Big bold letters again: These are the views of an analyst and NOT of Activision, Sony, Microsoft or any other publisher.
Mr. Pachter has been predicting how Black Ops could be ‘monetised’. The good news is that gaming’s own Mystic Meg thinks that the online multi player portion of Black Ops will remain free. Hurrah! Instead, Pachter suggests Activision will start charging for other items,
“The premium services that we expect to be monetized are the sale of virtual goods, the opportunity to play in tournaments, the maintenance of achievements, the creation of ladders and leader boards, and access to value-added content.”
Nothing too worrying there unless you happen to like clan gaming as from that description you may have to pay to play. So far, not too bad, no one should be foaming at the mouth just yet…
Ah. TSA comment section going in to meltdown in 3…2…1…
“We are not sure which direction that monetization will take, but expect to hear about future plans for charging for premium services some time between this earnings cycle and early 2011.” continues Pachter, “We think that scheduled releases like Call of Duty Black Ops, Medal of Honor and Halo Reach, and unscheduled releases like Grand Theft Auto 5 all will contain the opportunity for gamers to pay more to the publishers. While we don’t think that anyone will be compelled to pay for premium content, we think that it is highly likely that the content will be offered for a fee, and that as a result, fewer hours will be spent playing these games for free than has been spent on their prior versions.”
And now the really galling part..
“Charging for premium content is important for two reasons: first, it should drive higher revenues and profits for the publishers who charge; and second, it is likely that the creation of premium content will limit the number of hours spent playing multiplayer games for free, thereby disaggregating a large number of consumers who will likely begin purchasing packaged products again.”
In other words, Pachter thinks by charging gamers for ‘premium online content’ they will spend less time playing Call Of Duty, Halo or whatever and go and buy a new game instead. I don’t know about you but if that is intention I’d rather turn my console of and go and spend my money elsewhere. The idea of a company deliberately charging for content to try and stop us playing game we have already paid for is horrendous. Over to Mr. P. for the final word,
“As we said above, we do not think that charges for premium content will be mandatory, and we expect the publishers to continue to provide some form of online multiplayer for free. However, we think that the opportunity to charge something is too great to be overlooked by the publishers for much longer, and we expect to see Activision lead the way by creating a new system some time before the end of the year.”
Please remember these are the views of Pachter and investors, not of games companies and Pachter has been frequently wrong.