Online subscriptions for Call of Duty: Black Ops could be introduced in the near future, according to industry analyst Michael Pachter. Speaking to Industry Gamers, he said:
“I think everyone will be offered the same multiplayer options for free that they have now. In addition, I see premium items offered as virtual goods for a modest fee–let’s say $1.”
“There will be special weapons, armour, vehicles, etc. offered, and the quantity will keep growing, in the hopes that some meaningful percentage of gamers who play online multiplayer pony up $1 or $2 per month on virtual goods. “
“I think that the company will “tier” its offering by offering a $5 per month subscription to Black Ops that includes ALL virtual items for free, plus access to all map packs released as long as the player remains active. There are probably going to be three $15 map packs, so that feature alone has a perceived $45 value, and I’m sure that there will be dozens of virtual items, so the $5 subscriber will perceive some value from subscribing.”
“In addition, the $5 subscriber may be offered exclusive tournaments, game play modes, ladders, achievements, and any other features that Activision can think up to induce them to pony up more money.”
Pachter then went on to say how he believes that in future, Activision will offer a $10 subscription for all Call of Duty games.
“Anyone paying $10 per month gets virtual items, ladders, tournaments, achievements, game play modes and map packs for CoD MW, CoD MW2, Black Ops and World at War, and as long as their subscription remains alive, they will get the next game and the one after that. There are a total of 7 map packs (I think) available now, and will be another 3 next year, so for $10 per month, a player will get all 10 map packs. Not a bad value.
“Next, I think Activision will offer a $15 monthly subscription that is an ‘all access pass’, allowing subscribers to play WoW, StarCraft II (look for monetization there), the new Bungie game (when it comes out), all COD games, and whatever they do with Guitar Hero (maybe free downloads of songs), on an unlimited basis.
“The trick is managing this without destroying sales of the game. They will tread very carefully, and will make sure that they let consumers know that they are NOT taking anything away, but are merely offering a LOT MORE VALUE for a little bit of money.”
Call of Duty: Black Ops made rather a lot of money when it launched last week, and Activision CEO Bobby Lotick has previously made no secret of his desire to make Call of Duty’s online multiplayer a subscription based service.
So Train2Game, do you believe that Activision could really introduce a subscription based service for Call of Duty: Black Ops? If so, would you be willing to pay for it? Or do you think Michael Pachter’s predictions are off the mark?