Earlier this week Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) pushed out the second large piece of DLC for its smash hit Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, including new multiplayer content, available as a timed exclusive on Xbox 360.
The additional content will be a welcome expansion of the base game for many, even if it's still priced as steeply as previous Call of Duty content injections - $15 for 4 multiplayer maps and a zombie mode map. The more disturbing part of the Black Ops 2 DLC situation is last Friday's release of the so-called 'personalization packs' for the game. Those consist of nine pieces of DLC, each priced at $1.99 and containing a weapon skin or 'camo' that can be used as extra swag in multiplayer, a player 'calling card' and three gun sight reticles. Those willing to have the full array of choices to customize their ingame toys would need to pay a total of about $18 – a little more than the map pack content costs.[banner]
The fact that ATVI is now trying to sell players content that was always taken for granted and was usually available in full on release day, what's more, sell it for two dollars apiece, seems to have been the last drop for some franchise fans. Customers who bought the game on PC have come up with some angry comments on the personalization DLC release, ranging from the more level-headed “This idea of microtransations on top of fully paid games is something they are attempting to push and make the norm”, to the outraged “I'm done with the series now. I can't take any more of this blatant thundering non-stop money train.”
An additional kick in the crotch for early supporters who preordered Black Ops 2 is the recent free release of the Nuketown 2025 map on PS3 and PC - content that was announced as an exclusive preorder bonus.
Activision have little to fear from such frustrated fans as there is a large number of similar angry posts each year and those same people infallibly buy the next installment of the series a year later, after the new enticing trailers hit the web.
ATVI stock is currently 1.2% down in early trading, after it broke through the $14 level on its way down. The price has slipped over 60 cents over the last five sessions, possibly helped on its way by the news of game industry overall sales going down 10% year-over-year in the first quarter.