Would you pay full price—or close to full price—for a game that is nearly a decade old? Activision is banking on Call of Duty fans doing exactly that when the standalone version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered ships later this month. If you want the full experience, you'll have to cough up $40 for the core game, plus another $15 for the accompanying DLC that includes extra maps and other additional content.
Activision is catching a fair amount of heat from gamers on this one. Initially, the controversy surrounding the remastered release was Activision's decision to bundle it with the Digital Deluxe, Legacy Pro, and Legacy versions of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. At its cheapest, that essentially boiled down to paying $60 for Infinite Warfare and another $20 the remastered version of Modern Warfare.
The issue there wasn't the pricing, not by itself anyway. Instead, gamers were peeved that the only way to play Modern Warfare in remastered form was to buy Infinite Warfare alongside it. Hence the initial criticism. Activision had a great opportunity to appease gamers by freeing the remastered version of Modern Warfare from Infinite Warfare and offer it as a standalone product, but instead of it costing $20, gamers who want to go all-in will have to shell out $55 ($40 for the game, $15 for the Variety Map Pack).
To be fair, Activision isn't the only publisher to place a premium price tag on a remastered build. Bethesda's been doing it with Skyrim (the Special Edition runs $40), and look at Grand Theft Auto V, which still commands $60 for the dressed up PC version.
Still, this feels a bit different. Not only is Modern Warfare now pushing 10 years old, but in many cases publishers will include DLC with remastered releases. That is really what Activision should have done here. At $40, the publisher would have avoided ticking off gamers who forked over a premium for an Infinite Warfare bundle, while at the same time offering a fair value to those who waited for the standalone release.
In any event, the standalone release will be available June 27.