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Activision responsible for $10 XBL price hike?


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#1
Zilla
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Back in June, Kotick commented saying that he wanted to release a COD game that charged a subscription http://www.next-gen....otick-...orrow”

[Copied from a NeoGAF thread, wanted to share.]


June 2010

Quote: "I would have Call Of Duty be an online subscription service tomorrow," he replied (via *****). "When you think about what the audience's interests are and how you could really satisfy bigger audiences with more inspired, creative opportunities, I would love to see us have an online Call Of Duty world. I think our players would just have so much of a more compelling experience.
Then again in July, he commented how Activision wasn't getting a portion of the Xbox Live fees, despite driving 60% of their traffic http://www.next-gen.....box-live-model




July 2010

Quote: "We've heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft's] subscribers are principally on Live because of Call Of Duty," Kotick said. "We don't really participate financially in that income stream. We would really like to be able to provide much more value to those millions of players playing on Live, but it's not our network."
Now the XBL $10 price hike was announced in August and implemented on November 1st http://majornelson.c....scription.aspx


And following this, I just read this Kotick interview here - released on November 12th that brings this theory to light...



November 12 2010 http://www.joystiq.c....-treyarch-inf/

Quote: "You know, Call of Duty games probably represent more than 50% of the total Xbox Live traffic," Bobby Kotick told me when I asked him about Microsoft's recent $10 Xbox Live price hike. You see, Activision is tasked with monetizing an immensely popular online game through a traditional – and inflexible – system: a retail disc played in a video game console controlled by another company. And despite a constant refrain of Call of Duty subscription rumors, the only subscription you may pay to play it online isn't to Activision at all; it's to Microsoft.

"I think the thing that sometimes even I don't fully appreciate – and I think I have a greater appreciation for it today, having spent a lot of time up with Microsoft recently – but they invest billions of dollars in the Live platform. Billing, credit collection, things like foreign currency conversion, being able to manage point systems. All of that is extremely expensive to manage and maintain." Of course, this is all to say that it deserves something, but how do Activision and its customers factor into Microsoft's agenda?

"Because of our Blizzard experience we have an incredible understanding of how important the provision of appropriate customer service is," Kotick said, citing 2,500 World of Warcraft customer service employees for the US and Europe alone. "What we'd like to ideally see is that the investment in the subscription fees going towards the provision of a higher level of customer service [...] to see some portion of the subscription fees go towards game enhancement." Activision does enjoy a "very modest amount of the subscription fees," Kotick told us, but he's more interested in seeing any cost increase in the service go towards "directly benefitting the Call of Duty players."


So, with $60 a year out the door for many Call of Duty players – that would be those playing on Xbox 360, as opposed to PC or PlayStation 3 – it's already a significant $5 a month expense and Activision has only snagged a "modest amount" of that $5.
So Activision are now receiving a portion of the XBL fees. Prior to June, they weren't receiving anything and at some point between June-November, they have started receiving a "very modest amount of the subscription fees". Seems rather conveniently timed with the XBL $10 price hike on the 1st of November!

This is also conveniently timed with Activision's sudden change of heart in today's article from the other thread where Eric Hirshberg said that Activision will never charge for online multiplayer...



November 24 2010

Quote: Speaking to IndustryGamers as part of an in-depth interview on the business (stay tuned for more next week), Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg told us that charging for multiplayer simply just won't be happening - not now, not ever. "Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no. The experience you have out of the box, connecting with the online community to play Call of Duty is absolutely integral to the experience and we'll never charge for that. It's not going to be something we'll attempt to monetize; it's part of the package," Hirshberg stressed.

Further commenting on Pachter's assertion about a variety of online subscriptions, he continued, "Nothing we or anyone else tries is going to work if it doesn't have tremendous value for people and add a tremendous value to the gaming experience. He's probably looking at meta-trends in the world and in culture about online services and new ways things should be monetized from Netflix to cloud-based computing. So there are certainly a lot of behavioral shifts towards long-standing online relationships... But at the end of the day, all I'm trying to get across is I can unequivocally say we will never, ever charge for the multiplayer."
So if my theory is sound, Activision is directly responsible for the XBL price hike and every single XBL subscriber is subsiding Activision, even if you have never bought a single one of their games.


So what are your thoughts on the matter?
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#2
Skully
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Doesn't bother me much, $10 is nothing.

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#3
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Still ridiculous that Kotick wants more money even after selling like 30 million Call of Duty copies.

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#4
Zilla
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Doesn't bother me much, $10 is nothing.


True, but as I don't and probably a large portion of XBOX live do not play call of duty, I have to pay a fee for Call of Duty even through I don't own it! If that is the reason of course.
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#5
Michael
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You're speculating that Activision is the reason for the price hike, but looking at the history of XBL there have been many upgrades in the past and no increase in cost, and now there has finally been a slight increase for the new services you try and pin it on Activision beast.

#6
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Hes just a greedy CEO.
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#7
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I love how all the evils in the video game world are blamed on Activision.

#8
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I love how all the evils in the video game world are blamed on Activision.

Well, to be fair, they are generally quite [puncture]ish. The whole deal with IW sealed the deal for me that they were a bunch of jerks.

TANSTAAFL


#9
Brad25891
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I remember back in the day when it was EA that were the money grabbing [wagon].. Seems the tables have turned..
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I remember back in the day when it was EA that were the money grabbing [wagon].. Seems the tables have turned..

They still are, they just have company now.
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Get back here so I can rub your butt.


#11
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Activision wanting even more money after selling millions of CoD games?

Not surprising at all, really.

#12
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You're speculating that Activision is the reason for the price hike, but looking at the history of XBL there have been many upgrades in the past and no increase in cost, and now there has finally been a slight increase for the new services you try and pin it on Activision beast.

Seems like this. Speculation based on a looseish coincidence. Though it would make sense that they get a cut of the live fees, if they're the reason that 50-60% of subscribers are there. The whole multiplayer CoD thing is pretty big.

I'll stick to not having XBL. Beats paying to get cursed at by a 12 year old, at any rate.

Unrelated: Free live weekend this week too.

#13
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I remember back in the day when it was EA that were the money grabbing [wagon].. Seems the tables have turned..

People still buy their games? Have they even released any half-decent games this year?

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#14
Zilla
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I remember back in the day when it was EA that were the money grabbing [wagon].. Seems the tables have turned..

People still buy their games? Have they even released any half-decent games this year?


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#15
Overdoziz
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I remember back in the day when it was EA that were the money grabbing [wagon].. Seems the tables have turned..

People still buy their games? Have they even released any half-decent games this year?


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I second this.

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#16
TheValeyard
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Any goodwill they built up with BC2 was immediately lost when they released Medal of Honour.

#17
Overdoziz
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That's also true.

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#18
Furah
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I haven't seen so much as a gameplay video for BC, let alone BC2.

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#19
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Mass Effect 2.

#20
Alg
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Mass Effect 2.

Bioware in general.




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