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Call of Duty Subscription Model Revealed


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Big news today, someone cracked the impenetrable code of CoD, figuring out that Modern Warfare 3 will be hitting this November. It’s as if someone looked at the following release dates:


  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – November 5, 2007
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – November 10, 2009
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - ????

This isn’t rocket science people, history repeats itself and the videogame industry is no exception. There was of course an unforeseen issue which happened in early 2010, the Infinity Ward shakeup which most likely halted production of MW3 in some capacity. Now lets take a step back and assess the situation:


Treyarch: Handling the CoD franchise; strong focus on single player/multiplayer; used to pick up where Infinity Ward left off; most likely spearheading the future of CoD.


Infinity Ward: In disarray; studio heads gone; massive exodus causes delays, rehiring of staff; focused on the Modern Warfare franchise.


Sledgehammer: New studio; tasked with working on a 3rd Call of Duty franchise; Current staff and or goals are unknown.


What Activision has created here is somewhat of a problem. On one hand you have a new Call of Duty, one of the biggest gaming franchises ever, coming out every year. But now you have a third studio, the 3rd wheel with no direction. What could Sledgehammer possibly be working on? A new WW2 story? Probably not. A continuation of Black Ops? Doubt it, that’s Treyarch’s baby. Modern Warfare 3? Not likely, the Infinity Ward connection is too important to Activision and the public.


So what the hell could this new team of unknown’s be working on, well the answer is quite simple really: Call of Duty – OnLine.


In 2008 Activision and Blizzard became one. Blizzard being the creator of the most popular and lucrative PC game ever may have set more of an example than we could have ever predicted. You can bet that Activision sees no reason to not recreate the WoW model on the console front, using their biggest and best selling franchise: Call of Duty.


After the success of Modern Warfare and it’s 2009 sequel MW2, it’s obvious Activision took notice of how popular their little shooter was online. The following information basically confirms that:


  • CoD 4 Map Packs circa 2008: $10
  • Modern Warfare 2 Map Packs circa 2010: $15


Charging $15 for a Map Pack was called ludicrous, insane; the gaming community chanted that they would simply not stand for it. Yet, by August 2010, the MW2 Map Packs sold over 20 million copies, all digital. Once Activision realized they could make an extra $300 million off these sales, it’s almost certain talks began of how the Call of Duty franchise could keep such a revenue model going. Enter Call of Duty OnLine.


Just imagine the first meetings, the kinds of ideas being tossed around. New maps every week, dedicated servers, unlimited emblem customization, endless level caps, new weapons, skins, badges etc etc. The list can theoretically go on forever, especially with a dedicated team in place, a team with no single player to worry about. Think about that, a 3rd branch of the Call of Duty arm whose sole job is to update and maintain the online space of the multiplayer arena.


But what time period would this bold idea take place in? The answer is pretty simple: all of them. Sledgehammer’s first task would most likely be updating previous online components of CoD and bringing them into the modern era. Retexturing everything from CoD 2 to World at War to meet today’s standards. And just like Wrath of the Lich King or Cataclysm, new time periods or updates could simply be called expansion packs.


So the final question still stands? Would the bulk of the Call of Duty crowd be willing to spend a monthly fee for regular updates and a more stable online connection? It depends on the pricing, but it’s safe to say, definitely and defeated: yes. I lost all hope in the rallying gaming communities after the first stats released for the Stimulus Map Pack. Sure, the haters will hate but Call of Duty has grown much bigger than anyone could have ever predicted.


The franchise has reached massive numbers, so big that Activision wants their own WoW, one that sucks in the other half of the casual market. I personally know a few people, friends who would never consider themselves gamers yet they are diehard Call of Duty fanatics. And when a new map pack comes out, they are among the first to download them. These people don’t read blogs, magazines or reddit; they play Call of Duty multiplayer every night with their friends. And I can guarantee you that when an online only version of CoD comes out, these people will be among the first to fork over their hard earned cash each and every month.


So go ahead and act surprised that Modern Warfare 3 is coming out this year, just don’t be when you’re paying $10-$15 a month for your daily CoD fix.

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unlucky PC gamers didnt have to pay for CoD4 map packs :o

yeah, i guess that xbox and ps3 dont have to pay either if they download them illegally

we didnt have to download them illegally they were free, as patches-1.1, 1.2, 1.3 upto 1.7

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