This is sure to put analyst Michael Pachter on someone's naughty list: Recently he said that Activision needs to start charging a fee for the multiplayer portion of its Call of Duty games. Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter made his comments during the Digital Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco, California (as reported by GamesIndustry International). During his presentation he said that Activision made a serious mistake when it didn't implement a subscription-based model for Call of Duty multiplayer.
"I know the game sells billions of dollars. Activision did a bad thing with Call of Duty from a profit perspective," Pachter said. "They trained gamers that you can buy a game and play it all year, ten hours a week, forever, and you never have to pay again. You just wait for the next Call of Duty. I promise you there are plenty of people, numbering in the millions, who play one game, which is Call of Duty, and they never stop."
Pachter went on to compare the Call of Duty franchise's multiplayer to another games that Activision does charge for – World of Warcraft:
"That's just like the people who play World of Warcraft and never stop, yet the World of Warcraft guys are paying $180 a year, and the Call of Duty guys are paying $60. So who's got a better model?" he said. "This multiplayer thing being free was a mistake. I don't think anybody ever envisioned it would be this big. It's a mistake because it keeps those people from buying and playing other games."
He goes on to say that Activision will not make the same mistake with the game Bungie is working on – currently codenamed Destiny, which he believes will be subscription-based:
"Activision's going to try it, because they're greedy pigs, and they're bold," he said.
Later in his talk he says that Activision will likely go into acquisition mode and try to buy a big publisher like Take-Two Interactive. He also said that the company should buy social games maker Zynga.
Finally, Pachter says that the Wii U will not see much support beyond what it had at launch from game developers:
"I don't think we're going to see every game on the Wii U next year. I think when next-gen consoles come out they're going to be better than the Wii U."