The U.K. company Bidvine now allows people to hire professional Call of Duty players to play the game for them (via PC Games Insider).
The company, PC Games Insider points out, claims to be the first in the country to offer this service. For £15 an hour (about $20 USD), pro players can rank up a player's character, unlock features and improve statistics. In order to make sure this service is honest, Bidvine requires pro players to "provide an ID, as well as prove their ability before being able to take part in this scheme."
"We’ve already had a number of sign ups and we’re looking forward to seeing how many more we get," Bidvine co-founder Russ Morgan said. "The rise in professional gaming has been meteoric over the last few years, and there are thousands of people who can help out the more time-strapped gamers among us."
Signing up for the service requires jumping through a few hoops. Users must register under a U.K. postcode, and from there they'll be asked whether they'd prefer a pro player to play the game on their own console or the pro's. Users are then asked what rank and prestige they'd like to hit, as well as what items they'd like unlocked. The website also asks more seemingly chance-based questions, such as what a user would like their kill-death ration to be. Bidvine also offers the option for the professional player to travel to a user's home – or wherever their console is located. From there, a user can create an account and start bidding on players.
Without actually signing up and hiring someone it's unclear whether or not this service works in other countries, but it looks limited to the U.K., as of right now.
While this certainly isn't the first service of this kind, it raises some questions about how ethical it is in the online gaming scene. Cheating, in any scenario, is frowned upon in online gaming and tends to lead to players being banned from games or online services. While this technically isn't altering the game or its code to a player's advantage, it isn't necessarily honest either. We've reached out to Call of Duty publisher Activision to get its take on the service and whether or not it sees this as cheating. We've also reached out to Bidvine for comment on the service and how successful it is. We'll update the story should we hear back.