By now you’ve undoubtedly heard that an exclusive version of America’s precious Call of Duty franchise is on its way to the Land of the Red Dragon. (Or wait, isn’t Wales the Land of the Red Dragon? Shut up, I’m trying to talk about China here.) And if you’re an unwavering CoD superfan, you’re probably feeling a bit of jealousy, especially if the PC is your system of choice. However, you need to understand one thing, and it’s probably something that your parents have been telling you for a very long time: you’re a presumptuous little shithead who doesn’t understand how easy your life actually is.
See, the reason that CoD: Online is such a big deal for Chinese gamers is because consoles are practically nonexistent in China. The government actually banned the sale of consoles in June of 2000. So, while you’ve been mainlining Call of Duty for over a decade, those poor Chinese players have been forced to resort to the black market if they want to pick up a copy for their illegal Xbox.
The funny part is that even though consoles themselves have been banned, reportedly because parents complained about the games ruining their children’s minds, arcades and LAN Centers are not even slightly illegal. So avid players end up spending a good deal of time in public, which mostly means that they can’t masturbate between rounds like American gamers.
But the fact that gamers already have to pay an hourly rate in order to play their favorite games means that Activision needed to develop an alternate pricing scheme to make their product affordable. So, like most of their good ideas, they simply stole it from Valve.
The microtransaction system that Valve has been using for Counter-Strike Online has been popular enough to muster an upcoming sequel. So, it’s probably good enough for Activision to “borrow.” We don’t actually know many of the game’s details, but it sounds like players will be able to customize their appearance and weaponry by purchasing the tiny upgrades.
Also, if you’re still feeling some jealousy, just remember that CoD: Online is based on the Modern Warfare franchise, and the last time I checked, we already have access to that series.
Of course, the real irony in all of this is that every Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii was manufactured in China and then promptly hustled across the border before any slave shop employee might inadvertently enjoy it.
So, the next time you feel like complaining about China’s exclusive, you should take a minute to thank your dad for impregnating your mom in the land of free consoles and early releases.