Michael Pachter, a games industry analyst at Wedbush Securities, has criticized Activision, its executives, and its popular Call of Duty series by calling the bosses "greedy pigs" and saying that the CoD franchise is a failure for offering the multiplayer experience for free.Activision is one of the biggest game publishers out there, owning not just lots of franchises, among which Call of Duty being the biggest and most profitable, but also a variety of internal studios that are constantly producing games and content.
The recent Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has once again reached impressive sales figures, earning Activision a lot of money.
According to analyst Michael Pachter, however, the whole Call of Duty series is a failure because it's offering the multiplayer experience for free instead of charging a subscription for it.
"Call of Duty, I'm calling it a failure," Pachter said at the Game Monetization Summit, via GamesIndustry.
"I know the game sells billions of dollars. Activision did a bad thing with Call of Duty from a profit perspective. 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."
According to Pachter, shifting from a free multiplayer mode with each game to a constantly evolving, subscription-based experience, like World of Warcraft, would result in way more profit.
"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. 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," he added.
"So who's got a better model? 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."
Pachter didn't stop here, as he predicts that the multiplayer in the Destiny game from Bungie will be sold separately from the single-player experience by using a subscription, and that Activision will try this because its executive are "greedy pigs."
"Prediction: The next Bungie game will be single-player only; the multiplayer aspect of that game will be subscription only," the analyst said. "Activision's going to try it, because they're greedy pigs, and they're bold."
Do you agree with Pachter's views on Activision?