Call Of Duty publisher Activision has been under pressure to reignite interest in the franchise since the disastrous Infinite Warfare reveal trailer debacle last year.
In the face of adversity and a downvoting campaign that propelled it into the record books, the latest entry still somehow managed to come out on top.
Against all odds, the Call Of Duty franchise is still gaming’s number one.
Infinite Warfare was always going to be fighting an uphill battle. Promising a futuristic campaign with what is now standard CoD fare, the general gaming public rejected the latest entry in droves.
Activision’s decision to bundle in Modern Warfare Remastered may have been met by wide criticism, but it was perhaps the move that kept Call Of Duty afloat throughout the year.
Somehow, Activision managed to earn back a little bit of respect from an ageing audience that was crying out for a return to the classic Call Of Duty games of the ’00s.
Yet despite having completely nailed the game — I can look beyond the fact that remaster never got a standalone released, and was forced on us in a premium Infinite Warfare bundle — Activision has managed to stand over and strong arm its community once again.
It’s done so by announcing the famed “Variety Map Pack” for Modern Warfare Remastered, the same map pack that was released for the original COD4 release, with some additional Supply Drops that no one asked for.
The publisher is clearly using those Supply Drops to justify a price hike: the original DLC cost $10, but this will set back fans $14.99.
That’s on top of Infinite Warfare‘s Season Pass, and the fact anyone that wanted to play Modern Warfare Remastered had to do so via an expensive version of a game nobody really wanted.
The logic is understandable: Activision responds to shareholders, and there’s no way it’s releasing DLC for a popular game at zero cost. But to charge it at more than what the DLC cost ten years ago, for a game that players already had to shell out an exuberant amount for, and it’s easy to see why fans are turning away from Call Of Duty in droves.
It’s not just the franchise’s recent obsession with jet-pack boosting shenanigans: it’s Activision’s utter contempt and stubbornness when it comes to servicing the community.
The irony of this announcement and the ridiculous price tag that it came with is that that publisher was crucified by investors after unimpressive sales figures for Infinite Warfare: the publisher acknowledged it needed to listen more to its fans.
In the corporate world, a drop in revenue is sometimes worse than being in the red: it demonstrates that fewer people are buying the product on an incremental scale. Even if revenue is higher than the nearest competitors, it’s hard to ignore a drop as significant as Call Of Duty has seen.
Modern Warfare Remastered certainly helped Activision avoid utter catastrophe, but the publisher still had questions to answer about the overall performance of the franchise.
It’s such a shame, because while it’s hard to justify spending that much on maps — it was a tough sell in 2007, and it’s a tough sell now — it’s actually a great collection of classic maps.
Broadcast, Chinatown, Creek, and Killhouse will join what is already a long list of great maps for arguably the greatest shooter of all time.
But is it worth $14 (more in Australia)? Considering the plunge we took to get Modern Warfare Remastered in the first place, the principle of the matter suggests we certainly shouldn’t be paying that much.