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Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Will Take Overpriced DLC Over Online Pass System Any Day

Kotick: Online passes aren’t “in the best interest of the gamer”

In a recent interview, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick claimed the publisher is not interested in introducing any type of online pass system to increase revenues from the trade-in market.

“We can do some of these things that EA and others have done,” Kotick told Joystiq. “We actually don’t think it’s in the best interest of the gamer, and so we’ve chosen not to.

“We’re not doing anything to suppress used games today.”

Alternately, the contentious publisher said he would rather focus Activision’s efforts on appealing DLC, particularly for its Call of Duty games.

“The best way to keep people engaged in your game experience is keep giving them more great content.”

Kotick hinted that the high pricing ($15) of Modern Warfare 2 DLC was related to attempts to profit from traded-in games.

Rationalize it any way you like, if online passes are not in the best interest of gamers, certainly overpriced DLC that forces gamers to feel like they must purchase it in order to not be locked out of public matchmaking is?

I call bullshit.

And I would hardly call the Modern Warfare 2 DLC, “more great content.” The Stimulus Map Pack only contained 5 new maps, 2 of which were rehashed from the previous instalment. Activision followed this up with the Resurgence Map Pack, which was more of the same, and was once again vehemently met with outrage from fans, both on quality of content and its 15 is the new 10 pricing.

“I think we’ve generally tried to do things like encourage our customers to used-game sales, probably more so than our competitors. But you know, we’re very mindful of what’s happening macroeconomically and I think that that plays a role when we’re thinking about the price of our content.”

Kotick also took time to pat himself on the back and restate his earlier assertion that “Call of Duty games probably represent more than 50% of the total Xbox Live traffic.”

Which read in business terms means: We have a rather uncompromising grip on the balls of Xbox Live gamers, the breadth of which can not be contested by any other publisher. We squeeze and say jump. Gamers say how high?

For more DLC news and info you can follow me on Twitter @The_GeekJock

Source: GamesIndustry.biz & Joystiq

2 Comments

  1. Dirk says:

    Hate or love Bobby Kotick – well mostly hate. The one positive thing you can say about the man is he has NEVER lied to you about what his ambitions were for Activition to make money. Unfortunately, it means squeezing gamers for that money.

    • Squeezing gamers for money was the entire basis for the gaming industry. The original coin-op video games were developed on the same business model as carnival games.

      So much has evolved since then, but if the game isn’t free, it has a business model that exists to make money.

      We would be naive to think otherwise.

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