be. It's sentiments like this one:

Over time, we'll qualify more opportunities to increase the monetization of these activities.

by Activision's publishing CEO Mike Griffith that worry/scare the crap out of me (anyone who uses the phrase "increase the monetization of these activities" referring to gaming should be kicked in the nuts). On the other hand, the "3x content" bit FTS leads me to believe that the extra "monetized" content is likely to be extra maps. As a PC player who got the CoD4 maps for free, I'm not terribly concerned. If I buy it, I'm going to wait until the first rounds of actual DLC come out anyway, just to see how big of an issue it really is. But given Treyarch's history with the franchise, I'll probably give it a pass and stick with CoD4 and TF2 for online FPSing.

Re:Not exactly (article updated) (1)

Anonymous Conrad (600139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036461)

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.

Re:Not exactly (article updated) (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037553)

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.

you fail to realize gold farming is real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25037169)

and they are simply dipping into that revenue stream.

all games have people who will get advantage by spending more money. they are just making that 'legal' now.

the only way around it would be to make it so these games are based on skill, not on leveling up.

Re:Day One Advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25037461)

I say let them do it, this will only hammer in for people that Treyarch studios produces trash. This will be a game I refuse to play online, just like Need For Speed titles past Porsche Unleashed became something I refused to purchase or play.

I hope more people adopt this idea. It really makes companies who give you things for free really shine. Like epic for example...

Oh, CoD3 was made by a different company (4, Insightful)

creature124 (1148937) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (2, Insightful)

ireallylovelinux (589360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034179)

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

Re:Monietize WTF? (3, Interesting)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Monietize WTF? (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035759)

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????

Re:Monietize WTF? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035849)

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, pirate copies don't have drm so it has no effect on them), it's just covered up with better graphics, bought and paid for reviews and marketing hype.

Re:Monietize WTF? (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#25041121)

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 luxury good, people only charge what the customer will pay.

Re:Monietize WTF? (1)

zoward (188110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036793)

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 accustomed to being able to play online for free. People playing on Xbox Live, while accustomed to paying, may not be thrilled with the idea of having to pay two different middle men in order to play, especially when other excellent shooters (GoW2) are coming soon and aren't charging extra for online play.

Re:Monietize WTF? (1)

acvh (120205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037423)

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 cash, they are "unbundling" pieces of a game that were once bundled. This is much more like airlines charging for checked baggage.

Oh great. (1)

Kazlor (1020030) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034369)

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?

Re:Oh great. (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034541)

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?

Re:Oh great. (1)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037195)

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 going to be like, so (as with CoD 3) a lot of gamers may end up not getting what they thought they were.

At least Blizzard Activision are up front about the different developers so people who follow the news are prewarned to check CoD 5 out before rushing off to buy it just because CoD 4 was great.

Re:Oh great. (1)

zoward (188110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036835)

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'm pretty sure IW is more than capable of earning it back, but why take chances? \

Then again, maybe Treyarch will surprise us and CoD 5 will be great. But I'm not holding my breath afer CoD 3.

It's times like these... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034373)

...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.

mod parent up (1)

n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034763)

hilarious spin

My level of interest... (3, Insightful)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034375)

in the game dropped off after I saw it wasn't being developed by Infinity Ward.

Re:My level of interest... (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25038809)

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 CoD 2? Yep - infinitely spawning enemies until you reach the next checkpoint.

IW sold out years ago and the CoD franchise has been crap ever since.

Does anybody (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034417)

... actually play these boring "realistic" games?

Ugh, seeking around, instant death around every corner, slow paced, no skill required, boring crap if you ask me.

People with no physical skills like these games... pffft.

Re:Does anybody (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25039253)

Yeah, I've been trying to increase my nunchuk and knife skillz... Seems no one wants to practice w/me.

sorry, not interested (4, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034419)

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.

Re:sorry, not interested (4, Insightful)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:sorry, not interested (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035397)

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 leverage an existing game engine and churn out content which is comparatively simple. You have all the dev tools. You have the pipeline. You just need to make more of the same. More of the same benefits from economies of scale and gives you a business incentive to have more artists working even after the game ships.

Normally a game ships and except for the bug team everybody either moves on to the next project after their well earned vacation or else if contract starts looking for a new project. Now companies can hire more artists (or even better, use the artists who might not be very busy during pre-production) in order to produce something which is marketable.

DLC is a chance for game companies to sell their waste. It's good for game companies because it increases the chances of profitability and by extension resources available to a project. It encourages companies to sell games that gamers want more of. And we get more stuff for games we like.

Who wouldn't kill for some more Fallout 2 Missions right about now? I know I would. And maybe black isle would still be around if they could exploit their existing assets to give me something I want for a nice healthy profit.

Re:sorry, not interested (3, Insightful)

zoward (188110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036885)

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.

Re:sorry, not interested (1)

Thirdsin (1046626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25038047)

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 downloadable content is fine... But IMO it should be done in the same manner as before in large expansion packs, not small unlocks for nickels and dimes(correction, $10s and $20s) as their goal appears to be.

Re:sorry, not interested (0)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035579)

PC gamers do not put up with these bullshit tactics.

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

Re:sorry, not interested (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035815)

An online game, where content is continually added to it. Big difference; you're not being insightful or clever.

Re:sorry, not interested (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036141)

I'm pretty sure you have to pay for the expansions.

Re:sorry, not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036915)

EVE Online.

Re:sorry, not interested (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037179)

I'm pretty sure WoW had four massive content patches between expansions, plus many minor patches in between.

Re:sorry, not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25038893)

Which is why the Guild Wars model is superior.

Re:sorry, not interested (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035885)

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 to provide, not an intangible piece of software that it costs them nothing to copy. However if the game requires online play, you should get the actual software for free - after all, it's just a client, the server is where the gameplay is.

Re:sorry, not interested (1)

WDot (1286728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037585)

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 a new car is stupid, especially if there are 10 such cars. $1.99 for a new song is stupid, ditto.

The best example I have seen so far is Project Gotham Racing 4. They have a "Free" DLC pack that includes a new car and two new game modes, one specifically requested by fans. Nice. But then there's also a $6.25 pack that includes 10 new cars and bikes and 20 new arcade challenges. That's the equivalent of a $6.25 PC expansion pack. I recommend other developers do something similar if they want goodwill from those of us that are skeptical about DLC.

first off... (1)

lordvalrole (886029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034587)

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 effort in creating a next gen game than people realize. Budgets have skyrocketed, teams have grown in size and to understand the new systems takes time and a ton of effort.

People also need to start distinguishing developer from publisher. Developers have very little say in what to do in a lot of cases. Marketing, advertising, producing, DLC deals, etc. all of that usually gets decided from the publisher not the developer. There is a big difference. People need to stop hating on developers for decisions made by publishers. It just needs to stop.

As for the content, content gets cut, added, rearranged, and thrown all over the place during a project. Developers may not have time to complete a certain cool piece of content before they hit their ship dates. It takes time to develop these ideas or pieces of content. At some point a game has to be released to make money for the publisher. There are constant milestones for the developers and some things make it and somethings don't. DLC is a way for people to experience more content that generally was left on the cutting room floor for a number of reasons. Think of it like you are getting a directors cut of the game. You either have a choice of buying it or don't. It isn't going to ruin the game if you don't have it, it is only going to enhance it if you do buy it. If everyone had it their way to produce a perfect game, it would take 4-5 years on average. Think about that, pretty much one console cycle because you want the perfect game which would never yield perfect scores anyways. Get real people, that isn't how it works and it will never work that way. Only a few instances will games take that long to make (ie. Halflife 2 and Doom 3, and a few others).

Everyone needs to get off their high horse and accept the fact that this is the way it is probably going to be for long while. 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. Whether that mean they will release a buggy game or a game that will blow you a way. These are calculated risks that they take. The developers are generally the ones that care about how well the game is made. Some have the talent and some don't. If games were easy to make, then we would have 100's of thousands of people working to develop games and you don't see that. You see a small selection of people that can make games, just like acting, athletes, musicians, etc.

I suggest anyone who doesn't agree with me, go buy Unreal 3, Unreal 2004, Quake 4, Doom 3, Farcry, Halflife 2 and open up their editors and you figure out how to make a game. You will find that it isn't easy and it takes a lot of time. DLC is what happens when developers want to continue their content to enhance the game. Yeah, maybe that content could have made it in the game when it shipped but like everything, there are sacrifices to be made somewhere along the line whether it be quality, or quantity. Be happy you get extra content from any developer.

Re:first off... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034725)

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 the game altogether in future. As for contract out game to the lowest bidding studio, all that really results in is pretty crappy levels, which will also kill a game off. COD4 ain't really all that much fun, you just don't need a disk to play, it has very simple game play so you can pick it up quickly and often drop off just as quickly once it gets boring, so really nothing to 'monetize', it really is all about greed and more often than not all that greed results in, is stupid game and company crippling decisions, nothing like a bunch of corporate executives all protected by golden parachutes off chasing those delusional pots of gold and the end of the rainbow.

Re:first off... (2, Insightful)

lordvalrole (886029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034837)

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 want to totally change up the formula because that might risk losing more people.

When you have a game that has sold 11 million units and an average of $50-60.00 a pop...that is a lot of money. Developers don't see that money at all. All of that money gets filtered back into the publisher, either to line their quarterly earnings or to fund other misc. projects.

All I know is that it isn't as clear cut as people try to make out to be. Yes greed plays into it, but that happens in any major corporation. Games are no different than most any other business. It is the fact that people think they know what they are talking about when referring to games and how they should be made, but in reality they have absolutely no idea what goes on behind the scene

Re:first off... (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036089)

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".

Re:first off... (1)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 5 years ago | (#25039179)

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. They've continued to support those games with battle.net and bugfixes. Could they have tried to squeeze every last penny out of gamers? Sure, but it would have cost them in the long run. In no small part because of the reputation they have built, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are going to make millions of dollars from gamers who know they are getting a great product with great support behind it.

Re:first off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25043085)

Look what valve did with TF2, thats the way it should be and in some cases is, f all these crappy map packs for money

Re:first off... (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25043281)


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..

Fall of the meritocracy? (3, Interesting)

srothroc (733160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034637)

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.

Re:Fall of the meritocracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035543)

Video gaming has almost no social value among regular people. Being skilled at video games is approximately like being skilled at miniature golf. So does it "unbalance" the game, maybe, but when was the last time you complained that it was unfair when someone brought his own good quality putter instead of using the standard cheap putters available to everyone?

That's not a meritocracy... (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035799)

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

Which is more meritocratic -- paying money or time (1, Troll)

patio11 (857072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035919)

#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. Every other grind was called a grind for a reason.) If the "real game" costs *four figures* of an employed person's time to unlock, you're ALREADY paying to play. Don't come telling me that putting in a shortcut for $5 kills the meritocracy, because there is none -- its already an aristocracy ruled by the Dukes of Unemployed Single Men.

Re:Which is more meritocratic -- paying money or t (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037903)

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 second in favour of the first. The 100-meter sprint is about 100 meters of sprinting in which you reduce the time you need for it by training. Online games should be about training and fighting ingame to become the best ingame(if that is your goal).

Re:Which is more meritocratic -- paying money or t (2, Insightful)

WDot (1286728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25038055)

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, but the ability to aim and lead a player don't change, only your general approach to movement.

Beyond that, there's even better news for you. Some games are starting to take importance away from sheer aiming ability and putting it toward teamwork. The biggest example is Team Fortress 2, where a team of all snipers is going to lose, period. Aiming ability will not help you against spies who look like your team's sniper, or automatic turrets which are nigh impossible to kill with a sniper rifle.

Of course, if competition isn't your bag, period, you can always play one of many enjoyable coop games like the Serious Sam series, Half-Life: Sven Coop, Gears of War, Timesplitters, and the upcoming Left 4 Dead. The Call of Duty game mentioned in the story will have Cooperative play, and I'd be surprised if it didn't become standard in all the sequels thereafter.

Re:Fall of the meritocracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25038923)

Thats ok, it will be really fun to frag the douchebags that actually paid for their guns

Bullet, meet foot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035357)

This will only work with the console section of their customer base.

Microsoft attempted to start an xbox live type model for their pc games in the form of the failed 'Windows live'. Due to the nature of the pc gaming demographic, windows live was shunned as a subscription service, until microsoft decided to ceased charging for it.

The fact is that the PC gaming demographic has been conditioned in a different manner to their console gaming counterparts and should therefore be expected to act in a different manner.

Pay for more, get less (1)

Maverynthia (1105281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035725)

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 going to buy a game until I know there is some crack, patch or Download I can get that will give me the FULL game.

Re:Pay for more, get less (1)

The Slashdot Guy (793685) | more than 5 years ago | (#25038003)

In your world, there is no added expense to deliver a pizza than to have the customer pick it up?

This is actually a great idea. (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036071)

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.

Re:This is actually a great idea. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037435)

Do they accept ration stamps?

PC Users willing? (1)

Pazy (1169639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036857)

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 out more content and infact sometimes better content (for example Counter Strike) then who would pay for more content from developers? I know I wont be buying any of there extra stuff, ill think about getting the game but no more.

Re:PC Users willing? (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25037673)

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.

Re:PC Users willing? (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 5 years ago | (#25038401)

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 all in a sort of "now-what?". I'm paying 30 bucks a month for 2 WOW subs (one for my son) while spending more of my online gaming time in a text based MUD, pass up playing the latest simcity to build civilizations in dwarf fortress in ascii.

Nothing new here (1)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036981)

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.

I would pay a monthly fee only for this: NO CHEATS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25039215)

I love CoD4 for the PC, its a fun game and I did not get tired of the game its self. What I did get tired of was the uncontrolled cheating.

I have played on high ranked teams in various leagues and I know that people can be so good that it seems like they are cheating, but I spent a few weeks observing people I thought were cheaters and it made me sick. You could watch people track other players through walls and perform other feats that were at best, highly suspect.

I went so far as to even talk to some of the cheaters and tell them I was writing a college paper on the subject - this got many of the people who previously denied it to open up and talk about it (although it was often in the context of "if I was cheating, this is why:")

Punkbuster is completely impotent to stop this. I have found websites where people sell the cheats and release updates everytime PB is updated. It is an unwinable war.

I don't care about paying for maps or guns - I may or may not pay for those, but it is unconscionable to charge for content when the basic integrity of the game is so completely broken.

 

What content? (2, Interesting)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Burnout's DLC (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25042483)

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 for the Island Update, I'm probably going to pay for it. I don't feel like I'm being ripped off (as often happens with "download 4 new maps!!... for $15"). After all, I will have already gotten new game modes, new cars, and bikes for free.

Not to mention that free DLC helps replayability, and keeps return/trade-in rates down. I'm sure somewhere, some executive cares about this metric.
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