Forbes: New Activision Promotion ‘Nothing Short of Unholy’

An article in Forbes calls a new promotion from Pepsi and Activision "nothing short of unholy." The promotion, "Rank Up XP," gives Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 players extra time in-game to earn double experience by purchasing Pepsi products (Doritos and Mountain Dew) and redeeming codes from the packaging. The experience comes in various allotments of time; a 20 oz Mountain Dew will earn players 15 minutes, for example. Here is why the author thinks it is wrong:

"Why is this a problem? Because XP is everything in these games, and whoever has more of it first is at a distinct advantage in the game. More XP, especially when the game is new, means more weapons, more perks, more attachments, more killstreaks, and subsequently, usually more wins. Offering Double XP to someone who purchases Pepsi products is selling out about as much as you can, and for a franchise that’s already been accused of pushing the limits with “Elite” monthly membership and overpriced map packs, it goes to show that Activision will exploit its fans in any way they can."

He goes on to say that this particular campaign is "a new low for an industry that wants to keep digging."

He makes a valid point in saying that giving players advantages for buying Pepsi products at launch is wrong simply because it imbalances the game. Maybe Activision has a way for balancing out the probable affects this massive influx of Double XP will likely have, but I can't imagine what that might be.

You can read the entire article here.

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  1. 0
    Enzo says:

    Really? People can pay real money to have an Advantage in a game? What is this guy going to think when Diablo 3's Auction house uses real money… At least with this your getting some food and your getting the in game buff.


    No worries, I will just pay someone to unlock everything for me with normal XP.

  2. 0
    Pvt. Jackass says:

    The way I see it, it's no less "evil" than the double XP cash items that so many F2P games have. Also, no less annoying for people who don't have the money to burn.

  3. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    I don't see how this is such a big deal, really.  It's not like each pepsi you get gives you a concrete amount of XP, so you can buy a truckfull of soda and start out with a million points.  They give you allotments of time to earn double XP, so you advance twice as fast, but you still have to play to advance.  Big fucking deal?  How is it any less fair than the fact that some people have twice as much time to devote to playing the game?  I hate Activision and all that, but this just seems to be blown way out of proportion.

  4. 0
    ChuckLez says:

    "Maybe Activision has a way for balancing out the probable affects"

    "Maybe Activision balancing out the probable affects"

    "Activision … balancing"

    ….ok, before I rant, legitimate question time, has Activision/IW ever….ever….ever balanced anything in a Call of Duty game?  I thought they threw that word out the window once grenades became nuclear and the PPSH was ungodly in COD2.  Have they ever changed up the damage for certain weapons because they are OPed?  Have they ever consulted the gaming pros to the series to help balance out a map, killstreaks, or weapons?  Hell, As far as I am concerned, the only thing they ever took from the community is hardcore mode.

    NOTE: taking out leaning in MW2 is not balancing the game.

    RANT TIEM: no, Activision will not balance it

  5. 0
    kagirinai says:

    That is a very narrow minded view of business, especially in a capitalist environment like the US that has seen love letters written to it like Atlas Shrugged.

    While all businesses are about making money, ultimately, their long term goal is to stay in business. Normally that means growing, increasing market share, better production, and higher profits — but not always.

    One of the heaviest criticisms against corporations is the often short-term thinking associated with profiteering. Investors generally prefer to get $10 every year than $50 every other year — a significant long term loss, but a short term gain. And that's what Activision is doing here by reducing the validity of their product for a marketing promotion.

  6. 0
    Ivresse says:

    This is the finest example of a 'No S**T, Sherlock' moment I've seen so far.

    Activision's a business. It's there to make money. The only way to stop promotions like this from actually working isn't to moan and gripe about it on some internet site the directors won't particularly care about anyway, it's for the majority of people to not actually buy the promotion that they're selling enough that the cost of the promotion ends up outweighing the revenue the promotion brings in.

    But the fact is, this promotion probably will work, because sadly, let's face it, there is a market for this available because a large percentage of players are in fact greedy this way and allow it to happen. They're the people you should be projecting your anger against.

  7. 0
    SpiralGray says:

    >> Activision is only interested in money.

    Wait, wait, stop the presses. You're saying that a for-profit, publicly traded company in the United States is only interested in the bottom line. I find that hard to believe.

    Oh, wait, that's ALL of them.

  8. 0
    DanHoyt says:

    Activision doesn't care. Infinity Ward might care, but Activision is only interested in money. The fact that some of the development teams working for Activision actually care about games is only a coincidence. Activision sees their dev teams as money machines like we see our toasters as warm bread machines.

  9. 0
    SpiralGray says:

    I can't believe how quickly the sheep fall in line behind what some talking head says. Do any of you people actually think for yourselves?

    "Unholy?" Is he f***ing serious? Over-dramatizing things a bit are we?

    This isn't giving someone an advantage of getting a job, or living or dying. It's a f***ing video game. If someone gets an "advantage", big whoop! XP doesn't make someone a better player. If you're a good player you're still going to kick the other person's ass, XP or not.

    This isn't exactly the first time prizes/gifts have been tied to food purchases. Never bought a box of Frosted Flakes just to get the prize inside?

    Apply a little critical thinking instead of just following allow with what some asshole writes in Forbes in order to get a little attention for himself.

  10. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    Oh yeah, I can see this coming back to bite them in the butt.  Encourage individuals to stuff their faces with loads and loads of snack foods to gain those XPs?  Yeah, that's going to go over REAL well.

    I admit that I'm FAR from being the most healthiest of eaters or even being physically healthy, but I did this on my own, without being "encouraged" to do so.  And, despite my own unhealthy behavior, I DO believe in moderation, which this campaign does not take into account.

    Try a few healthy foods instead (if you had BOTH, I can easily see the scales tipping towards snack foods primarily).  How about encouraging them to buy and read certain books?  Sure, the books are a wee tad expensive.  Include ebooks. 

    As I said, I'm no born again health nut, but, really, we can tell just getting the XP by out of game purchases is going to be unpopular.  At least have the out of game purchases a little less of a problem as well.  One could choose a great many purchases that could apply.  Eve Activision merchandise itself.  :)

  11. 0
    kagirinai says:

    It is this sort of thinking that is leaving a lot of room for indie developers to grow; there is a certain animosity of from developers with the relationship they share with publishers when it comes to the clash between marketing and creative design.

    The idea of sacrificing creative integrity for a balance-ruining promotion like this is pretty nauseating to me. I'm certain that it'll make Activision piles o' cash, but I wonder about the long term damage it'll do to their brand.

  12. 0
    MechaCrash says:

    Activision won't have any kind of plan for balancing out the influx, and I believe this to be the case for two reasons. One, if it's "balanced out," that negates the entire point of selling advantages. And two, it would require Activision to give a shit about its properties, and since their business plan comes down to "let's run this shit into the ground," I do not find that likely.

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