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CoD will move to "opt-in" premium model - Pachter

Analyst revises pay-to-play prediction, but still convinced Activision will monetise multiplayer

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has adjusted his assertion that Call of Duty multiplayer will move to a paid model by the end of the year, following yesterday's claims to the contrary by publisher Activision.

However, he remained sure that claims that the company is planning on finding new revenue models for its multiplayer games - potentially with an opt-in premium model rather than a subscription.

"I don't want to call out any of the blog posts or tweets or statements to IGN as untruthful," he told GamesIndustry.biz today.

"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."

He pointed to the publisher's history and particularly comments by CEO Bobby Kotick as a strong hint of its future intentions. "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."

Pachter was also sure that any monetisation of Call of Duty's multiplayer would not harm its profits. "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."

The analyst did, however, observe that while he considered multiplayer charges to be a financially sound move, he was not otherwise an advocate of them.

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Latest comments (9)

Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
What a surprise - he is revising yet another prediction.
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I do find it odd that he's the only analyst that ever garners any press coverage in any quantity. I'm not sure that this constitutes balanced reporting.
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Clive Lindop Lead Games Designer, Crytek6 years ago
Analysts are modern day soothsayers and just as reliable in thier predictions.
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Show all comments (9)
Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
Paul and Clive, you both make good points. I do wish GamesIndustry.biz would stop reporting on this man - it only encourages him!
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Agree with the precedent comments.
Some diversity but also more relevant and "not-so-obvious" predictions would be much appreciated

Edited 1 times. Last edit by a moderator on 21st July 2010 11:51am

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David Rider Publisher, Hustler UK6 years ago
For some reason, the entire games press reports on Mr Pachter's pearls of wisdom. Ultimately, his predictions will end up coming true in some way, shape or form, because he's talking about Activision.

Will players pay extra money over and above an XBL/PSN Plus model to play glitched and hacked games of CoD over peer to peer servers? Or are we talking about PC players being charged for multiplayer, because right now, that's the untapped monetary market as far as I see it.

Or will we see certain game types move to a pay-to-play model?

Still, the Medal of Honor beta finally came out on Xbox Live today, so, ahem…
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Murray Sinclair Artists 6 years ago
I will never pay to play online for a PC game. Ever!
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Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
MOH beta today hey? Hoorah!
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Usman Shahzad Studying Games Designer, Train2Game6 years ago
I think Pachter has a point and I agree with the free online play and premium service offer. This I believe is due to rise in Virtual Goods on MMORPGs (PC), Considering that Blizzard entertainment have already started to sell virtual mounts and pets etc.. For World of WarCraft users, its only natural that Activision may pick up a few "tricks of the trade" so to speak.
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