Call of Duty fans slam ‘infuriating’ business model for older games

Call of Duty fans slam ‘infuriating’ business model for older games
Images via Activision

Written by 

Tom Chapman


4th Jun 2024 13:49

Activision sure has itself a nice little money-spinner when it comes to Call of Duty. The shooter series constantly churns out entries and gets us to pay up year after year. Although we were originally told 2023 would be a CoD-free year, we know that was never really going to be the case.

Instead of sitting back and taking stock of what the CoDverse had, Sledgehammer Games powered ahead with Modern Warfare 3 (for better or worse). As we stare down the crosshairs of Black Ops 6, it's time to start saving again for the next instalment in the franchise. However, angry fans are starting to get disgruntled by Activision. 

Call of Duty flams 'infuriating' pricing structure

Over on the r/Gaming subreddit, one money-conscious fan asked why Activision won't reduce the price of older CoD games, especially as we head toward a new outing. Complaining that 2019's Modern Warfare 2 is still £50 whereas EA FC 24 has already had its price slashed, it's highlighted a bigger problem.

To be fair to Activision, we found MW2 for much less than that on Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox Stores, while others like Vanguard and Black Ops Cold War can be found for even less. Still, there were similar complaints in the thread, highlighting how Activision likes to squeeze us for every penny. 

One savvy gamer wrote, "Realistic answer is cause they don't want to split the fan base, think of how many CoD games there are.  Activision doesn't want you returning to the old favorites that don't have MTX in them, they want you and your $$$ on the new games."

Another grumbled, "Funny, I was just looking on Steam yesterday for something older and cheap to play and thought Call of Duty Vanguard is from 2021 and was one I had never bought. Check Steam and it's STILL $59.99 crazy." 

A third said, "Because people buy it every year regardless. It’s infuriating," while a fourth defended, "Funny you see people call this as f*****g their customers, yet Nintendo is atrocious of doing this and people defend it." 

The Call of Duty coin

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War artwork
Click to enlarge

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It's true that Call of Duty games go on sale without actually dropping in price, but it makes sense. There are accusations that Activision wants you to play the latest game that's packed with more microtransactions, and by keeping the price high, you're just as likely to stump up for the new one instead of an older one.

The other side of it is replayability. With Black Ops 6 set to continue Black Ops Cold War's story, we wouldn't be surprised if the 2020 game actually gets a price hike as players dash to familiarise themselves with who's who. We've come to expect the standard $70/£70 price tag of modern games, but when you pay it every year for CoD, it soon adds up. 

To be honest, you know what you're getting with CoD, and it's not like its pricing or yearly release schedule is anything new. There are arguably bigger things to worry about in the CoDverse, and if you don't want to pay, it's not like Russell Adler is there with a gun to your head. 

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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