In long-running PC MMOs and MOBAs such as World of Warcraft and League of Legends, the idea of players selling high level and item-rich user accounts for real-world money has been around for some time. But now, UK based company Bidvine is allowing people who want to boost their in-game progression and skill ratings to hire professional Call of Duty players.
According to Russ Morgan, Bidvine co-founder, “The Call of Duty game franchise is one of the biggest in the world, and every time they release a new game it’s a race to unlock the best weapons, characters and camos – as well as seeing who can prestige first".
For the rate of £15 per hour, the service cuts out the need to sell accounts and allows users to keep their existing profile and multiplayer progress on Call of Duty or indeed any other games. While it isn't too different from selling accounts, this has raised questions surrounding what should be classed as cheating in online multiplayer. To be clear, this process doesn’t involve hacking into a game to alter it, though it isn't necessarily honest either. Morgan justifies the service by stating that there are “thousands of people who can help out the more time-strapped gamers among us."
Should developers really be encouraged to tack on such time-consuming systems for the sake of making a game seem like better value for the consumer?
Perhaps this highlights the problems surrounding the state of progression in modern games. Should developers really be encouraged to tack on such time-consuming systems for the sake of making a game seem like better value for the consumer? Padding out content does seem to leave a better impression on those looking to justify a purchase, though if services like what Bidivine is offering are viable, then that also indicates a significant opposing point of view. These are players who may find progression system to be getting in the way of them enjoying a game without restrictions.