Bowling Says Infinity Ward, Activision Like ‘Optional’ Modern Warfare Subscription System
Today marks the first time Call of Duty: ELITE subscribers are getting premium content for their $50 per year, and while Activision and Infinity Ward have said they’ll never change the Call of Duty multiplayer experience — you’ll never have to pay to play Call of Duty, they said.
But you can pay if you want, and that’s the way the companies like it.
Speaking with Kotaku, Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling answered the question of whether Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is, inf act, a subscription game now that Elite has ramped up and taken full effect. Bowling had some interesting answers, continuing with the company line that the purpose of Elite is to offer options to hardcore players, while maintaining the casual game experience as well. Basically, if you want more Modern Warfare 3, you can pay for it. If not, then don’t.
“I think we like to give the option to have that experience,” Bowling said about whether MW3 is now a subscriptin game similar to an MMO. “But it’s been very important to me, personally, to have that as an option, that it’s not a ‘We are a subscription game’ or ‘We are not a subscription game’. It was about giving more flexibility to our hardcore without hindering the casual guys from enjoying it how they always enjoyed it.”
It’s important to note that the content available for Elite subscribers in-game isn’t exclusive — paying the $50 per month gets users all the downloadable content that’ll be released for the game during the year, and those users get it a little sooner than everyone else, but that’s about it. It’s slightly cheaper to pay the subscription, but it’s not the only way to get ahold of it.
And plenty of games beyond Modern Warfare 3 are pushing “season passes,” which are effectively paying first and getting DLC later. It’s true that Call of Duty is offering subscription-based content in the form of Elite (even though it’s more peripheral to the game), but it’s certainly not the only game that’s pushing online passes and subscription-like content to keep people paying.