Activision. A great name in gaming. An early ‘third party’ game developer, Activision developed an entire genre…the platformer…with Pitfall!. Indeed, this company pioneered or popularized many different genre’s and games. It’s most successful, though, is Call of Duty.
Call of Duty has endured and, through time, has had many great and not so great games. Recent editions, however, have sort of staled. Oh, there are minor differences and a few enhancements in the last two games. Unfortunately, Activision didn’t actually develop them. It’s subsidiary Infinity Ward did Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2 and parts of Modern Warfare 3. Black Ops was done, mostly, by Treyarch. Try as you may, though, the games suffer from a sameness that Activision seems to want to acknowledge and set right.
The answer is Elite. Elite is a service that started with MW3 that provides, among other things, enhanced stat tracking, and the ability to look at said stats from a multitude of devices. Elite has a free and a paid version. The paid version, which costs fifty dollars (US) give additional perks like clan management and a ‘season of exclusive downloadable content’ such as map packs. They promise nine months of the DLC. Elite members get the DLC weeks or months before ‘normal’ users. Most map packs are in the $15 range and they said three to four such packs would be released, so $50 seems like a good deal. Right?
Not so fast.
If only one person in your household plays the game, then, yes, awesome deal. BUUUUT…..
If, like me, you have two more people (or more) in your household who also like the game, well, you best be ponying up Fifty bucks per person because those map packs ONLY work with paid memberships. Yep. They are not CONSOLE oriented like the other map packs, no, they are PER USER.
I made the mistake of purchasing Elite, thinking that the new maps that came out a few days ago, would be made available for all users. I remember reading that early on. They would be CONSOLE tied, not user tied. Well, guess what? They are tied to the USER.
Of course, I was not going to spend another $100 in addition to the $50 I had paid for Elite and the $60 that the game cost. $210 is quite a bit of money for a shoot them up game. Hell, it is a lot for any game.
So, unhappy with the situation, I attempted to contact Activision. I found NO phone number on their web site and, seemingly, no other good way to contact them. I finally found a support page on FACEBOOK! So, I posted my complaint and, surprisingly, got a response fairly quickly. I was told that I would need to contact MICROSOFT for a refund since I bought Elite from XBOX Live Marketplace.
Well, calling Microsoft would have meant a forty five minute wait on the phone but I could get help immediately if I used the online chat. So, I did. I got some dude named ‘Marc’. He was very helpful and, in fact, did refund the full fifty dollars plus gave me a one month XBOX Live Gold Membership. He apologized for the inconvenience and that was that.
Not so quite, though. Back on Facebook, the Activision rep responded again and was sort of sympathetic. They said that Activision was aware of my situation (I’m guessing they got LOTS of complaints) and were going to address it. Not only that, my complaint was being forwarded to the appropriate departments. So, maybe they will offer a ‘family’ membership option. As long as it is reasonably priced, I would probably buy it. Reasonable being up to twenty dollars more.
At any rate, be sure you know exactly what you are getting into before purchasing such memberships.
And, Activision? You won’t have my loyalty again unless you fix this. I used to think you all were the best. No longer. You aren’t any better than EA.