The Call of Duty: Ghosts £10 upgrade plan is designed to help gamers out with the costly console transition, Infinity Ward has said.
For a limited time, those who buy the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 version of the shooter when they're released on 5th November can pay £10 to upgrade to the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version when they're released afterwards.
This upgrade plan, coupled with the ability to take all of your Season Pass Content and all of your in-game progress with you within a console family for no additional charge, is part of a wider effort on Activision and Infinity Ward's part to ease the sure to be expensive transition to the £349 PS4 and the £429 Xbox One.
"It's an initiative we've been really pushing to help players through the transition," Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin told Eurogamer.
"Because transitions are tough. We realise it's hard for a lot of our players to go out and buy an expensive piece of hardware.
"We literally had that question almost at the very beginning of development. We asked, how can we answer that question?
"We pushed to let the players take their stats and ID with them wherever they go across any platform, so if you buy the game in November and you don't get your next-gen console till Christmas or something, you're not going to lose all that progress.
"And we pushed with first-parties to do an upgrade path of some kind."
"Because transitions are tough. We realise it's hard for a lot of our players to go out and buy an expensive piece of hardware."Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin
But there's another reason for the upgrade plan: next-generation hesitation, as Activision boss Eric Hirshberg recently put it.
Earlier this month Hirshberg revealed pre-orders for Call of Duty: Ghosts were "well below" the number of pre-orders for last year's game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and blamed it on fans not being sure which console they planned to play Ghosts on.
But that was before Activision's huge Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer reveal event in Los Angeles - streamed online - which, Hirshberg told Eurogamer at Gamescom, had improved Ghosts' pre-order situation.
"It was very positive," Hirshberg said. "We saw a nice bump across everything, both the softer measures like social media engagement, as well as harder measures like interest and intent in the game."
The upgrade and stats transfer plan, announced last week, should also help, Hirshberg said. "Obviously we're doing everything we can to make it as seamless and frictionless a transition for people as possible," Hirshberg said.
"But at the end of the day, indecision and hesitation will continue this year because people are still going to be deciding what machine they're going to buy up to and probably through our launch."
"At the end of the day, indecision and hesitation will continue this year because people are still going to be deciding what machine they're going to buy up to and probably through our launch."Activision boss Eric Hirshberg
Hirshberg said Activision was aware that the current-gen versions of Ghosts will sell more than the next-gen versions this year, simply because the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360's install bases will dwarf the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One's.
It was a similar situation with the last console transition, Hirshberg said.
"If you look at the last console transition as a guide, the PS2 in particular stayed an incredibly relevant platform for years in the current console lifecycle. The majority of players this year will be playing our games on current gen.
"One of the things we're keeping an eye on, while all of the interest and heat culturally is around the next-gen, we've got to deliver a great current gen game as well."
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