Modern Warfare 2 Is Getting A Free Pass This Holiday

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#1 Posted by get2sammyb (6686 posts) -

Let me start by saying I am looking forward to Modern Warfare 2. I'm sure it's going to be an excellent game. Having said that, I'm majorly concerned with this holiday season. It seems like every publisher is panicing and pushing their "2009" games back to Early 2010. I won't bother making a list, you know what those games are, and I expect many others to follow.

Now don't get me wrong I understand the business behind such a decision. Modern Warfare 2 is going to be massive, and given a choice between said game and another (Bayonetta for example) the consumer is most likely going to choose MW2. Alas, if said consumer isn't really interested in MW2 there's practically no choice. And worryingly it's compounding my fears of Activision's arrogance. Just to follow up their handy little rant at Sony recently, you may be aware they've hiked the price of the British Modern Warfare 2 up to £55 (a whopping $90). Standard RRP for video games is £40. They blame a weak pound (which is bullshit), they're simply testing the waters of whether a game as anticipated as Modern Warfare will have its sales declined by a price jump. The answer is of course not - it'll sell a gajillion copies namely because: no cheaper alternative will be available these holidays; the game is already massively anticipated. As such we as consumers will fuel the Activision ego once more - and I don't think it will be long before Activision see fit to retail all their big games at £55.

I'm just really worried by the grip Activision seem to have on this entire holiday season. Even though I'm writing this rant, I'm not going to skip on Modern Warfare 2 because I'm a fan of the previous game and admire Infinity Ward's work. Having said that I hope they get the hell out of Activision as soon as they can. That company has everyone by the neck at the moment - publishers are too scared to go up against it, consumers rightfully don't want to boycott it and their ego, and subsequently prices, are going up as a result.

Kiss goodbye to variety this holiday. There's a Call Of Duty coming out. And until everyone gives a firm fuck you to Activision's practices, it looks like this trend is going to continue.

I look forward to my Christmas Activision games. After all, there's only going to be Assassin's Creed II on the shelves as an alternative.

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#2 Posted by The_A_Drain (4073 posts) -

I'd have a long winded and logical opinion on this, but two factors stop me. Giant Bomb ate my 1000+ word post, and i'm tired of hearing about this already. The short version, it's unfortunate that so many people have pushed their games back (although it's not actually as many as you make it out to be) but lets be honest, if you try to tangle with such a massive franchise over the holiday period, you get crushed and you lose a lot of potential profit. So it's the smart decision from a business standpoint, and as always, that's the bottom line.

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#3 Posted by Vinchenzo (6461 posts) -

I hope they break ties with Activision as well. Infinity Ward makes great games and their reputation is being tainted by Activision.

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#4 Posted by The_A_Drain (4073 posts) -
@Vinchenzo said:
"I hope they break ties with Activision as well. Infinity Ward makes great games and their reputation is being tainted by Activision. "

I don't particularly like Activision at the moment, but this is madness.

You really cannot blame people for not wanting to tangle with one of the biggest franchises in one of the most popular genres in modern times. It's business suicide, any game remotely similar, even in a similar genre, would be obliterated. It's not like a Guitar Hero or whatever, where a specific kind of consumer will buy it and others might still be interested in your game, this is something that almost everybody out there is going to at least consider buying. You just don't compete with that unless you REALLY believe you can.

Also, equally you cannot blame ActiVision for abusing that franchise, blame the people who keep on and on and on buying it.

Besides, 'breaking away' isn't so easily done, if Infinity Ward even want to, sounds like they are pretty comfortable at the moment.
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#5 Posted by Callik (149 posts) -
@get2sammyb said:
"Just to follow up their handy little rant at Sony recently, you may be aware they've hiked the price of the British Modern Warfare 2 up to £55 (a whopping $90). Standard RRP for video games is £40. They blame a weak pound (which is bullshit), they're simply testing the waters of whether a game as anticipated as Modern Warfare will have its sales declined by a price jump. The answer is of course not - it'll sell a gajillion copies namely because: no cheaper alternative will be available these holidays; the game is already massively anticipated. As such we as consumers will fuel the Activision ego once more - and I don't think it will be long before Activision see fit to retail all their big games at £55. "
The RRP of 95% of console games is £49.99, just everywhere marks them as £39.99 which has become the standard price of new games. While I agree it's blatant profiteering on Activisions part they are a massive publisher and know that an extra £5 jump to £44.99 isn't going to stop the majority of people from buying it on day one, so there's only the consumer to blame for that. Last time I remember it happening was GTA4 going at £44.99, and there was certainly no slow down in demand there.

So yeah, unfortunately we can see the future of blockbuster title pricing happening right there. Not that it'll bother me; will buy it on PC for no more than £25, quite probably on release =P
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#6 Posted by The_A_Drain (4073 posts) -
@Callik:

Yes indeedy, RRP for console games (PS3 and 360, Wii is actually 39.99) is £49.99, retailers just drop the price because it sells a ton more copies that way.

Besides, I see a ton of high profile games routinely selling from shops at £44.99 on release, and MW2 is no different, I already see it advertised at £44.99 at more than one place, so very little difference in the end, it just means it will take longer to drop in price significantly.
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#7 Posted by KowalskiManDown (4169 posts) -

This holiday season totally sucks. I couldn't give a flying f**k about MW2, and as such have absolutely NOTHING (bar L4D2) to look forward to.

But as for Infinity Ward leaving Activision. Why on earth would they do that?! They're making more money as a result from being with em. And the sad fact is, no matter what price they put this game at, ALOT of people will STILL buy it.

If anyone had brains, they'd just continue playing WAW or COD4 at launch for MW2 and just wait til after Christmas, at which point, I'd imagine the price would drop to standard RRP. Because lets be honest, apart from a slight change in weapons and maps... the multiplayer aspect of the game will be essentially more of the same.

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#8 Posted by TonicBH (346 posts) -
@creamypies said:
But as for Infinity Ward leaving Activision. Why on earth would they do that?! They're making more money as a result from being with em.

Bungie was making loads of money with the Halo games, so why did they revert to a private company and disband with Microsoft? Because they had the money to do so. I bet there's a bit of rift between IW and Activision, which is probably why there was a name change in the first place, because their "beloved franchise" was given to a half-brother who occasionally does a good job.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is either a mass departure, starting off a new studio funded by a different company; or even IW splitting off from Activision. It's possible, especially with the likelyhood of large sales figures.

Back to the OP: It's smarter to avoid the holiday rush with MW2 et al than try to compete with it. EA learned this the hard way, for instance: Dead Space and Mirror's Edge, both critically acclaimed games, got buried in the Gears 2-COD:WAW holiday shuffle. Basically sent to die. More publishers are realizing that this is not a good strategy.
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#9 Posted by deactivated-5b4a512bb9699 (391 posts) -

The fact that people are willing to pass on a sequel to one of the best games from 07 just because they have to fork out an extra £3 is beyond dumb

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#10 Posted by get2sammyb (6686 posts) -

Very true that RRP is £49.99. I forget they actually mark them up at that price point. A £5 hike is still entirely ridiculous mind.

@Joe said:

" The fact that people are willing to pass on a sequel to one of the best games from 07 just because they have to fork out an extra £3 is beyond dumb "

That's entirely not the point I'm making. My problem is not with the game nor the developer, more that Activision seem to have the entire industry by the balls. And while they've got the initial grip, they're only going to pull tighter as their ego grows.

Honestly, I can't believe how much EA have turned around and Activision have fallen into their old habbits.
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#11 Posted by The_A_Drain (4073 posts) -
@Joe said:
"The fact that people are willing to pass on a sequel to one of the best games from 07 just because they have to fork out an extra £3 is beyond dumb"

The fact that you can't see the relevance of the complaint is even dumber.

@TonicBH:

Again, mass speculation with no grounding in the real world. Sure Infinity Ward have publicly stated they didn't like losing CoD to another studio, etc etc, but theres is always, ALWAYS bad blood between companies who are owned by huge coorperations. Always. It doesn't mean they are suddenly going to split, if they even can depending on what kind of contract etc they have. Heck, if they are outright owned by ActiVision they couldn't split even if they wanted to.

Besides, splitting away from ActiVision, or staging a mass walkout to form another company is the stupidest thing anybody could do right now with the economic climate. Their jobs are safe with ActiVision right now and they all have families to feed so I guarantee you (heck i'll put money on it right now) that Infinity Ward will not split with ActiVision until the recession starts to clear, if they do at all.

Bungie was unlucky that they decided to go independant as the big recession started to hit hard, it's why they are still working on a bunch of Halo stuff, and still working closely with Microsoft. They had not intended to do so but like I say, most of these people have families to feed and the desire to work on a new IP is outweighed massively by the need to make ends meat.
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#12 Posted by mordukai (8516 posts) -
@TonicBH: With the recent defection of Visceral's General Manager Glen Schofield and COO Michael Condrey to Activision I would not put it beyond the guys at IW to leave Activision and start a new studio and join EAP. How ironic would that be since they left EA in the first place. Though I do hear that a lot of developers are really happy with EA and their Partners plan.
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#13 Edited by PenguinDust (13086 posts) -

The movie industry does this all the time. Guaranteed every studio will be giving the next Batman flick a lot of elbow room whenever it drops into theaters.  Last year, the Harry Potter folks moved their film from Christmas to summer so it could make more money. 

Modern Warfare is the new Halo, and like Halo it will make a ton of money charging whatever it pleases all to the joy of fanboys across the globe (cat helmets for everyone).  Also, like Halo it will eventually be replaced in the hearts and minds of gamers by something else.  I wouldn't be surprised if Modern Warfare became the poster child of excessive indulgence much as Halo has been.  Perhaps it already has.

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#14 Posted by deactivated-5b4a512bb9699 (391 posts) -
@get2sammyb said:
" Very true that RRP is £49.99. I forget they actually mark them up at that price point. A £5 hike is still entirely ridiculous mind.

@Joe said:
" The fact that people are willing to pass on a sequel to one of the best games from 07 just because they have to fork out an extra £3 is beyond dumb "
That's entirely not the point I'm making. My problem is not with the game nor the developer, more that Activision seem to have the entire industry by the balls. And while they've got the initial grip, they're only going to pull tighter as their ego grows.Honestly, I can't believe how much EA have turned around and Activision have fallen into their old habbits. "
Hopefully though the higher price point will only be acceptable for games like MW2 that are going to be huge hits because people are still going to buy a Call of Duty game if it costs a fiver more, I doubt that people would be happy to pay £45 for whatever shite movie games are bound to be released in the same time frame, hopefully activision know this and we won't be seeing whatever crappy tie in game that is bound to be released selling for £45.
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#15 Posted by lemon360 (1231 posts) -

so?

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#16 Posted by Oriental_Jams (3072 posts) -

Well, I am a bit pissed at the price hike, but there's no doubt in my mind that I'll be able to get it for what the RRP ought to be or less on the internet, what with the wonders of play.com and ebay.

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#17 Posted by TwoOneFive (9791 posts) -

whatever i cant wait for this game (but not as much as MAG for some reason)

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#18 Posted by Jayge_ (10269 posts) -

The only real problem here is if Activision decides that it can continue hiking prices for their highly-anticipated titles and get away with it. Fuck not having any selection this holiday season you'll still have a ton (at this point anyway, there's still time to delay more) but this is the real looming danger.

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#19 Posted by Oriental_Jams (3072 posts) -

It could also have a little bit to do with how badly Activision's stock is doing, it's just over half the value it was last year, so they might just need to pick up the pace.

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#20 Posted by Pkshields (826 posts) -

One thing I think Activision is forgetting about is the used game market. Already Publishers are complaining about how they hate the used game market, but the price hike (depending on how much it actually sells for in stores, but GameStop usually like to push their luck with RRPs) may influence peoples decision on buying the game straight away. Of the millions of COD4 players out there, how many of them pay attention enough to actually know Modern Warfare 2 is coming out on 10th November? By the time they realize MW2 is out, they will look and see that they can buy the game new for more than most other games or they can buy a used copy for the same price as the rest. Iope there ist's going to sell millions, but I hope there is enough of a difference on sales from their targets for them to realize they cannot do this for every game.

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#21 Posted by pirate_republic (1151 posts) -
@PenguinDust said:
" The movie industry does this all the time. Guaranteed every studio will be giving the next Batman flick a lot of elbow room whenever it drops into theaters.  Last year, the Harry Potter folks moved their film from Christmas to summer so it could make more money.  Modern Warfare is the new Halo, and like Halo it will make a ton of money charging whatever it pleases all to the joy of fanboys across the globe (cat helmets for everyone).  Also, like Halo it will eventually be replaced in the hearts and minds of gamers by something else.  I wouldn't be surprised if Modern Warfare became the poster child of excessive indulgence much as Halo has been.  Perhaps it already has. "
...but the basic version of Halo has always been a steady 60$. And Halo is still at the top of XBL, so it therefore hasn't been replaced in the minds of gamers. And Halo hasn't been excessively indulged: there have been 4 Halo branded games, compared to 8 COD branded games, and 9 MGS branded games.

Stop hating on Halo waaaaaahh.

Anyways I do see your point but Halo isn't a good franchise to use as a comparison.
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#22 Posted by WilliamRLBaker (4941 posts) -

this is why i don't and never have if i could help it purchase games during the holiday season i all ways wait till the spring or summer after when prices come down and people have played the game and i know its a good game before i purchase it.

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#23 Posted by Godwind (2924 posts) -

This thread needs more boobs.  So it is a sequel to a the best selling FPS ever.  Maybe Take-Two should Launch Grand Theft Auto: Londo City 1998 so Modern Warefare 2 can only sell 8 million copies?

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#24 Posted by PenguinDust (13086 posts) -
@pirate_republic:  Would you prefer Guitar Hero?  Also...
No Caption Provided
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#25 Posted by raidingkvatch (1214 posts) -

You don't like the way Activision does business then don't buy their games, that's the only way big companies change business practices - if they start losing out on profit. Ultimately if people are willing to spend more on MW2 then they obviously think it's worth it, it's not like Activision have bought up all their competitors (not quite yet anyway) and fixed the market so the only price for any games increases. This is just a good capitalist business model in action

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#26 Posted by pirate_republic (1151 posts) -
@PenguinDust said:
" @pirate_republic:  Would you prefer Guitar Hero?  Also...
No Caption Provided
"
There you go. Much better.
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#27 Posted by FiestaUnicorn (1680 posts) -

At some point enough people will get sick of how Activision runs its business and they'll no longer be the number one third party publisher.  Guitar Hero sales are starting to get lower because there are so many.  Nothing lasts forever, they'll have to change their ways eventually.  Even if that's a while from now.

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