The details on the “stimulus package” map pack for Modern Warfare 2 dropped today. The map pack will feature five maps — three new maps and two remade maps from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and it will set gamers back 1200 Microsoft points on Xbox 360. I’m told that 1200 points equals about fifteen real American dollars.
Whew! What a relief, right? After Activision tormented and fired their two most valuable employees, a lot of people were concerned that the publisher had lost the passion for gorging on coursing streams of revenue.
Some people even thought that Activision might try to minimize public backlash and answer Dice’s free map pack for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 by releasing new Modern Warfare 2 maps at a reasonable price. Others hoped that Activision was calling the map pack a “stimulus package” because the map pack would be free and “stimulate” the pleasure centers of disillusioned gamers who remember a time when video games were published by companies who actually like games.
Fortunately, none of that is true. Activision showed real resolve by charging $15 dollars for five maps after selling about 10 million copies of Modern Warfare 2 for $60 a pop. It turns out that the name “stimulus package” had less to do with gamers and more to do with money stimulating Activision.
Personally, I think Activision might be playing things a little safe after recently “streamlining” Infinity Ward. It’s obviously still a little rocky over there, and that’s why this Modern Warfare 2 map pack isn’t priced higher. After Activision gets done hammering out the kinks in the new Infinity Ward machine, we can expect DLC prices to normalize around the $25 to $30 range.
Still, by pricing the map pack at $15, Activision sends a clear message that the publisher still values those Modern Warfare 2 fans who choose to replace self-respect with five new maps and fifteen less dollars.