Battlefield And COD Should Become Subscription-based Services
Battlefield 3’s release of the Close Quarters DLC sees the game shift, at least in small part, towards a more Call Of Duty style of play. It is, after all, close quarters. It’s good. Blah de blah. But that’s not important right now.
What is important is something that’s popped into my mind with the release of Battlefield Premium and Call Of Duty Elite; something that’s been in my head with playing a bit of Starcraft 2 recently and surveying the lay of the land in the world of PC gaming. Which is: we can’t be too far off free-to-download, subscription-based FPS versions of Call Of Duty and Battlefield.
Look at it: both games are hyper-competitive, with committed players putting in four thousand bazillion hours a day on it (approximately). Interest in the games doesn’t wane like it does with other titles, so there’s a constant user base. People are already willing to pay a sort of 12-month subscription of sorts via Elite/Premium. The move towards professional, league-based gaming (ala Starcraft 2’s incredible built-in league system) is inevitable. EA bigwigs are openly saying they see the future of gaming being free-to-play.
It all adds up.
What would it mean? Clearly it could and would apply to more than just these two, but I’m thinking of Battlefield and Call Of Duty for now. It would mean they would be free – no initial outlay of £50/$60 required. Downloaded straight to your console, you would be bereft of single-player – and asked to sign up for a subscription service, likely monthly, to play online.
Then what? Well-maintained leagues, monthly challenges and competitions, prizes, recognition, better-maintained servers and less cheating, more frequent updates: the games would become a service. And it wouldn’t be in a bad way, either.
It would be in an entirely fitting and suitable way. It would see the death of the single-player portion, but then just as easily it could see the SP part become its own distinct, bite-sized portion available for your more traditional, thought reduced, initial outlay. £15 for a five/six-hour campaign of BF/COD’s production values, produced by a team separate from the MP element? Sure, why not.
Just a thought for the day.