Surprising no one, Activision’s decision to make certain content of the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare exclusive to the PlayStation 4 has caused a backlash of anger and frustration. In response, one of the game’s directors has taken the time to respond to the matter.
Infinity Ward’s narrative director, Taylor Kurosaki, took to Twitter to alleviate concerns popping up on forums across the internet. He made two points, first that it was only a single mode that was being kept exclusive to the PS4, the Spec Ops Survival mode. His second point was a bit of a deflection and appeared to try and direct the fury expressed online elsewhere, stating that the final decision was “above all of our pay grades.”
It’s all good. We have tried our best to have an open dialogue with our players from day one. We understand letting that trust down. These are complicated decisions that are above our pay grade. Please know we want what’s best for all our players.— Taylor Kurosaki (@taylorkurosaki) September 24, 2019
Kurosaki tried also to downplay the impact of the exclusivity, as the mode would not be played very much. According to him, he considered survival to only be about 1% of all the content in the game, and that the other 99% would be available across all platforms on day one.
However, consumers have every reason to be upset by the decision, and shouldn't relent in their complaints, though they should seek out the decision makers and not harass those who have nothing to do with the decision. Today, Activision is testing the waters by seeing how tolerant consumers are such practices. 1% of a game’s content gated for an entire year is only the beginning, and the next step would logically be to see how consumers react to 5% of the content being exclusive, and eventually, to make them permanent exclusions from one platform or another.
If consumers support this kind of business model, it will only encourage Activision to continue its shoddy behavior, and may serve as a model for other developers to do the same. Activision has a reputation of running their games into the ground, to squeeze every dime out of consumers until the franchises are all but worthless. They did this with the franchises for Skylanders and Tony Hawk, and until Call of Duty becomes unprofitable, they will do it there as well.
The only choice is to vote with one’s wallet. If the sale of the game performs to Activision’s expectations, we have only ourselves to blame in the future when more and more content is made exclusive to one platform over another.