Published on March 17th, 2010 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder
#MW2StimulusSucks and How to Fix It.
Just a couple of days ago, I wrote an editorial post about the first map pack for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It’s called the “Stimulus Pack” and includes three new maps (Bailout, Storm & Salvage) as well as two throwback maps (Crash & Overgrown).
The price for the maps? 1200 Microsoft Points, or $15. Normally, I’m a fan of map packs. I bought All Fronts Map Pack for Gears of War 2 – with 19 maps for 1600 MSP (or $20), and I bought the Variety Map Pack for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – with 4 maps for 800 MSP.
Needless to say, I wasn’t all that enthused about the Stimulus Pack pricing, and there are a couple of reasons for that.
Higher Cost, Less Content
The amount of maps you get for the price doesn’t justify the price increase. If the norm is 4 maps at 800 MSP, that’s 200 MSP per map. Multiply that x5 and you get 1000 MSP. While Modern Warfare 2 is a newer game, you’re paying an extra $2.50 for maps without much reason behind it.
Not to mention the fact that two of the maps included are maps from the original Modern Warfare, which in my opinion at least, drops their value a bit. Some people may disagree, but I can’t justify paying full price for something that I’ve played for YEARS already. Those two maps should be 100 MSP each, in my opinion, which would take the price right back to – you guessed it – 800 MSP. 200 for each new map and 100 for each of the older ones. (200 x 3) + (100 x 2) = 800.
“Stimulus” is Misleading
The “Stimulus” in the name brings to mind free checks to most people. $15 is not free, therefore a different name should’ve been chosen if these maps aren’t free to gamers. The only pockets being stimulated are Activision’s.
If they really wanted to have something be “Stimulus”, why not give the original maps to everyone who owns Modern Warfare 2? Then they could add in other stuff…
What I Would’ve Done
It seems this latest fiasco is a cavalcade of wrongdoing, if you’re trying to cater to the fickle gaming market. Gamers can love you one day, but one wrong PR stunt and you’re bottom barrel. The absolute best thing to do in this situation would’ve been to make the pack as sweet to gamers as possible. The ultimate option using the materials at hand is selling the pack for 800 MSP. If they’re not having that, there’s a better option.
Using the system I wrote about a couple years ago regarding video game DLC, I would’ve made two separate packs:
- Stimulus Pack: Includes the two retooled maps from Modern Warfare.
- Multiplayer Madness Map Pack: The Three new maps as well as three Spec-Ops Maps.
Price: 1200 MSP
I’m sure that with this pack, there would have been ZERO unhappy gamers. It sticks to the ‘standard’ guideline of charging 200 MSP per map, they get to keep the original price of 1200 MSP, and all Modern Warfare 2 gamers get free maps, so the people who didn’t buy the other new maps still get to partake in new content to Modern Warfare 2.
If anyone WERE to complain, they’d be laughed at for already getting free content and complaining.
With all that in mind, I’m a bit confused by a certain group of gamers out there. It’s not to any one person, but rather those who would take time out of their day to bash those of us who speak out on the issues that bug us about the game industry.
The primary goal of myself and other gamers speaking out about these issues is to bring them to the attention to the average gamer. Those gamers who don’t know what’s going on with the industry and won’t realize that by not purchasing this content, the publisher would be forced to drop it’s price.
Essentially, if these articles are effective in any way, the result would be lower prices for all of us. That’s right, complainers/name-callers/haters/griefers/tk’ers/etc., you would actually benefit in this by paying less for the content that you want just like the rest of us.
All of your negative comments are comedy to me, because you’re fighting against your own gain if our discussion of the matter is successful. If you understood, and I mean really understood, what we’re doing you might even use the #MW2StimulusSucks hashtag like the rest of us.
In a free market, if something doesn’t sell, the price is lowered, right? The gaming industry is no different. We have no problem paying for content when it’s priced fairly. The Stimulus Pack, though? It’s as unfair as you can get.
Yet again, I ask that if you agree with these statements, please RT the following statement on Twitter:
Activision, you can do better than the “Stimulus Pack”. Want me to spend $15? Here’s How You Fix It: http://bit.ly/dhdaWA #MW2StimulusSucks