Since the beginning of March, the ongoing saga between Infinity Ward and Activision has rocked the gaming masses by exposing controversial practices at the flagship studio. While reports surfaced that insubordination was the cause of two key departures, the biggest story came when it was announced that unpaid royalties also played a crucial role in the incident. Last night further suspicion arose when it was announced that the first Modern Warfare 2 DLC pack titled “ Stimulus Package” would be released on March 30 for a whopping 1200 Microsoft points ($15). Here are a few detailed reasons why you shouldn’t be so eager to pull the trigger on purchasing this package.
3) Late Release and Competition
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released on all major gaming platforms on November 10,2009. The marketing campaign was hugely successful due to the job Activision and GameStop did with promoting the game right up until it’s release date. As a standard business practice dictates with this industry, there is a designated grace period where a game receives an onslaught of attention before being tossed to the side in favor of a newer game. This particular game had its time to shine but is now being overshadowed by Battlefield: Bad Company 2. While many Call Of Duty fans may disagree with my statement, the proof lies in the fact that when researching the latest First person shooter games online, virtually every gaming site acknowledges Bad Company 2 as the hottest title in that genre right now. For Modern Warfare 2 to remain relevant, the map pack should have dropped sooner rather then later. Now it seems like it will be released only as a strategy to go head to head with it’s competition and therefore only provide minimal satisfaction to the gamer.
2) Same Maps: Less Value
One of the biggest gripes I have with this package is the lack of value for your money. Activision has reported that the map pack will include 3 new maps and 2 old maps from the first Modern Warfare game. While this practice may seem fine for a gamer that didn’t play the original title, this leaves the hardcore fan of the series frustrated and angry. Adding on that these 2 maps are fan favorites seems like even more of an excuse to round out the total number at 5 maps. Honestly if these are favorites then they should have already been available free as part of the original package.
However, The actual idea of re-releasing the same content isn’t a new practice as Bungie clearly illustrated this point when they unveiled Halo 3: ODST to the masses. While the campaign and firefight remained the bread and butter of the package, the highly controversial 2nd disc received attention mainly because it included the same maps from Halo 3 multiplayer. Many people who purchased the game never realized this fact until they plunked down their hard earned money and opened the box, immediately losing the right to return the game for full value. This practice should be deemed both lazy and disgraceful because its works off the consumer’s fanboy demeanor for a game. Just like with most things in life it’s your responsibility to investigate whether or not something is worth the price and value. The continued use of this practice by Activision should clearly define these logistics and is living proof that we live in a society where recycled ideas are praised over original content.
The single most important reason why I’d recommend that you pass on this content is the actual pricepoint at which its being sold. Up until now, every Call Of Duty map pack has featured original maps and maintained the value of 800 Microsoft points ($10). Given that there are only 3 new maps and the price has risen a whole 5 dollars more, as a consumer you should be questioning if your really getting more for your money. This method seems as if the creative team is banking on the fact that this pack will be so highly anticipated that you’ll have no choice but to pick it up and play immediately.However, might I remind you that on the very same day Bad Company 2 releases their first map pack as well.Right then and there you get a sense that the pressure is on Activision but they don’t seem the least bit rattled by it. You gather this perception from the fact that the price has been raised and behind that is a sense of arrogance that more expensive= more valuable. This is a daily issue in our world today and often accounts for why so many people are in debt. The philosophy of “Keeping Up with The Jeffersons” is a dynamic that houses these beliefs and once you look at its relation to purchases you notice an ever-growing trend.
On the same token, one can argue that the price increase could be due to the fact that Activision is suggesting this is the final Modern Warfare game, making it a priority to milk it for all it’s worth. If someone is down to their last 1200 points, they may opt to purchase the pack and thus be unable to buy the Bad Company 2 content as a result. If that’s the case then perhaps all the rumors you heard about royalties and lawsuits were true. The funny thing is that up until now EA has been portrayed as the power hungry company aiming to be the number 1 publisher, developer, and distributor of every game ever made. Now this move clearly orchestrated by Activision proves without a shadow of a doubt that perhaps EA is the lesser of both evils.