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Activision Reveals Call of Duty Subscription Plans

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 184

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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184 comments

In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

c0mpliant (1516433) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294772)

The number of Call of Duty gamers has plummeted

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (2)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294822)

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.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294848)

Nowhere does it say it's Pay to Play.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294982)

Indeed, it's more pay for bonuses.

I fully expect these "bonuses" for your monthly payments to be dependant on your continued subscription. Meaning all that bonus content you received will vanish at the end of the day, whether it's because they yank the service or you pull the plug on your subscription despite the fact that you'll probably have ended up paying 200+ dollars for it by that point.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295318)

I don't really mind paying for online play if it's something worth it. I don't really even get why so many on slashdot bitch and moan about it. If it's, lets say $5, well that is one drink at a bar and I surely will get much more out of subscription to some online game. And don't get me even started how much real life hobbies costs after you've bought all the items and for example pay $30-$40 for a few hours snowboarding.

If I feel like they offer me something at a price that seems good to me, I buy it. If I don't find it interesting, I don't buy it. It's simple as that.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295044)

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.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

drzhivago (310144) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295108)

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.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295314)

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 you had left.
WOW is great if that's what you want, but I find that the people who talk about value for money aren't thinking things through. WOW has a lot of content, but by the time you've played it for 2 years and 1000+ hours you've seen it all and are replaying content because of the social aspects, and enjoyment of the game engine. Titles like counter-strike don't include the vastness of content, but they include the social apects and some people prefer that game style, and they didn't need to pay a subscription to get years worth of enjoyment.
I got crazy amounts of game time on Starcraft, and Halo 2 multiplayer, and didnt have to pay the game devs a subscription to do it. That's a bargain.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (2, Funny)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295162)

Still cheaper than my child support. Then again I don't pay that either.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295186)

probably shouldn't post this online, assuming your ex reads slashdot of course.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295164)

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.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295582)

you realize the features they 'remove' will be essentially required right? sure, maybe you can join games, but they will fuck us, I am sure of that.
Activision will not be doing you any favors.

Compared to what we are accustomed to, I expect this version will be virtually unplayable without the subscription. I hope I am wrong, but I wouldn't bet on it. Secondly, since 70% of the employees at Infinity Ward have changed since MW2... I'm definitely not buying this at launch anymore.

I kinda hope this version tanks...just to screw the conglomerate Activision from all the ass fucking we've taken.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295750)

I just can't understand the fucking greed.

It's the number one selling game in history (mw2). You are rolling in cash. Why are you fucking over your customers???
 
  When is it enough Activision?, you greedy fucking bastards?!!

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295194)

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

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

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (0)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295810)

Not only does Blizzard get you for $150 a year, but you also still have to pay full price for all the expansion packs.

And to think, my guidance counselor used to tell me that drug dealing wasn't profitable.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36296050)

WoW is cheaper than going to the movies once every month. Give it a break already, especially with the dumb as fuck drug analogies.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295242)

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

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295264)

I must have missed that official statement. Link?

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295592)

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).

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295776)

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."

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

marcon (1954610) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295564)

<quote><p>The more likely result: ... Blackops is still far more popular than MW3</p><p>I don't think we are ready for Pay to play FPS though.</p></quote>

Actually, right now, MW2 has much more players in steam than Black Ops. Steamwise, that is.

Black Ops is hacked (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295644)

If they would get off their deadbeat asses and get the hackers out of Black Ops the game would be fun. Nothing wrecks a game like hackers. I think the problem is their prestige system. You level to 50, then reset back to level 1 for each level of prestige, and there is 15 levels. That's 750 levels unless my math is off this morning. I think you get tools that will blast away with hacks so they can prestige up. Of course they just might be a bunch of no skill punks with mommy's credit card to buy it from www.callofdutyhacks.com. Its probably a combination of the two.

Until they can prove they can keep these punk cocksuckers out, they can forget getting my dollar.

BUT, if that is what it takes to insure my game is hacker free, I would pay twice that.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (2, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295012)

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 no ???. This is planned out month^H^H^H^H^H years in advance.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295416)

Companies making plans years in advance is stuff of seventies. Nowadays the event horizon is something like 6 months away. Beyond that a today's company has changed directors and focus several times.

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295458)

Because of course MW3 would have been a totally under-the-radar release without this negative publicity? Seriously, even the BBC dedicated airtime to the release of the last two games, the next one in the series is likely to be just as widely reported. If you've already got the massive free publicity machine on side, why risk your image by proposing something most gamers will hate and which might well put people off buying unless you're serious about it?

Re:In unrelated news 6 months later... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295760)

Because the people buying this game were going to buy it anyways? The controversial opening scene in MW2 didn't seem to temper demand for that game. Announcing a controversial business plan, and then culling dissent by saying "oh that isn't really what we meant. details to follow...."
 
Oh wait, I've been trolled.

Oh boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294776)

Now we can pay a 10,000% markup on what it will cost them to run it! I feel so privileged! I wish more videogame companies would fuck me about the face and neck!!!

Depends (4, Interesting)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294778)

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.

Re:Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295102)

From the WSJ article:

Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said he isn't worried about pushback from gamers about the Call of Duty Elite fee because players will still be able to compete against each other online without subscribing to the service.

They are supposed to get more maps though, and if non-Elite players are restricted to a small number of maps it would still be a major no-go for many people.

Re:Depends (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295180)

If they get maps non-Elite players can't get, it's a major no-go indeed.

Re:Depends (2)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295504)

If they get maps non-Elite players can't get, it's a major no-go indeed.

I think that depends on the gamer. My step son, who is squarely within CoD's target audience at the age of 16, will probably not care about the Elite subscription unless the majority of his friends subscribe. Assuming the subscribers won't be able to lord it over the non-subscribers within the same game via better weaponry or whatever, that is.

Think about this from his point of view, as a current CoD player: MW3 will give him new maps, better graphics, different guns, etc. to play with as compared to what he's playing with now. All this by making a one-time purchase and without an Elite subscription. I'd wager that his current friends will all upgrade to MW3, without the subscription. They'll all see new stuff in the base game and be relatively happy (assuming the game itself doesn't suck, of course). If, however, my step son's friends start subscribing to Elite and playing on maps he can't get to at home, he'll feel the need to subscribe. It's a critical mass or chicken-and-egg problem.

Re:Depends (4, Insightful)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295438)

Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said he isn't worried

And he probably wasn't worried when he killed Guitar Hero either.

So they tested the pay news and pulled back? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294810)

$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?

Re:So they tested the pay news and pulled back? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295214)

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.

Re:So they tested the pay news and pulled back? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295342)

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.

Re:So they tested the pay news and pulled back? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295758)

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".

Re:So they tested the pay news and pulled back? (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295812)

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

Re:So they tested the pay news and pulled back? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295536)

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...

Say WHAT? (3, Insightful)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294816)

In what world is chatting with other COD players comparable to Netflix?

Re:Say WHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295160)

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the hell is IN this subscription plan.

Things I skimmed off the article(s) -

Wall Street Journal (wtf is wsj doing getting gaming scoops anyhow?)

In a move industry executives describe as a first, Activision plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for the service, which will provide extra content that isn't offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give players new "Call of Duty" levels to play.

Uh...huh? So essentially if the only advantage is DLC and I can still play online, I should just wait a few months, pay for one month's subscription, then download the maps and play them forever? Or if these are maps locked only to people with subscriptions and the free maps are shittastic, well activision is fucking gamers in the ass.

While he is coy about many of the offerings that will be included in the service, Mr. Kotick said Call of Duty Elite, and the customer-service operation that will be needed to support it, wouldn't be possible if the service was free. "This is an enormous investment," he said.

What. It's...it's a shooter. I can't even comprehend exactly what kind of marketing speak is going to be used to encompass some old crap they've just sparkled up and released as new to get in our pockets. Maybe they should invest in trying to make a NEW GAME instead of rehashing the old shit.

Oh wait I got it. They're attempting to actualize new paradigms in user oriented proactive support to determinate a non-negative, forward facing endeavor that realizes the previously unforseen re-contextualization of antiquated human-game interfaces to reinforce the flow of crystallized labor from the end-user to the facilitator of this fantastic new trend.

Activision spokesperson Dan Amrich has tweeted:

        COD Elite will be free to all COD players – paid aspects TBD, and as promised, no charge for MP. Many more details in the AM.

Aka they want you to pay for something that they haven't figured out yet? We'll see in the morning I guess. But I guess this shit is SUCH AN INVESTMENT that they'll give away Elite for free so everyone has it (what the fuck. ELITE - A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status. IT'S NOT ELITE IF EVERYONE HAS IT) and then they'll have some paid section that will probably be perfect for all the vain assfucks who enjoy shit like farmville. COD SUPERELITE or something.

Fuck I am pissed off today. FACE MY RAGE, INTERNETS.

Re:Say WHAT? (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295920)

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.

Que? (3, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294818)

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.

Re:Que? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294940)

Yeah, because what I want is more homophobia, racism, and inane noise-making in my life. The good news about this is that this goes a step beyond even DLC and finally reaches the point where I just won't bother. I enjoy COD/MW for a good kick and I usually play the hell out of it for about six weeks (I played 300 hours of Black Ops in six weeks before shelving it and never touching it again). This time, I just wont' bother at all. This also sounds like a way that they're screwing people out of sharing content. Imagine if you're a kid and you have a brother. It used to be that you could buy a game and play it. Both of you. Now, you can buy a game for $60. Then $5 tax. Then $10 for the "online" pass for the second person (even though it's the same copy of the game). And now, apparently, a regular fee.

On the other hand, they've done a great handing Battlefield 3 a much larger player base than ever before!

WIKILEAKS COMES THROUGH AGAIN !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294826)

This is some hot shit you won't find any place else !!

so.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294838)

how long until the subscribed users get better weapons, more XP, etc...

A nail is a nail.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294840)

Welcome to your (duty not paid) coffin.

(Business) Competition: Pay attention. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294852)

If some players are willing the play monthly fees for these features, it stands to reason most players will want them. Integrate these feature's into YOUR game for free, and thus SELL MORE COPIES.

That is all.

Monthly charge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294866)

I already pay a monthly charge to talk with other players and keep track of them. It's xbox-live. I will not be paying for additional monthly services for this game. If the non paying members are disadvantaged in gameplay, I will need to find another game.

Surely free game engine.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294868)

.. and ongoing subs for new missions is the way forward? Integration with FB etc is nice too but what's to stop online FPS becoming actually a subset of strategy gaming at a higher level?

Be realistic (4, Insightful)

Motor (104119) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Be realistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294954)

Activison should just crash And burn already. There are just too many fanbois keeping them alive for that to happen though. Activision keeps trying to inject their own craptastic view of how the game market should be all to generate more profits and in the process are likely to incite a trend that will mangle the game industry. A great example would be their moronic and failed attempts at removing dedicated servers in MW2 and replacing them with a flawed auto-join system. Thank the stars that failed. FYI, activision will not ever be getting any of my hard earned cash again. Boycott COD and Activision, save the gaming industry from this persistent bad influence like you would save your child from the neighborhood dope dealer. We don't want what you're selling.

A retarded half-step. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294884)

A good thing would have been if Call of Duty went the World of Warcraft way, with people paying for a single subscription to all the content, and no boxed media fees.

Giving content that you have to pay 60$ and then some other content which you will pay externally is stupid, expecially since the CoD/MoH/Battlefield war is continually fought day by day by publishers by shitting out new releases on market, with new maps, weapons, and thus trying to lure in the online players from other communities.

It's an half step in the right direction, but it is a retarded half step and will see Activision fall down the stairs again, Bobby Kotik still does not get the online world at all.
(And yes, remember: he already killed the holy cow of party games).

Re:A retarded half-step. (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295060)

The World of Warcraft way might be changing too. Blizzard have announced a premium service for an upcoming feature for playing dungeons with friends on other servers. You've been able to play dungeons with random people from other servers for quite a while so having to pay to do it with friends hasn't gone down too well within the community. Now, does this sound like a typical Blizzard move or a typical Activision one?

If enough people fork out for this or this CoD service, what other features will be put under the premium umbrella in the future?

Re:A retarded half-step. (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295148)

Since this got upmodded I'd like to point out that World of Warcraft still charges for boxed media, and is in effect exactly the model they're trying to push CoD towards.

The major problem with that is the same problem they're having with WoW now that they've pushed it into a more FPS type game. (Random join groups, random join pvp, removal of all the previous in game community consequence for being a douchebag)

This has caused a ~12% decrease in player population since Cataclysm release when they put the final nails into... er, finishing touches onto WoW. I predict this trend will continue, and that the result of their putting a sub fee system into CoD will cause the same.

The fact of the matter is that there are other options, and they're killing off the original design ideas that got their franchises popular to begin with. I hate to think that such huge franchises can be created based on blind luck, but given their general misunderstanding of what makes their games fun to play to begin with I can't see any other possible way they've managed to come up with these huge successes.

Oh wait, they didn't create most of them. They bought the companies that did after their suits managed to pretty much destroy their own top-selling franchises.

Re:A retarded half-step. (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295312)

I think the game being 7 years old and people realizing that the sun hasn't burnt out yet and have decided to venture outside once again is what has caused a "caused a ~12% decrease in player population since Cataclysm release".

Re:A retarded half-step. (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295908)

I think the game being 7 years old and people realizing that the sun hasn't burnt out yet and have decided to venture outside once again is what has caused a "caused a ~12% decrease in player population since Cataclysm release".

Given that I haven't played in 3 months (I'm part of that 12%).

- Random dungeons are an exercise in frustration because you'll get grouped with people who don't give a shit, who want to be carried, or who are actively out to grief the group. At best, you can /ignore them. But you can't /ignore more then 50 people and there are a few thousand more griefers just like that person out there. There's no reputation system and no way to /ignore entire guilds or servers. My luck was about 1/5 to 1/4 of dungeon groups being a disaster-in-progress.

- When they put in the RFD (random for dungeon) system, they broke the old LFG tool that would let you assemble a group from your own server faction. So you end up having to put together a group the old way, by whispering everyone in your friends list or asking in guild chat.

- "Phasing". Back in Wrath, they added the concept of phasing which changes the zone as you progress through content. Great concept, but it locks you out from being able to play along side people who have not progressed that far through the quest. The two of you step into an area, and you see entirely different mobs, NPCs and quests. You can't help them, they can't help you - which means that questing becomes a very solo experience unless you constantly coordinate all of your questing with your friends.

- Crappy PvP rewards. I played a *lot* of PvP back in '07. Back then, if you kept at it, you would eventually earn the points required to get the top end PvP gear just by doing battlegrounds. Now, unless you are in a highly rated arena team, you aren't allowed to touch the top-end PvP gear. Well guess how that works out in practice? The rich get richer and the poor stay poor. The top-end teams from the previous season with the top-end gear dominate the arena season at the start, buy the new top-end gear, then proceed to use that advantage to win matches for the rest of the season (keeping their rating up, and forcing the late-comers to have a rating below what is needed to buy the gear). If you don't like arenas (most people don't), you're left trying to survive in world/battleground PvP with gear that is 1-2 seasons behind the power curve.

- Splintered community. Between RFD and solo quests - there's pretty much no need to be friendly with other people. You can be an asshole in groups, and because it's a bunch of random people from other servers that you'll never see again, get away with it with no repercussions on your own server. Having too many servers is also a problem. A lot of servers are pretty much dead at certain times of the day.

WoW has really changed over the past 5 years. It used to be much more community-oriented with people helping or hindering each other. Now it feels a lot more like a FPS where you only group up for things that personally benefit you and you don't need the other players for the rest of the time.

Re:A retarded half-step. (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295236)

A good thing would have been if Call of Duty went the World of Warcraft way, with people paying for a single subscription to all the content, and no boxed media fees.

Giving content that you have to pay 60$ and then some other content which you will pay externally is stupid, expecially since the CoD/MoH/Battlefield war is continually fought day by day by publishers by shitting out new releases on market, with new maps, weapons, and thus trying to lure in the online players from other communities.

It's an half step in the right direction, but it is a retarded half step and will see Activision fall down the stairs again, Bobby Kotik still does not get the online world at all.
(And yes, remember: he already killed the holy cow of party games).

You pay for "box media" with world of warcraft. In fact, you still have to purchase every expansion (original wow + burning crusade + wrath of the lich king + cataclysm) if you want to play wow on same level with other players.

They do promotions, and the whole package is not that expensive, but without promotion it will still set your back more then a single game box just to get started.

Breaking news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294886)

Large company execs have dollar signs in their eyes. Film at 11.

Kotick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294894)

Bobby Kotick is the fucking plague. He already ruined the Guitar Hero cash cow, and discarded its corpse within months. And COD's dev team too.

It's CODs franchise turn now.

The saddest part of it is that this guy is taking credit for Activisions success in front of the business world, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Activision bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294910)

Once again... Activision make a HUGE miscalculation: Thinking that the FPS crowd will not view this as another method to milk more cash from players. A service that allows you to meet players, analyse stats (Steam & Xfire), BUT also allows Activision to charge for more content such as map packs.

So, its effectively just a money making ploy to screw more hard earned cash out of consumers. MW3 NEEDS to be perfect for players to want/need to pay for yet another service on top of the predicted DLCs.....

And it won't be.

Re:Activision bullshit (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#36296096)

Once again... Activision make a HUGE miscalculation: Thinking that the FPS crowd will not view this as another method to milk more cash from players. A service that allows you to meet players, analyse stats (Steam & Xfire), BUT also allows Activision to charge for more content such as map packs.

So, its effectively just a money making ploy to screw more hard earned cash out of consumers. MW3 NEEDS to be perfect for players to want/need to pay for yet another service on top of the predicted DLCs.....

People had a shit-fit when Team Fortress 2 added a store where you could buy items for real money... keeping in mind that you can get the non-cosmetic items* as a random drop, through trading, or from crafting from extra copies of other weapons.

* Technically, there are 5 hats that have in-game effects that drop, but they drop at the cosmetic item drop rate, which is 1 every few weeks/months rather than 8 a week.

Pay for that kind of social enverionment. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294932)

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.

Game idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295294)

Somebody make this. A shooter with Hitler, penises and forced sodomy.

Re:Pay for that kind of social enverionment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295464)

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

I've felt like modern entertainment was converging on something lately, but couldn't put my finger on it..

If game is for free, then sure (2)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#36294938)

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

Heh. I am sure it will happen.

Yea right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36294988)

All Hail the King of FPS's: Battlefield 3!!

Seriously, if you already buy the game (~$65 with tax in the US) and are already paying for XBox Live (~$70 year), why the hell should a gamer have to pay a subscription fee to play online?? Crazy-suckiness. Boooo Activision!!!

Re:Yea right (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295896)

already paying for XBox Live (~$70 year), why the hell should a gamer have to pay a subscription fee to play online?? Crazy-suckiness. Boooo Activision!!!

lol, guess you missed that "already paying for XBox Live (~$70 year)" you wrote 20 characters earlier

And Activision kills another franchise (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295020)

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.

Ready to get killed by subscription elite gear. (1)

kb9vcr (127764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295072)

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 forces expansion, which added weapons for only the expansion players in the original maps.

The other option is that the service offers so little difference that only a small minority of pro players buy it....what do you think is more likely?

So wait, is this actually news? (1)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295106)

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 other social media gewgaw, I don't see anyone paying $5 a month, although I might be underestimating the fanaticism of CoD players. If they charge for access to particular maps, they run the risk of alienating a significant portion of the player base, or of charging for maps that turn out to be less popular due to design, or just due to a lack of players.

I just don't see how this comes out as a net win for Activision.

Re:So wait, is this actually news? (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295330)

It seems like their current approach is "we don't know what we are going to charge for but you can be damn sure we're going to make them pay through their noses for the privilege of playing". I wonder how that's going to work out?

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295244)

EA releases this content for free in their upcoming BF3, just as they have with all their other games since Battlefield 2 via stat trackers and forums.

With a developmen team like this who needs enemas (1)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295272)

The more I hear about this game the more excited I am about battlefield 3

Re:With a developmen team like this who needs enem (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295664)

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.

Re:With a developmen team like this who needs enem (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295964)

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.

Uh... (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295358)

"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?

Say What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295428)

So let me get this straight...you pay Microsoft a fee to use the cable/DSL link you are already paying for, just for the privilege of using XBox Live so you can play Call of Duty...and now they want you to pay yet ANOTHER fee on top of all this? I thought XBox Live was supposed to be so great and wonderful that you'd smile while you hand the house of Gates even more money he doesn't need. So why the additional fee?

I remember the days when people could run their own servers and make their own maps. Guess those days will never come back in the current console-addicted climate.

Re:Say What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295858)

Consoles are the cancer that is killing multiplayer gaming.

Thanks! Best news ever! (1)

Khenke (710763) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295474)

Now I can finally kill all my future plans on buying any CoD game.
I have been kicked in the nuts over and over and over. But finally they give me the carrot I need to stop giving them my money.

Sure if I get an evolving world to play in (like MMORPG's) I could pay. But to just play normal games with campers/cheaters/teamkillers in random non dedicated servers I could just continue to play old CoD's.

Give me kind of an free dedicated server in the mix. Then $8 might not be bad... And then Hell froze...

Re:Thanks! Best news ever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36296116)

Planetside was a great persistant world FPS. I think the game itself was free but had a monthly fee. One of a kind game as far as I know, I always hoped there would be something else like it, but WoW and other crap (in my opinion) RPG's dominated the market instead... Now, with limited time to game with kids, house, real world crap, I just can't get myself into gaming much anymore, the games aren't that much fun, the kids online are asshats. I still play a couple games of NHL on box360 a week, but the monthly fees for xbox live are annoying me for a mediocre game for this day and age. Think I'm about to be done with the xbox and their fees, I don't have to pay anything to use netflix on the wii, computer, ipad, etc... so not much more reason to pay for xbox live.

Earlier this month at Activision (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295492)

- 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, I can do What BC2 does AND PAY? Sign me Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295562)

So, I can pay to get a game that does what BadCompany 2 already does for free?

Sign me up! How can I lose?

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295616)

HAHAHA FUCK YOU COD FAGS!
Battlefield FOR THE FUCKING WIN!!!

Horrible idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295724)

It seems like a bad idea, but really it probably won't be. Yes, if you get a competitive edge over other players I can see this as being a problem. But let's try to look at the positive aspects here (as hard as it is.)
Think about DLC. If you get DLC for free with COD elite (probably not, but it would be smart of activision) and there are 2 (minimum) DLC released a year, and the COD Elite package is 5/month, 60/year, then you really are only paying 30/year, or 2.50/month and then 2 DLC packages ($15usd each.) Not a horrible price.
Now, if you need to pay for this service for each subsequent COD game, then this will fail. If, however, with one membership it works for all future installments of COD, then this isn't so much a bad idea. As with each game that gets released you are getting more for your money. If the services actually empower you to make better decisions in battle (not a direct competetive edge) and access to cool additional content, this could be a win win for all parties. Activision needs to stop at a certain point though, and not be a greedy little bleeotch.

Will they actually address cheating now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295876)

I'm hoping that a couple thousand gamers (there will be a few) paying a monthly fee will give them motivation to address cheating within their games. MW2 was a joke with the majority of matches ruined by cheaters, and Activision doing nothing to address the issue. I refuse to buy Black Ops and support a company that does not support their games.

Suckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295878)

If you buy into this, you are a sucker.

Game stats tracking.... (1)

Aereus (1042228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295930)

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...

why pay for this on top X-box live? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#36295934)

M$ should stand some ground or make it so you don't need x-box live for games with there own fees.

With this news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36295946)

Battlefield 3 anyone?

end of CoD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36296042)

This decision literally marks the beginning of the end for the Call Of Duty franchise. You know there is vast desperation within activision when they are now charging for a glorified "statistic tracker"

free stuff goes paid... (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#36296168)

"...gauging factors such as which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies."

Aren't these the sorts of stats that most games give you for free right now? I don't play MW online, but I seem to recall TF2 and similar death-match titles giving you boatloads of stats about how much you used each weapon and how many kills you got with them. But I never though that information improved my game. I knew what weapons I was best with. If you can't figure that out on your own, having the raw stats isn't going to help you.

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