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Kotick Teases New Models, Markets For  Call of Duty  'Platform'
Kotick Teases New Models, Markets For Call of Duty 'Platform'
May 6, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

May 6, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

"There's a soldier in all of us," Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said, referring to the Call of Duty brand as an "entertainment platform" -- and alluding to plans to use Blizzard's specific expertise to push the brand into new markets.

Kotick's comments came as he aimed to stress Activision's strides in the crucial digital arena and in new business models, speaking to investors on the company's first quarter results call.

Close to 17 million map packs for Call of Duty games have been sold to date -- and this excludes the recent launch of Modern Warfare 2's Stimulus Package on the PlayStation 3.

"To date, our audiences have played a staggering 1.75 billion hours of online multiplayer Call of Duty games on Xbox Live alone," Kotick said. "To continue to provide gamers with the digital content they increasingly demand, we've dedicated multiple development teams to focus exclusively on this online opportunity."

"We have the potential to drive the breadth of audience, increase the value-added services we can provide our players and grow our returns to shareholders," he said. "As a preview, expect additional exciting content for Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops that will surprise our millions or players."

"The popular global fantasy of being a soldier is allowing us to enter new geographies, leveraging... [Blizzard's] expertise... creating content for audiences that have to date have only been satisfied by Blizzard games," Kotick teased. "Soon we'll announce our plans for both China and Korea."

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J Benjamin Hollman
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Did Morhaime and Co. foresee that they'd be hawking someone else's games to their fans?

Is it the right time to try and expand the franchise into the global arena immediately after losing the core team leads?

Do Asian audiences even want to play as American soldiers shooting brown people?

All this and more in tomorrow's wacky episode of Parker Kotick Can't Lose!

Patrick Brown
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"As a preview, expect additional exciting content for Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops that will surprise our millions [of] players."

I hardly think overpriced DLC and another franchise rehash will "surprise" anyone.

Andrew Tilot
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Activision can go play with themselves!!!!!!

steve roger
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I never play CODMW. BFB2 is a far superior product.

Benjamin Marchand
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- "Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said, referring to the Call of Duty brand as an "entertainment platform""

means : we will make you eat more Call of Duty with a funnel.

Marco Devarez
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leveraging Blizzard expertise... I kinda want a shooter/MMO to succeed but why must it come from Activision.

im still coming to terms with having to buy Diablo, and what that does to my silent protest.

Aaron Casillas
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Bad Company 2 mp, a much more delightful experience in my opinion.

Achilles de Flandres
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like Patcher said... subscription-based multi-player.

Josh Green
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It's not an MMO. It's multiplayer that you have to pay for. The idea is that instead of paying for individual DLC packs, you're paying for them over time through a monthly subscription. And given that DLC packs are released months at a time, there's a lot more money to be made using this model.

The issue I see with Activision's logic is that I don't see a decent value proposition for the consumer. Consumers can play other games' online multiplayer components for free. If they want the latest DLC packs, they pay for each one individually.

Compare this with Activision's model which requires that everyone pay a subscription fee to use the multiplayer component. What are players getting for their subscription fee? The ability to use the same sort of multiplayer component you receive for free from competing products.

Worse, Activision believes that consumers don't need any value incentive beyond "It's Call of Duty, the popular FPS series!" Are they blind to the fact that they've lost the talent that drove the series for so long? I think they're taking a massive risk in betting that people are going to pay for something they already get for free from their competition based entirely on brand name recognition alone.

Isaiah Taylor
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Even after thinking about this for hours...I still think this is a better fit for COD. It caters to the audience as well as the strength of the game. Unfortunately this could influence the industry to lean more towards multiplayer and less on story, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if developers and publishers sit down and realize that the stories they continue to churn out are a waste of valuable resources [Resistance?].

gus one
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@ Josh "re they blind to the fact that they've lost the talent that drove the series for so long?" Nope. I have to disagree with that comment. Furthermore..

Richard Morgan, the scribe responsible for Crysis 2's script

"I thought Modern Warfare 2 was an immense disappointment," Morgan said in a comment to CVG, referring to both the plot and the gameplay.

"[The storyline] made no sense. It was totally implausible. It doesn't resolve. Basically, all the things that bad storytelling does. I just think they were way too impressed with themselves and that's always a danger. It's just unfortunate."

"What I thought when I played it was, 'Jesus guys, what have you been doing? You've not ramped anything up. The story is worse and the game doesn't really hang together, it's just a bunch of mission levels.'"

Guys IW rode the wave. Stop saying they were an enormous talent. Now it's out of West/Zampellas hands we might actually see something original.