Zombie Studios' Jared Gerritzen, lead designer of the upcoming free-to-play online shooter Blacklight: Retribution, spoke out against Activision's decision to charge a monthly fee for its Call of Duty Elite program, in an E3 interview with Gamasutra.
Gerritzen outlined the problems he sees in Activision's new business plan. "I don't agree with it. Right now, if they could, they'd charge 60 bucks [for the game], then 20 bucks a month for a map pack -- or even just one map -- and then $9 to upload game movies to YouTube. They see this massive fan base, and why aren't they spending that money and evolving the game even more?" Gerritzen said.
"They're amazing games, but looking across the last four games, was there anything really new? That's the sad part. Think about if they tried to spend that money that they're trying to milk from the fans," he added. "It's sad. It's really weird. But there's always going to be that guy; there's always going to be the jerk."
With its own Blacklight: Retribution, Zombie Studios will rely on a free to play model that will generate income via microtransactions rather through up-front or monthly fees.
Activision's Call of Duty Elite program will offer additional unannounced features and downloadable content to existing Call of Duty owners for an additional monthly charge. Users that choose not to pay for the service will still have access to features such as stat tracking and video sharing.
Activision maintains that multiplayer features of past Call of Duty games will be intact and still free, and that Elite is completely optional for gamers who want more from the experience.
The full interview with Gerritzen, which will detail Zombie Studios' plans for entering the free-to-play market, will be posted on Gamasutra in the near future.