Friday, November 16, 2012

How Activision could have avoided Declassified-gate

By avoiding previews and reviews before the release, Activision is rightly getting caned for the farce that is Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified. But it could have been so much different. Some owners seem pretty happy with it, others are saying its a total waste of money, but just a few smart moves from a supposedly gamer-savvy company could have seen things play out a lot different.

By pricing the game at £20/$30 you remove the pressure it being a full budget game, with full budget expectations. Along these lines, the Black Ops + Vita bundle seems to be the highlight of American Black Friday sales, so maybe the idea was for it to be a freebie all along?

By tweaking the game (not only with difficulty levels, but through additional modes and trophies) to offer high-re-playability around the limited levels, and pummelling that replay value message to users, we would be aware that it was a short game, but happier to charge off and do it again.

A trickle of DLC... I'm pretty sure there's none coming for Declassified as Nihilistic is focused on mobile games, but by offering some new single and MP levels, Activision could have made more money and been able to deflect some of the focus on the shortness of the game.

So, any publisher, next time you want to bring a high-profile title to a portable, stop, think and do the right thing, rather than something that damages your brand and credibility. Me, I'm waiting until the price comes down.

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