One of the big shockers in mid-October from Activision was an announcement on how they would be approaching the in-game economic system in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
The company announced that they would be ditching supply drops in favor of a Battle Pass system for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and provide direct paths to earn in-game content, including weapons. The new system is set to launch in December.
As part of the Activision Blizzard Investor Call on November 7, Activision’s President Rob Kostich was asked during the call about the decision to change the monetization system and how it would effect the company’s results going forward. Although Supply Drops were hated by the community, it was generating millions in revenue for the company.
Kostich started by explaining the “principles” for Modern Warfare in bringing the community together through multiple features that the game has – cross play, cross progression, and no season pass.
“I think it’s really important to first talk about our overarching principle on what we’re trying to do. We’re focused on bringing the community together, building one big community, and keeping them playing together through great content and features.“
“The changes we’ve been making are certainly in service of those principles, and not only great for our players, but also for growing and sustaining long term engagement, which of course is critical to our long term success.”
Kostich brought up the fact that they have eliminated the season pass and plan to bring out new content free for the entire community. The first content drop arrives on Friday, November 8 with 2 MP maps. He also touches on cross play and how he’s noticed that cross play has brought some friends together that have not been able to play Call of Duty together in a while.
“I do want to talk about some of the things you mentioned and some of those changes. You know we did eliminate the season pass, and instead, will be focused on dropping free content to the community so everyone can enjoy it together. Tomorrow [Friday, November 8] is actually going to be the first free content drop for Modern Warfare, and we’re excited about that, and the much bigger things that are yet to come for the community.“
“Now we also implemented cross play for the first time in the franchise to keep friends playing together no matter what platform they’re on, and I think this one is actually really important. And I am seeing it in how friend groups are connecting already. Players who haven’t played Call of Duty together in years are doing so, we think that’s really great for the community, overall.“
He then brings up the changes to the monetization system in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and he says: “it’s the right thing to do for our players.”
“Now, we’re also implementing a new Battle Pass system, which you mentioned, and it’s going to launch later this quarter. We feel it’s the right thing to do for the game and how it’s designed. And, more importantly, we think it’s the right thing to do for our players. That launch is still ahead of us, but we’ve been really encouraged by the early response from the community to the changes we’re making there.“
Kostich followed by touching on the fact that the launch of Modern Warfare is “just the beginning” and that there’s “much more” to come for this game with post launch Seasons and Events planned to keep the community engaged for the long haul of this title.
“So in terms of growth, we do feel good both about our long term engagement potential as well as the new system that we’re implementing. I’ll let Dennis speak to how we think about in-game revenue in this quarter and beyond, but on the content side, we have plans for Seasons and Events that we believe will keep the community playing together for the long haul.“
“Modern Warfare is really a great game; it’s a deep experience. And we believe it’s just scratching the surface of what it can do. We keep saying in many places that the launch of Modern Warfare is just the beginning, and it truly is. There’s a ton more to look forward to here.”
Dennis Durkin, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Financial Officer, spoke a little on the new system as well noting that the company is overall excited about the changes and that they believe having the community together and engaged with a system that they like, that’ll lead to great business results.
“We do feel great about the in-game plans and a lot of the changes you and the team made. We’re always, though, very careful when modeling these new initiatives particularly in launch quarters like this one and the timing of it. Overall, with the changes and keeping the community together with the cross platform and the new economic system that we have inside the game, we think that, most importantly, is going to drive long term engagement inside the franchise. And usually when you’ve got great long term engagement, great business results follow.”
“So, we’re pretty excited about what we have in store and what’s coming, and we think that’s going to be a nice tailwind heading into 2020 for Modern Warfare.“
Stay tuned for the latest news.