Remember in the last post I said that gaming companies will continue to find ways to get more money out of consumers? Well Activision did just that with their latest game publishing, Call of Duty: Black Ops IV. Activision has decided that their consumers will be dumb enough to pay $100 for a brand new game. Why do they think this you ask? Because the game publisher is one of the greediest in the industry; they are right behind EA in my opinion. Activision has partnered with those at Bungie and other companies to help them develop video games. They are also the sole publishers of Treyarch, Hammerhead Games, and Infinity Ward. The last three companies I listed are the three that create the mega-popular Call of Duty series over the last two decades (well Hammerhead is relatively new but you know what I mean).
Over the years, the people at Activision have killed franchises like Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, and Crash Bandicoot to name a few. This isn’t because they don’t try to make money off those franchises by any stretch either. Guitar Hero was killed off because the head of the company claimed that another game that was similar to the franchise, DJ Hero, was too popular and took away from it. The real cause was that they released 13 different versions of Guitar Hero in one year. Oversaturation is a thing. Activision has a very bad problem of causing a problem for themselves, only to blame others for their shortcomings.
Which brings me to today’s post. Treyarch released information about the deluxe and special editions of Black Ops IV on their website. What people began to realize is that these editions feature a season pass for all new DLC (downloadable content) coming over the next year. That’s nothing new when it comes to these types of games. What is new is that unless you buy the deluxe or special editions of the game, you cannot buy the DLC. This means you as a consumer, have to shell out more more than $100, as that is the deluxe price without tax, to be able to even receive the new DLC. Activision is banking that people will be stupid enough to pay more money for this game so that they are not left out of when the new content drops instead of picking and choosing what content they want. Now, season passes are not all bad. Fortnite and plenty of other games do it. The problem here is that this essentially creates two options for someone. Either spend $60 on the base game and get no DLC until months later, or drop the $100 to get the new content. You have no other options.
Now obviously the game is not out yet. This means that Activision has four months to fix their mess before the game releases in October at the time of this post. Will they? Probably not? Will people buy the deluxe edition anyway without a care? Absolutely. The issue here is that Activision honestly believes that enough people will do the latter and not lose profits. I do not foresee that happening. Games are expensive as it is, and as a result, most people will wait for sales to buy a new game unless they really want it. Call of Duty is on decline in terms of consumer interests, especially thanks to monetary schemes like lootboxes and skins that are more a publisher’s wish than a developers wish. With fan support dwindling year by year as more options other than Call of Duty and Battlefield appear in the market, Activision better think over these next four months very hard about what to do about the backlash they are currently receiving. I, for one, will not be buying a copy until this is resolved.
So what do you think? Will you be buying the deluxe or will you abstain from this year’s COD. Sound off in the comments, or contact me on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.