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For those of you living with sheets over your windows for the better half of the last year, the record-setting opening day release of Modern Warfare 2 would only be a sign of things to come for a game that would go on to gross over $1 billion dollars since its release back in November of 2009, setting all the industry bars in its wake.

Regardless of Modern Warfare’s success, as of June 2010, industry-wide software sales were at $531 million, a 15% decline from last year’s $627 million. In his latest investor report, Michael Pachter, consumer analyst at Wedbush Morgan, suggests big changes coming to the way we enjoy our daily dosage of multiplayer gaming.

"We estimate that a total of 12 million consumers are playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for an average of 10 hours per week on the two platforms' respective networks, and the continued enjoyment of this game (along with an estimated 6 million Halo online players, 3 million EA Sports players, and 5 million players playing other games, such as Battlefield, Red Dead Redemption, Left 4 Dead and Grand Theft Auto) has sucked the available time away from what otherwise would be spent playing newly purchased games."

You don’t need me to tell you these numbers are staggering, but I will anyways because it helps me to vocalize things that hurt my brain: these numbers are STAGGERING. With so much time being spent across so few titles, it’s no wonder why developers may start making the jump to subscription-based multiplayer models, similar to those of World of Warcraft. In truth, it’s amazing this all hasn’t happened sooner.

"We are quick to point out that the average single player game has an expected play time of under 30 hours, suggesting that a staggering 133 million units of equivalent game play have been spent (so far) playing Call of Duty online, with Activision only seeing revenues from the original 20 million units sold, plus an estimated 8 million map packs sold.”

While a majority of the time being spent on only a handful of games has stunted user purchases and played a major role in this industry dilemma, investors also feel that the recent surge in smartphones and tablets have boosted the mobile games market, in turn making a dent on console software sales figures.

"We think that it is incumbent upon Activision, with the most popular multiplayer game, to take the first step to address monetization of multiplayer," said Pachter. "It is too early to tell whether that will be a monthly subscription, tournament entry fees, microtransaction fees, or a combination of all three, but we expect to see the company take some action by year-end, when Call of Duty Black Ops launches [on November 11th, 2010]."

If this is the direction video games are headed for, then we as gamers can only sit back and wait for the shepherd to herd the flocks towards an option we will whine about profusely and undoubtedly pay for. If there is anyone more qualified to lead the lambs to their slaughter, it’s Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who has openly admitted his willingness to accost your back pocket before:

"I would have Call of Duty be an online subscription service tomorrow."

Edited by WASDted: n/a

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Last Post by Glass_Joe
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i need to now how to get on to the computer for me to get onto facebook and makes me the best person in school

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hehe Total fail.
A dude ??????????????????? that made no sense at all
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For those of you living with sheets over your windows for the better half of the last year, the record-setting opening day release of Modern Warfare 2 would only be a sign of things to come for a game that would go on to gross over $1 billion dollars since its release back in November of 2009, setting all the industry bars in its wake.

Regardless of Modern Warfare’s success, as of June 2010, industry-wide software sales were at $531 million, a 15% decline from last year’s $627 million. In his latest investor report, Michael Pachter, consumer analyst at Wedbush Morgan, suggests big changes coming to the way we enjoy our daily dosage of multiplayer gaming.

"We estimate that a total of 12 million consumers are playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for an average of 10 hours per week on the two platforms' respective networks, and the continued enjoyment of this game (along with an estimated 6 million Halo online players, 3 million EA Sports players, and 5 million players playing other games, such as Battlefield, Red Dead Redemption, Left 4 Dead and Grand Theft Auto) has sucked the available time away from what otherwise would be spent playing newly purchased games."

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You don’t need me to tell you these numbers are staggering, but I will anyways because it helps me to vocalize things that hurt my brain: these numbers are STAGGERING. With so much time being spent across so few titles, it’s no wonder why developers may start making the jump to subscription-based multiplayer models, similar to those of World of Warcraft. In truth, it’s amazing this all hasn’t happened sooner.

"We are quick to point out that the average single player game has an expected play time of under 30 hours, suggesting that a staggering 133 million units of equivalent game play have been spent (so far) playing Call of Duty online, with Activision only seeing revenues from the original 20 million units sold, plus an estimated 8 million map packs sold.”

While a majority of the time being spent on only a handful of games has stunted user purchases and played a major role in this industry dilemma, investors also feel that the recent surge in smartphones and tablets have boosted the mobile games market, in turn making a dent on console software sales figures.

"We think that it is incumbent upon Activision, with the most popular multiplayer game, to take the first step to address monetization of multiplayer," said Pachter. "It is too early to tell whether that will be a monthly subscription, tournament entry fees, microtransaction fees, or a combination of all three, but we expect to see the company take some action by year-end, when Call of Duty Black Ops launches [on November 11th, 2010]."

If this is the direction video games are headed for, then we as gamers can only sit back and wait for the shepherd to herd the flocks towards an option we will whine about profusely and undoubtedly pay for. If there is anyone more qualified to lead the lambs to their slaughter, it’s Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who has openly admitted his willingness to accost your back pocket before:

"I would have Call of Duty be an online subscription service tomorrow."

If they do charge for online play then i will no longer purchase activision games and for every game company that follows suit ill drop them too. and if everyone is doing so be it i just won't play games anymore(cept for open source :D). i think $60 is too much for a game and on top of that 360 has live which you have to pay for to play online so adding a sub fee for online play will drop the number of users/consumers MUCH more quickly then their revenue will build up. Game companies need to realize that the US economy and several others aren't doing so well as a result adding fee will be a one way ticket to "hmmm sub fee? oh im sorry im only minimum wage i can't afford this see ya." and that consumer will go to his/her next choice and continue down said path until they find a suitable game with out any sub fees.

long story short they will hurt their consumer base to the point that they start redlining and in my view activision is just going to become another EA(Known for being cheap) a company that once produced games for a living and fun to a corporate conglomerate that only seeks money and if you notice EA's games are somewhat decent to play but no where near as innovative as they were when they first started.

if they do it will also up the homebrew scene tremendously then they really will be losing money take the wii/psp for example you can run pirated games on them and still play online. the only reason ps3 hasn't been completely home brewed is because very little programmers know how to program for cell processors(or at least use them efficiently). 360 homebrew hasn't really progressed alot due to microsofts persistent updates. but eventually every console will be homebrewed and people will just play on cracked servers(so there will always be ways of getting around it).

wow thats a mouthful XD

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Could not agree more about EA.
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It's just comical to me that Activision is afraid they're not making enough money from people, so they intend on charging them more money which will in turn only push them further away. High five Kotick!

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I never announced any of this as fact when I wrote it, and since the post, that is what they said publicly stated. Bill Clinton and O.J. Simpson both publicly said they were innocent too. I can say I want to be an astronaut or that I want a pony and it holds as much validity as their statement.

I guarantee to you we will see it eventually. There is no doubt in my mind Activision will be the first to break the seal. Maybe not with Black Ops, but a big change is coming soon enough.

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