Activision

IS CALL OF DUTY ELITE PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION A FAIR DEAL?

When Activision originally announced their new Call of Duty Elite premium subscription package for £34.99 or $49.99 a year (or included in Modern Warfare 3‘s top-end Hardened Edition), I originally responded with “What a bloody rip off” and walked away thinking that once again, Activision were milking their cash cow for all it’s worth. They seem intent on squeezing every last drop from the world’s best selling game, whilst fleecing gamers in the process. Once I had time to calm down and look under the bonnet to see exactly what was on offer, I hate to admit that actually the deal could actually end up saving you money if MW3 is your weapon of choice.

A quick look at the FAQ reveals the following: “The annual subscription to Call of Duty Elite is an all-inclusive membership, and that means you get Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 downloadable content, including all of the MW3 map packs and more as part of your premium membership. No need to buy additional DLC.”

Previous Call of Duty games released, on average, four map packs during their life cycle. If you are the kind of CoD Fan that would buy all of these maps, the Elite Package would actually be considerably better value than buying them separately throughout the year.

There is certainly a bittersweet pill to swallow here, as the Elite members will get their hands a new batch of content every month first, rather than waiting for the usual quarterly release of multiplayer maps, extra spec ops missions and new game modes. This means that non subscribers could end up of the pace and playing catch-up, which in effect could be seen as forcing them to subscribe to get the most out of the game.

Value for money or pointless willy waving?

Personally, I am of the belief that Activision are marketing the Elite Premium subscription all wrong. Nobody gives a rat’s ass about gold clan tags, premium theatre, groups, Elite TV and various other willy waving statistic boards. The majority of people are unaware that you actually receive all MW3 DLC, which will be around twenty items and released monthly so you will always have something new in the game. If you don’t like the game, then this will never appeal to you, but for a Call of Duty regular; this is genuinely a good deal.

Although Elite Premium and EA Sports Season tickets are receiving growing criticism by offering their own services, they are arguably better value than paying Microsoft £40 Xbox Live for a marketplace to buy more things. Especially considering that if you were only ever playing FIFA online on your Xbox, which uses EA’s own servers, you have to ask: “What am I paying Microsoft for?”

The world is caught in the middle of a financial crisis and everyone, more than ever before, is having to watch what they spend. If you are one of the gamers out there who have paid  £40 to Microsoft for Xbox Live, £40 for a game and then £35 for an exclusive club, then you have just blown £115 to play one game on a console. How many people can actually afford to do this? As people begin to get more thrifty, you can see on many gaming forums that there is a growing voice of people calling Activision greedy, as they are tired of playing the same game each year.

Franchise down… Repeat, we have a franchise down.

Even hardcore CoD fans seem to be getting more excited about the release of Battlefield 3, and maybe it’s not about CoD refusing to change or even the fact Battlefield 3 has Jet Fighters; but people are simply getting tired of Activision’s greed and are starting to make a stand.

So as the haters begin to defect from CoD, the irony is that they could quite easily end up spending more anyway, as they will have to pay for individual map packs for Battlefield over a year. Gamers will never win, and maybe that’s what attracts us all; the constant challenge and thrill of the chase.

That said, if your life is not complete without CoD MW3 and all of the map packs for the next 12 months, then the Elite premium subscription package is officially a good deal, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

Advertisements

Call of Duty vs. Battlefield: Let the battle commence.

There are many people out there who simply don’t have enough time or money to play every new game out there and find themselves buying one or two games a year. Just like ladies of a certain age will buy one album a year that was spoon-fed them from a local commercial radio station.

This very often means that the occasional gamer will pick up the latest instalment of Call Of Duty every year without fail and get increasingly frustrated with getting their ass handed to them on a regular basis by people who live on the game and are more concerned with personal glory and being ten times prestige in some insane and pointless willy-waving contest. Critics will tell you there are many problems with CoD: Black Ops but one of the biggest for me is the amount of idiots that you find online, and don’t get me started on camping! The biggest problem for those who some might call “Noobs” is the lack of community as it seems to be dominated by smack talking types with a win at all costs attitude.

The amount of tantrums heard on the mic by people shouting at other members of a team for not having the same class as the rest of the team is tragic and quite laughable at times, let’s be honest; it’s a game to kick back and relax to at the end of a hard day and not to be taking so seriously. However for people that feel this way, do not worry as Battlefield Bad Company 2 is a fantastic alternative and something that may have been overlooked by a few of you but offers more rewards as well as better value DLC! (more…)

Gaming, the fastest selling product in the entertainment industry

Gaming has always been considered a geeky pastime for nerds and adolescent young boys who don’t fit in. The types that will never get a girlfriend so instead spend hours in their bedrooms living out another life via the medium of video games where they can become leaders of an alternative world.

How the world scoffed and looked down on this lowly form of entertainment that they could never understand. The cool kids were great at football and were always out getting laid, and maybe even picked on those geeky game loving outcasts.

That’s the way people have seen gamers for a long time, many years before American movies would flood the world with tales about struggles between Jocks vs. Nerds which is basically the same film made a thousand times.

It seems, however, the world has changed and this was proven recently when Call of Duty: Black Ops became the ‘biggest entertainment launch in history’ generating revenues of $360 million in its first twenty-four hours on sale in the US and UK. Put aside any feelings you have about the COD Franchise for a few moments (Never! – Andy) and try to digest this piece of news. In a twenty-four hour period, one video game has generated more money than any movie release, album or any entertainment ever! The thought that video games can now sell more than movie and music releases combined is simply staggering.

Considering James Cameron’s epic blockbuster Avatar made $232 million in its opening weekend, it puts things largely into perspective, especially considering that Call of Duty Black Ops even looks like it will beat last year’s five day global sales record of $550 million.

Other research suggests that the average age of a gamer in 2010 is now 32 which is a far cry from the adolescent boy locked in his bedroom. This Christmas families will no longer be huddled around a table playing Trivial Pursuit until the early hours but will probably be playing Microsoft Kinect, Playstation Move or the Nintendo Wii.

A family game of Manhunt 2 anyone?