A flurry of articles have been hitting the internet in the last three days discussing the possibility that Activision are planning to make a number of Call of Duty’s online features subscription only. Rumours first started after screen grabs of a survey were published by Destructoid. The survey seems to be testing the water and asking fans whether they’d be prepared to pay monthly, quarterly or yearly fees for features such as; weapon and character customisation, online game modes, team matching, taunts, early access to multiplayer maps and clan management features. Needless to say this news has been met with some criticisim… usually concisely constructed from two short words that I’m unable to quote here!
Call of Duty has become one of the best selling next generation titles selling over 13 million copies according to Activision CEO Mike Griffith, as a business it’s understandable that they’d want to maximise their profits but from the reaction I’ve read so far it’s not a decision that’s going to win them any new fans, and risks them losing a few current ones too.
I’m hard pressed to see how the majority of these rumoured features are above and beyond anything that may be found in the SOCOM franchise and although the survery indicates that the game will still be online playable without the subscription you have to wonder to what extent. The full brunt of criticisim understandably seems to be coming from the Xbox360 community who, let’s not forget, already have to pay for the privilege of playing their games online.
Call of Duty 4 is the oldest game in my collection (most others don’t survive six months let alone a few years) And it still get’s plenty of playtime – but as much as I like it I can’t envisage a time when I’d pay a subscription fee to play it. Certainly more so in the current financial climate.