Well, you may pay close to that in the near future if the greedy bastards who run Activision, THQ and Take Two get their way.
Bobby Kotick, Strauss Zelnick and Brian Farrell all spoke at the Reuters Global Media Summit earlier this week and all 3 made references to changing the way they will charge, and you will pay, for games in the future.
After Activision started the “Elite” membership horse-shit with the release of Modern Warfare 3, other companies started keeping an eye on subscription numbers in an effort to determine if subscription based gaming will work out for them, as well.
Brian Ferrell from THQ is quoted as saying :
“The big win there is you have a consumer base that pays you the subscription fee each month ongoing. That’s a very different revenue model for a video game company, when you have this monthly subscription revenue rather than a one-time purchase,”
The BIG WIN?! Really? Big fucking win for WHO, Brian? Certainly not the gamers!
Strauss Zelnick, of Take Two said :
“They are experimenting with ’Call of Duty,’ and we watch with interest to see how that will play out. I’ve said for years the holy grail of our business is to take a packaged goods release and turn it into a subscription model.”
Well, yeah, that may be the holy grail for the publishers but for gamers, it seems more like getting the staff of moses up the pooper.
What these guys are talking about is charging the gamer an initial $60.00 fee for the purchase of a game and then upwards of an additional $50.00 per year for the privilege of playing the game. So what happens when you want to own 2-3, or even more, multiplayer enabled games? Saaaaaaay…Modern Warfare, Battlefield, Bioshock and Saints Row. Well, you’re going to drop nearly $270.oo (after tax) on the games and then another $200.00 PER YEAR to play them.
What the FUCK?!
Look, people already complain about paying $15.00 per month for an MMO, but let’s do the math.
If you buy an MMO and drop $15.00 per month, you’re going to be paying $66.00 for the game (after tax) and then $180.oo per year for the privilege of playing that game in a massively multiplayer environment. So for the first year, you’ll drop about $246.00 for hours and hours of play time, with tangible gains and a tangible community.
If you buy 4 standard games, under their proposed model, you’ll be shelling out $264.00 for the games and then $200.oo per year to play, which works out to $464.00 for the first year of a playing in a limited multiplayer environment with a non-persistent gaming experience in a non-persistent community.
And they’re serious about this! This is frightening.
I’ll tell you what…The very minute they implement such a pricing scheme I will stop buying their games. ANY company who initiates a subscription fee of that kind will be on my boycott list and I very seriously challenge all of you to do the same. Yeah, you’re going to miss getting shot in the face by an 8 year old in Modern Warfare 17, “Return to Gettysburg” but you’re also going to be telling these greedy, money mongering publishers which end of the stick they can suck on.
We, as gamers, have to demand quality from these publishers. Why do we keep getting screwed over by them? Because we encourage them to do so. Every time they release a crappy game with a hot title, we run out by the millions and give them our cash. They raise their prices, we give them more money. They implement 80% releases with premium DLC to complete the game, we drop points on them. Now they’re talking, openly and publicly, about how good it will be for them if they decide to screw us over even more and I say it’s time to stop taking it.
Keep an eye on these shifty bastards and if they start walking down this road, tell everyone you know to stop buying their products. I absolutely guarantee they will change their tune dramatically right after the first failed launch puts them on the brink of having to take pay cuts so they can pay the light bill.
Don’t take it lying down any more. Vote with your wallets and make yourselves heard.