“I’m calling it a failure,” says games analyst Michael Pachter in regards to Activision’s Call of Duty series. What exactly does he mean by that?
Monetization—that’s the answer. At the Digital Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco, Pachter spoke about how Activision has made plenty of money off of the Call of Duty franchise, but nowhere near what they should be making.
“I know the game sells billions of dollars,” Pachter said during his talk. “Activision did a bad thing with Call of Duty from a profit perspective. They trained gamers that you can buy a game and play it all year, ten hours a week, forever, and you never have to pay again. You just wait for the next Call of Duty. I promise you there are plenty of people, numbering in the millions, who play one game, which is Call of Duty, and they never stop. That’s just like the people who play World of Warcraft and never stop, yet the World of Warcraft guys are paying $180 a year, and the Call of Duty guys are paying $60. So who’s got a better model? This multiplayer thing being free was a mistake. I don’t think anybody ever envisioned it would be this big. It’s a mistake because it keeps those people from buying and playing other games.”
Activision actually did attempt to monetize portions of Call of Duty‘s online multiplayer experience with Call of Duty Elite; now, the company has moved that service to being free instead of pay. However, Pachter seems an opportunity for the publisher to monetize another franchise.
“Prediction: The next Bungie game will be single-player only; the multiplayer aspect of that game will be subscription only,” Pachter said about the upcoming Activision and Bungie collaboration Destiny. “Activision’s going to try it, because they’re greedy pigs, and they’re bold.”
Source: Games Industry