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Why are call of duty games expensive?

Why are Old Call of Duty Games Still So Expensive?

Call of Duty is the most popular First Person Shooter franchise in 2022. However, the games, including the legacy ones are very expensive.

So, why do they cost so much?

Generally, Nostalgia is the biggest reason old Call of Duty games are so expensive. Many young adults grew up playing COD and are willing to pay high prices to play the classics. Activision’s pricing floor and the lack of microtransactions in old games also contribute to the high prices.

This article looks at Call of Duty games and why they are so expensive. Read on to find out where you can buy them at a bargain.

About Call of Duty (COD) Games

Call of Duty is Activision’s popular First Person Shooter franchise. The first installment in 2003 focused on the events of World War II, but the series has grown to have games set in the cold war, a post-apocalyptic zombie town, futuristic worlds, and even outer space.

The first games were developed by Infinity Ward, but Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games soon took over.

Treyarch, in particular, is famed for creating COD 4: Modern Warfare, which introduced a modern setting to the series, which was primarily set in the past. Modern Warfare was a hit, and Activision has been releasing spin-offs of the game since then.

As of 2022, there are 17 published Call of Duty games, with a new Modern Warfare 2 (Not to be confused with the 2009 game) set to be released in October.

Call of Duty Prices 2022

Call of Duty games prices vary depending on the platform and the game itself. For instance, on steam, legacy COD games cost $19.99. These include Modern Warfare (2007) and all its predecessors.  Modern Warfare 3 costs $39.99, while Black Ops II sells for $59.99. Most of the remaining titles are at $59.99, with the exception of special editions, which cost an astounding $100!

On the Microsoft store, COD prices vary according to region. However, they are also consistently above $19.99 for each game regardless of the year it was released.

These prices are outrageous, especially for the legacy games. In fact, it would cost $1324 to buy all the 17 COD games from Steam. That’s the same as two PS5s!

Why Are Old CODs Still Expensive?

Call of duty

It’s interesting to think that Activision is charging $20 for the first Call of Duty, which was released in 2003, while most other publishers are selling their old games at around $5.

So, why are old COD games so expensive?

1. Nostalgia

Although there First Person Shooter games like Doom existed before 2003, Call of Duty was a huge leap forward. The graphics, gaming mechanics, maps, and even audio were years ahead of their time.

Call of Duty introduced kill streaks and aim-down sights on every gun. Those are pretty standard things on FPS games today, but they were revolutionary in 2003.

In addition, Call of Duty was the first AAA title to have a competitive online multiplayer, a feature that has built entire games like Fortnite and PUBG.

As a result, apart from being a huge commercial success, the franchise gained a massive, cult-like following.

In fact, the only reason the games are still profitable today is that die-hard fans will still pay full price for last year’s game with different characters and slightly enhanced graphics.

Kids who grew up in the early 2000s either had a COD game or badly wanted one. Many young adults today have hundreds, if not thousands of hours invested in the franchise.

These diehard fans are willing to pay exorbitant prices just to play the old classics and reinvigorate the first feelings they had when playing them.

2. Lack of Microtransactions

The gaming industry has changed how publishers make money over the past couple of years. A decade ago, publishers had to game sales because that’s all the revenue they’d get from the project.

In 2022 however, publishers don’t care about game sales. In fact, they’re willing to give you the games for free because they’ll make more money from in-game microtransactions.

 Take CSGO and Fortnite, for instance. They’re completely free to download but made it to the top 5 grossing games of 2021.

Call of Duty games, especially the older ones, don’t have an elaborate microtransaction system. Therefore, Activision only makes money from them through game sales. Being a business first, the publisher puts that into account and charges more for their games.

3. Pricing Floor

Some speculate that Activision has a pricing floor on their games. This is evident in that even when on offer, they never cost less than $19.99 regardless of the store.

Some of the older games like Modern Warfare and Black Ops have been stuck at $19.99 in most stores since 2012.

This implies that Activision does not update its prices for the old games when a new title releases and instead lets those who can afford them buy.

4. Activision Charges More for COD

Due to its brand value, Call of Duty is probably the most sought-after FPS game in 2022. Activision knows this and tries to squeeze every last penny out of enthusiastic gamers.

The publisher was the first to charge $59.99 for a console game at a time when most games were below $50.

As a matter of fact, Activision recently announced it will sell the new Modern Warfare II for $69.99 in October. If the launch is successful, this will be the new price for all Activision games.

Will Call of Duty Games Ever Drop in Price?

From the reasons above, it seems unlikely that Activision will ever drop COD prices. However, if free games like Fortnite, CSGO, and PUBG continue to make billions, the company might restrategize and focus on microtransactions.

Do Call of Duty Games Ever Go on Sale?

Surprisingly, Call of Duty games go on sale from time to time, especially on the Microsoft store. However, they never drop below $19.99.

Read Also: Why are Wii Games So Expensive?

Cheapest Way to Get Old Call of Duty (COD) Games

If you’re looking for an old COD title at a bargain, buying a used physical copy is your best bet. Here are the best places to get them:


You can get old Call of Duty games on eBay for $5 regardless of the title or platform. You can also get the newer titles for $20 or less.

Facebook Marketplace

The greatest thing about Facebook Marketplace is that you can get games from sellers within your locality.

Therefore, you don’t have to wait for shipping or fall for a scam because you can get the game yourself and confirm its quality.

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