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Activision's Kotick Supports DLC Over Subscription Model For Call of Duty

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick seems happy with the company's current model of using downloadable map packs -- rather than a monthly fee -- to extract continued revenue from online Call of Duty players.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick seems happy with the company's current model of using downloadable map packs -- rather than a monthly fee -- to extract continued revenue from online Call of Duty players. Speaking in a recent interview with Joystiq, Kotick said Activision makes very little from its share of Microsoft's Xbox Live revenues, despite the fact that Call of Duty games "probably represent more than 50 percent of the total Xbox Live traffic," according to Kotick. Kotick said he recognized the value Microsoft provides for the $5 per month Xbox Live Gold subscription -- a value he recognized as similar to that Activision provides for World of Warcraft subscribers. Still, Kotick seemed skeptical that a direct subscription plan would work for the company's Call of Duty games, instead preferring to continue selling downloadable map packs to create continued revenue for the popular online titles. "The best way to keep people engaged in your game experience is keep giving them more great content," he said. "Our customers need to be satisfied that there is a price-value relationship that they feel great about." Kotick was dismissive of efforts like EA's Project $10, which asks players who buy a used copy of a game to pay an additional fee to access a game's online features, saying he thinks users prefer to see used games as a form of currency to put towards future game purchases. As for the price point of view, Kotick said he doesn't see the prices of boxed games as especially high, given historical trends. "We haven't really raised the price of our products," he said. "I can remember selling 8-bit Nintendo cartridges for $59.95. That's in 1990, 1991. We haven't seen the price of video games increase that much over the 20 years that I've been doing this."

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