Rumors recently surfaced suggesting that Activision might implement a subscription model for Call of Duty online multiplayer. According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, the mega-publisher wants to introduce some form of paid access, but the company is waiting until the inevitable backlash will have less effect on sales of COD: Black Ops.
Pachter claims the monetization scheme will begin with a cheap premium membership that provides virtual goods such as special weapons and armor. That will escalate to a more expensive subscription that grants access to map packs and eventually, when the time is right, he says Activision will offer an " all access pass" to play games like COD, WoW and SC2.
"The trick is managing this without destroying sales of the game. They will tread very carefully, and will make sure that they let consumers know that they are NOT taking anything away, but are merely offering a LOT MORE VALUE for a little bit of money," Pachter said. Activision quickly chimed in on the matter and partially refuted the claims.
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said that the company would never charge for out of the box Call of Duty online multiplayer. As for Pachter's theory? "He's probably looking at meta-trends in the world and in culture about online services," Hirshberg noted, reassuring IndustryGamers further that Activision would "never, ever charge" for multiplayer.