Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Pachter Discusses Potential Call Of Duty Subscription Model

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has been talking to about his expectations of Activision adopting a subscription-based multiplayer for future Call of Duty instalments:
"I don't want to call out any of the blog posts or tweets or statements to IGN as untruthful."

"Rather, I think that they probably are true: Activision won't require people to play for multiplayer, but I think that they will find a way to offer a premium experience for a fee, whether that takes the form of subscription, pay-as-you-go, microtransactions for virtual goods, tournament fees or some combination."

"I am confident that the company will continue to move in the direction of extracting more revenue from gamers. In my view, Activision is motivated to charge for multiplayer, has a window of opportunity to do so, and can extract greater profits if it imposes a charge. It makes logical sense (to me at least) that given their motivation and opportunity, coupled with their past behaviour, they will charge in the future. Call of Duty is the most likely candidate due to the large number of users."

"Some consumers will likely revolt, but giving full credit that the blogs, tweets and statements are true, virtually everyone will be able to continue to play for free, and only those who wish a premium experience will pay for it, with an opt-in model."

"I think that this is the most fair way to approach extracting value, and yes, I think it will be successful."
Personally, we think it’s likely Activision will adopt a tier scheme; all users can play for free with a low level cap and a few rudimentary Perks, a modest sum of money will get some better Perks and raise the level cap maybe to first Prestige and an expensive all-singing all-dancing package will allow users to max everything out and get access to the best Perks.

We’re not advocates of a Call of Duty subscription model and we know nothing beside rumour and hearsay, but frankly from a business perspective we feel it’s inevitable that the publisher will go down this road. Activision have, however, confirmed Black Ops will have no subscription model, and that a recent video showing Modern Warfare 2 with a payment mode were false.

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