Pachter: Activision needs to charge for Call of Duty multiplayer

Industry analyst Michael Pachter says Activision made a mistake deciding to make multiplayer free for shooter series; predicts company will acquire Take-Two.

Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter is no stranger to making bold claims, and now he has made another. Speaking during the Digital Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco, California (reported by GamesIndustry International), Pachter said Activision made a serious mistake when it decided to not use a subscription-based model for Call of Duty multiplayer.

"I know the game sells billions of dollars. Activision did a bad thing with Call of Duty from a profit perspective," Pachter said. "They trained gamers that you can buy a game and play it all year, ten hours a week, forever, and you never have to pay again. You just wait for the next Call of Duty. I promise you there are plenty of people, numbering in the millions, who play one game, which is Call of Duty, and they never stop."

Pachter then compared Call of Duty to Activision's other juggernaut series: World of Warcraft.

"That's just like the people who play World of Warcraft and never stop, yet the World of Warcraft guys are paying $180 a year, and the Call of Duty guys are paying $60. So who's got a better model?" he said. "This multiplayer thing being free was a mistake. I don't think anybody ever envisioned it would be this big. It's a mistake because it keeps those people from buying and playing other games."

Activision is unlikely to repeat that "mistake" with its new game from Halo developer Bungie Studios, Pachter said. The industry diviner predicted that the multiplayer component of this game, rumored to be titled Destiny, will be subscription-based. "Activision's going to try it, because they're greedy pigs, and they're bold," he said.

Elsewhere during his talk, Pachter shared some biting words about Nintendo's just-launched Wii U.

"I think you're going to see now with the Wii U, notwithstanding its early launch support, nobody's going to support it," Pachter predicted. "I don't think we're going to see every game on the Wii U next year. I think when next-gen consoles come out they're going to be better than the Wii U."

Lastly, Pachter predicted that acquisitions are on the horizon for Activision. He said the publisher is likely to go after Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two first because "that fits in very nicely." He also said Activision "should" buy social game studio Zynga, though Pachter said he does not think Zynga CEO Mark Pincus will sell.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

0 comments
Donomega
Donomega

Pachter would change his tone if he actually had to pay for any games he owns

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

you cod folks deserve this for having no standards in the first place.

Nexozable
Nexozable

Does this guy just live on negativity and absolutely ridiculously sounding ideas?

St0Ne4Ge
St0Ne4Ge

If Pachter had his way we would all be hooked up to IV's while gaming and Activision would take a small drop of our blood every minute we played.

r3dk00la1d
r3dk00la1d

I can tell you this much, I'm already upset with the COD franchise, and barely purchased this last one at all. (It's not like they don't milk us for more money with map packs, oh and they don't have to dedicate near as many servers for fps, just a matchmaker server the rest is hosted by players)  I've held out, but if they tried this crap I would no longer be playing their game.

solitarykiller
solitarykiller

I see where some are are coming with regard to DLC since no doubt there is a hefty profit margin within the DLC.  However, DLC has production costs and in terms of defining as a product can be separately identified to the core game.  A further identifying factor is that it is optional. 

 

This chap is talking about a different pricing model to further exploit the original product, the core game if you will.

 

My issue with the model being examined is that I do not think many purchase the COD games for single player.  Therefore there would have to be a drop in the cost of the original product for an idea of this ilk to have any legs at all.  

 

Thereafter, there would likely be a much lower take up in any case.  Whilst the alternative subscription model is likely to be more profitable it is also likely to make less money via the loss in volume of sales.  I personally avoid subscriptions and contract like the plague.  

 

It could be argued further that an exodus from COD would be caused and that this exodus would strengthen Activision's rivals and their franchises.  

 

I saw it mentioned below that there would be no chance that PC gamers would pay to play by way of subscription and I agree with that statement.  Activision may end up losing an entire demographic of gamers by presenting such a payment model.

 

I think that the bottom line is that, similar to most other things in life, you can't have your cake and eat it.  Activision is already thought of in a dim light amongst gamers (not its shareholders!!!) with regard to profiteering and a change to the pricing model of COD, such a popular and dare I say it influential game due to the masses it reaches, may well have further ramifications for Activision than the commentator anticipates.

 

I do enjoy a spot of COD myself, but also Battlefield and other franchises and so having said the above, if changing the pricing model brings Activision to its knees and introduces further competition among the market franchises (leading to better games) then I'm all for it :)

 

therealgreek89
therealgreek89

Michael Pachter, the only man who can be consistently wrong and not lose his job.....

stewart8smith
stewart8smith

MMO's are already moving away from the subscription services. This guy just sees money and no other variables.

beerhammer1
beerhammer1

That's just absurd- WOW is much deeper than a freakin FPS!  I would never, NEVER pay to play any FPS online!! 

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

They play it all day because they can. You start charging, chances are half of them will just stop.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Online pass and their ilk is EVIL  - end of.

LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

remember sheeple...the companies can only get away with what you allow them to...and unfortunately these days it seems that you all allow them to do whatever they want.

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

... a mistake because it keeps those people from buying and playing other games ...

 

well ea/bioware got there first, their multiplayer flagship me3 killed the replay value of me1&2, which is why the single player felt so much like a smack in the face.  Replay value is dying out fast because it doesn't make money.  genre is equally eradicated by these people, because it is too much work to cater for different likings, so now we are going to be stuck with mediocre games that are to appeal to everyone across the horizon...am i glad i kept all my old favourite games in the cupboard.  there won't be much money made out of me in the future. produce well made games and i am willing to pay that little bit more.  Quality is the future!

nomadski69
nomadski69

Get your dirty hands off my Grand Theft Auto Craptivision. You are satans spawn.

shruteshkumar
shruteshkumar

I think we need a diskike button or something to express our opinions on Pachter's ideas... this is supposed to be an artistic industry first.

 

Games dont sell if they concentrate on MAKING MONEY, they sell if they concentrate on being GOOD GAMES... Bethesda is not a bigger company than Acti/Ubi/EA; but I would never miss a Beth game, and i very rarely buy from Acti/Ubi/EA.

blkgto
blkgto

Comparing Call of Duty to World of Warcraft is completely and utterly moronic.  They are not comparable by any means.  Who the hell is this guy?  I sincerely hope nobody pays him any mind. 

blkgto
blkgto

He sounds like an idiot.  Who the hell would pay to play a first person shooter?  Keep that nonsense to yourself dude. 

dunk_420
dunk_420

no one would pay to play a shooter online the sales would fall like crazy

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

I don't play CoD, so it doesn't matter either way to me what they do with it. It just sounds like a lot of greed to me though to charge for MP when they already make enough money off the franchise as it is. My question is, how far will gamers let these publishers push them before they finally say they're tired of being ripped-off?

thequickshooter
thequickshooter

jesus shitty 15 bucks per 4 maps DLC aren't enough? 

 

if anyone buys the next COD deserves to pay more for supporting the most (and almost) Obnoxious company in the world of gaming 

 

 

ezio899
ezio899

honestly i used to play CoD back with MW1 sniping with my 50 cal out of barns windows and anything else i could find but when mw2 came out i saw exactly where it was going and haven't bought a single call of duty since course im not one of those that preach to stop buying their games based on my opinion but tbh every year every summer all i ever hear about is all the new hype for the next call of duty game and as a gamer and a media follower id love to hear about something else in the mainline media for awhile rather then "hey look the next clone with a diff look is coming out YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY" honestly it's come to a point where CoD should just come out with a onine as it's own game and charge like 5-10$ a month and get rid of the yearly crap and just update it normally it would be a much better idea then what this idiot is talking about 

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

Apparently nobody has ever told this guy about DLC 

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

umm isnt that what Elite and the Season Pass is for?!  I'm already nearing my tolerance limit with CoD games as it is. After they took out Hardcore FFA and replaced it with Kill Confirmed...AND for what ever reason they took out the spawn timer in Teamdeath match...I'm about ready to jump over and play Halo.  Atleast that game admits its BS.

proclaimor
proclaimor

Why stop there? Why not charge players for a combat advantage like juggernaut for an hour or superior weapons. They could be called premium perks. You could get free codes in doritoes and mountain dew. Heck how about a CoD energy drink with codes. Games could stop and start an auction for the win with players purchasing points and objectives. Get a prepaid CoD card and pay per game, link it to people's bank accounts make it autorenew and be very difficult to cancel. The possiblities are endless.

ZProtestTheHero
ZProtestTheHero

Considering more than 60% of the Call of Duty audience is 15 and under I would personally love for this to happenIt would push people away from Call Of Duty and perhaps the over-stagnation of "I wana be like CoD" Shooters would finally settle down. 

Darthkaiser
Darthkaiser moderator moderator

The guy says Activision needs to charge but what I want to know is if they WILL charge :?

1suicidesamurai
1suicidesamurai

This guy is just talking out of his ass. Activision already has map packs, the Elite subscription service, and in the future online use will require an exclusive code preventing used game players from getting online for free. 

joshua6775
joshua6775

I.Will.Never.Pay.Monthly.Fees.When.I.Already.Pay.For.XboxLive.

 

 

X-Eli-X
X-Eli-X

Did he really just compare WoW's month-to-month content and the amount of TLC is receives from its developer on a daily basis to CoD? Wow. Pachter's general knowledge of the video game industries' finances do not properly reflect on this particular situation.

179107199999
179107199999

"I know the game sells billions of dollars. Activision did a bad thing with Call of Duty from a profit perspective," Pachter said. "They trained gamers that you can buy a game and play it all year, ten hours a week, forever, and you never have to pay again. You just wait for the next Call of Duty. I promise you there are plenty of people, numbering in the millions, who play one game, which is Call of Duty, and they never stop." All of you people who call the guy a lunatic and says he's wrong pay attention. Capcom put on disc DLC on a lot of there games and people still brought them. Other companies charge for trinkets and people still buy them.Games with Online Passes people still buy them.Madden is the same game every year and people still buy it.Black Ops is the same game and people still buy it. Patcher is right.The CoD drones will buy anything no matter what hoops they have to jump through to get their fix.Even with the charge they'll still go for it.In a buisness p.o.v go with the charge the CoD drones will go for it just like DLC drones who buy trinkets.Its wrong though because of course if that works all multiplayer for a majority of games may get a charge which in turn will be to the detriment of all gamers.Drones don't care.They like a product and want to be associated with that product they'll do whatever to get their fix even if it hurts gamers in the long run.This WHOLE ENTIRE GAMING GENERATION IS PROOF OF THAT. I agree with Patcher.Make the money drones will buy it.I like that he said they were trained.Seeing fanboys defend the game like they do is proof of that.I hate the idea but as I said business wise Patcher's correct.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

 @r3dk00la1d LOL 'barely purchased this last one'. 

This guy will soo be inline for the next one. 

ZProtestTheHero
ZProtestTheHero

 @blkgto I think you misread. He wasn't making a Game to game comparison, but rather a moneys spent by players per-year comparison.

blackothh
blackothh

 @Gravity_Slave i would suggest moving onto games that are not saturated by 12 year olds, may do good for your anxiety.

digi-demon
digi-demon

 @proclaimor Hell yeah - why not stick a 1$ coin slot right in top of my console while they are at it :P 

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

 @ZProtestTheHero

 You just made that statistic up.  Whats your source for that?  There are more 25-35 year old gamers than all other gamers combined.  And its a stupid point considering the 15 year olds parents are going to pay for the extra fee anyway. 

deliman
deliman

 @joshua6775 I.Will.Put.A.Period.After.Every.Word.To.Show.That.I.Am.SERIOUS!

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

 @179107199999 I think you are really underestimating both the intelligence and the relative wealth of "CoD Drones" as you call them. Part of the reason so many people play CoD is that they can buy their "ticket" every year and play. While a lot of players buy DLC, a lot of them don't; which is why if you start playing on the playlists that have DLC maps, you get rocked by the 12 year olds who play it 40 hours a week and stop running into the more casual players who - "n00b" or no- make up the vast majority of sold copies of the game. If Activision starts charging monthly or in some other way, making the money required to play CoD unreasonable; all that will do is allow a company like EA to make a cheaper clone that the majority of the audience will switch to. The reason that hasn't happened yet, it because CoD and MoH cost the same amount of money every year or two, and despite the rep CoD gets, it IS the better game out of the two. 

 

Personally, I'm more of a Halo fan- but same rule applies; If I had to pay monthly for it, i'd just invest more time in Killzone instead. 

shruteshkumar
shruteshkumar

 @Venatorcruiser  @LilRoss2k3 Lol they will then make a CoD game about protecting CoD shipments from terrorists and someone will hand you a gun at the end of the game to shoot someone!!

 

DO NOT GIVE EM IDEAS!

blkgto
blkgto

 @ZProtestTheHero No actually I do not think I did.  I think you missed the point, and given the way you just structured your sentence in your reply to me, I am thinking that is probably likely. 

 

You look at an mmo's success and declare that because a game like wow successfully charges, a run of the mill fps can too.  That is completely idiotic.  The fact that you actually agree with him, even more so. 

 

 

blkgto
blkgto

 @ZProtestTheHero  Do us gamers a favor, since you are stupid enough to pay money to play call of duty online, give up your hobby and take up something else, like standing in front of a city bus, before you ruin it for the rest of us.

 

 

shruteshkumar
shruteshkumar

 @ZProtestTheHero  @dunk_420 Yeah they would, but hundreds of thousands would not buy the game at all if they knew MP was subscription based, and Activision would not even get that $60.... try charging PC players for online play, would be amusing lol..

calum1984
calum1984

 @blackothh  @Gravity_Slave Should avoid halo then......why I simply don't touch mainstream casualized games anymore. Parents using games as cheap babysitters is ruining online gaming and Ive ditched consoles entirely for online gaming to get around "most" of this (spoilt brats still get on pc's but at least they're a minority). The zombie craze is also winding me up at the moment as its infected (pun intended) my favourite fps/sim atm arma (can't wait for either arma 3 or dayz standalone to arrive and get away from the pre teen idiotic morons)

shruteshkumar
shruteshkumar

 @deliman  @joshua6775 Im a PC gamer, if anyone tries to charge me for playing online (Except you dear EVE), I will throw my money at a kickstarter project instead :/

179107199999
179107199999

@grey_fox1984 I'm not just talking about CoD drones but others as well I believe I made some points about that.On DLC some people don't buy and some people do...well a lot do.That's why we have DLC for cute extras like clothes in SC5 and SF and then chracter DLC like in SFxT.The thing is A lot do buy DLC.if people weren't buying DLC then the practice would stop and....I don't see that happening anytime soo...and so far EA has failed to capture CoD fans.As Patcher said they're trained.They'll pay that extra.Die hards will stay while people who truly game will get off the bandwagon and find something else.But don't undersestimate CoD drones.They did get Call of Duty in the guiness book of world records for best game story If I'm not mistaken and if i am it is along those lines.

calum1984
calum1984

 @grey_fox1984  @179107199999 You do have to pay monthly for halo.....xbox live subscription fee. Which is another point...wtf are you exactly paying for? Servers...nope all 360 games bar the EA ones use peer to peer were one xbox is the host (the EA games use EA's servers not microsofts), servers for your gamertag account..doubt it..my steam account on pc is free and that also allows me to save games on the net and continue on any pc no extra charges.....so wtf are you paying for exactly other than another isp charge to simply get on the net. Cracks me up all the idiots that periodically post messages on facebook about deleting their account if FB start charging yet pay xbox live gold fee in order to use facebook on the xbox LMAO

ZProtestTheHero
ZProtestTheHero

 @blkgto I never said i would pay, nor did i say i even liked call of duty. i was pointing it out. perhaps you should take your own advice before more of your stupidity spills out onto the internet.