Analyst Michael Pachter told IG lately that companies need to start adding subscription models to their online titles in light of the recent NPD’s which showed a 6 percent drop compared to previous years. Although I despise the idea of having to pay individual subscriptions to publishers on top of paying for Xbox Live, he makes a point that should be thought about. Check out what he had to say below.
We think that the overall decline was due to a very large number of people playing multiplayer online games for free on PlayStation Network, and for an annual fee with unlimited game play on Xbox Live,”.
“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.”
He added: “We see this as a continuing problem, and think that unless and until the publishers come up with a business model that appropriately captures the value created by the multiplayer experience, we are destined to see a migration of game playing away from packaged goods purchases and toward multiplayer online.
“We think that it is incumbent upon Activision, with the most popular multiplayer game, to take the first step to address monetization of multiplayer. 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.”
As an analyst I have to give Pachter his props on that one, he does raise a fair point. At the same time however, I do not see the majority of consumers embracing separate subscription models for each multiplayer service. I feel there has to be another alternative that would be less aggravating to consumers, let us know what you think.