Not Selling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Separately Is Good For Activision, What About Players?
It is official, finally: there's a Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare remaster in the making. And that remaster is called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. It's releasing together with a few versions of Infinity Ward's new Call of Duty dubbed Infinite Warfare - yep, you won't be able to buy it separately - including 10 multiplayer maps and the original single player story mode. You might say - ok, I am happy about something Activision's doing, that's incredible. That *was* incredible just before you kept reading and saw the line "you won't be able to buy it separately". What? Am I supposed to buy that Infinite Warfare sh*t just to have the only Call of Duty game I've ever loved and supported through the years?, you might be thinking now.
Yes, this is true, Activision is not going to release the Modern Warfare remaster as a standalone product although it has already been confirmed the game will feature dedicated servers to be separated from the Infinite Warfare ones. Is this the right decision for Activision? Is this the right decision for players? Let's take a better look into it.
We have a publisher which is seeing Call of Duty games' sales declining year after year, despite performances still being pretty encouraging. This trend is easy to explain: on one side, we have consumers pretty bored by yearly releasing franchises.
It's something that's repeating over and over again, it already happened to Guitar Hero and it will happen again to other even more popular brands if they're not used carefully by their owners - otherwise they'll arrive soon to situations where making good games won't be enough (Assassin's Creed Syndicate was very good but sold poorly due to the series fatigue and Unity's low quality).
On the other side, we have yearly releasing franchises which are not able to deliver good games anymore. Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the first decent Call of Duty game in quite a long row, with Advanced Warfare being only remember for Kevin Spacey's story mode cameo, and that was an important signal for Activision to understand - it's not a matter of different studios handling different Call of Duty games, the most important thing is them having enough time and room to make interesting concepts out of the intellectual property.
This being the bigger picture, it is easy to understand why Activision as a publisher is working hard to make those yearly releases more and more interesting (and why Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered won't be an isolated circumstance). I mean, it is obvious for them not to release Modern Warfare's remaster as a standalone CoD for a while (but not forever) - it would bury Infinite Warfare's sales being less expensive and much more fun. And it is an incredible asset for them who are striving in the effort to have Call of Duty sales back to the sky high levels of the Modern Warfare's trilogy or Black Ops II's.
It's a weird situation where Modern Warfare Remastered could both be the saviour and the tombstone for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. It will help its sales going bigger than last year's Black Ops III (it will be a tough challenge but now it looks much more possible), but will steal old school gamers away from its dedicated servers - without taking into account an hypotesis where Modern Warfare Remastered could crazily be sold separately.
From a gamers' perspective, I get the point - you'd like to have the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered without any need to spend $80 to buy both it and the new Infinite Warfare game you don't care about. I get it and agree with you guys who think the same. But let's think about what Activision is offering. The less expensive "tier" of its offer involves the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition, which costs - again - $80.
Let's be quite frank about this - people who argue about the price of that edition are the very same guys who bought last year's Black Ops III, Advanced Warfare in 2014, and so on. So, chances are you'd buy this year's Call of Duty game no matter what it actually is or what's in the box. Right? Right.
Now, Activision is offering you the chance to have another game together with the one you are buying and paying for - Infinite Warfare - for just roughly $10 more (or even less). Let me remember you that, as we've seen from the first comparison screenshots, this remaster is being remade from the ground up with brand new visuals, and it's featuring 10 multiplayer maps together with the first Call of Duty story mode set in modern times ever. And you're complaining about that? This is when I don't get the point, then.
In a perfect world where people don't need to take business into account, it'd be great and obvious to have Modern Warfare Remastered right away on digital stores at $10 or so. But we as gamers have to understand the reasons why certain things are made by both publishers and independent developers.
Making a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered and launching it on digital stores at just $10 in the very same day of a new Call of Duty release would both be a suicidal move from Activision's and something that wouldn't make sense, in terms of income, for the publisher.
You wanted the remaster, and you're having it. This is the only condition that made sense for Activision as the IP's owner: they're not wasting it and they're making something which is good for them and for the players (who are not spending $40-50 as someone else asked us to do in the past).
Otherwise, the Modern Warfare Remastered wouldn't happen at all. And on November 4 Call of Duty gamers would still be discussing about the good ol' days when Call of Duty was a true shooter title (the funniest thing I've read lately: people want it or Battlefield to get back in the World War II, something we've become exhausted about years and years ago) and about the reasons why evil Activision doesn't make a Modern Warfare remaster. Just think about it.