Activision CEO: “I Would Have Call of Duty be an Online Subscription Service Tomorrow”
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick knows all-to-well about the kind of profit one can make with a subscription based gaming service. Blizzard, the team behind the ultra-popular World of Warcraft franchise, is a subsidiary of Activision and has gone on to make millions from their MMORPG, all because they charge $10-a-month per-character. Kotick believes the same formula could apply to the Call of Duty franchise and if he could, he would charge players tomorrow, which he revealed to the Wall Street Journal.
“I would have Call of Duty be an online subscription service tomorrow,” Kotick told the newspaper. “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.”
Now get this, he somehow believes gamers want to pay for a subscription for Call of Duty. His reasoning: many people already pay for Xbox Live and play Call of Duty, which obviously means they would shell out even more, just to play some kind of MMO Call of Duty.
“I think our audiences are clamoring for it. If you look at what they’re playing on Xbox Live today, we’ve had 1.7 billion hours of multiplayer play on Live. I think we could do a lot more to really satisfy the interests of the customers.”
I’m not saying a subscription based Call of Duty wouldn’t succeed; I just don’t think people would pay for Call of Duty, if it played exactly the same way, as it does now. If Kotick believes gamers would pay ten bucks a month to play a Call of Duty, but the only difference would be with hundreds or even thousands of online players at once, much like World of Warcraft, he’s gonna have a rude awaking.
The reason why people are so addicted to ‘WoW,’ isn’t just because of the amount of people who play. It’s because the player creates a avatar, who then has to build his/hers reputation in a virtual world. In a way, the person who is playing, is living a second life — in a fantasy world.
Even if Activision captures the ‘magic’ of building a character in a Call of Duty universe, I’m not sold if the type of audience who play Call of Duty for countless hours, would even be up for something like that.
We’ll know one day because I think it inevitable that a MMO Call of Duty is going to happen.