Activision refutes rumours of CoD subscription

"No plans to charge gamers for multiplayer" following fan video and Pachter comment

Activision Blizzard and Infinity Ward have batted away talk of plans to introduce a paid subscription model to current or upcoming Call of Duty games.

A mysterious player video appeared yesterday, which showed references to membership over the top of a Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer session.

While a publisher retroactively adding an additional cost to an existing game seemed highly unlikely, many saw it as the actualisation of recent comments by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick that he would like to introduce subscriptions to Call of Duty.

Additionally, Webdush analyst Michael Pachter predicted earlier this week that Call of Duty would move to a paid multiplayer model by the end of the year. However, Activision has claimed there are no such plans.

Activision's Dan Amrich dismissed the video as a "glitch", which had caused an Xbox Live subscription page to appear in Modern Warfare 2. "It's not a secret portal to some nefarious plot to charge people for COD multiplayer - and there are no plans to do that."

Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling who has resisted joining his former comrades at Respawn added on Twitter, "For the record, nobody has to pay to play COD or MW2 multiplayer, nor will they."

On his own blog, he elaborated that "No such plan exists for this or any other Call of Duty (including the upcoming Black Ops)." Whether this also encompasses unannounced titles is unclear.

Further corroboration of the claims came in the form of an official Activision statement to IGN. "Reports of a subscription membership in Modern Warfare 2 are not true. Activision has no plans to charge gamers to play Call of Duty multiplayer."

Whether all this entirely defuses suspicion and speculation remains to be seen. Kotick recently expressed some frustration with Xbox Live, again hinting that he was keen to move to a direct-to-Activision subscription.

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Latest comments (5)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
I think if Activision were going to launch a subscription-based service, they would save it for Modern Warfare 3. Either that, or maybe it will be the new instalment in the series from Sledgehammer Games.

You can't really blame them if they are planning a subscription multiplayer mode - it's good business sense, and the series is phenominally popular for its multiplayer. It wouldn't affect me personally, as I don't really play FPSs online (nor own any of the CoD games). Obviously it's not gonna launch with Black Ops, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is the intention, somewhere down the line.
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David Rider Publisher, Hustler UK8 years ago
Absolutely. I think the caveat for this story should be "at present". I'm sure that next year will be a different story.
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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 8 years ago
...or this can just be some corporate miscommunication. Kotick saying one thing, developer saying another and there has been no communication between them. Id be willing to wager that if Kotick wants a subscription model he gets one, no matter what IW/Bowling/Amrich says.
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David Rider Publisher, Hustler UK8 years ago
Well, Pachter has rightly pointed to the fact that fewer new games are being sold as players enjoy online multiplayer and DLC for existing titles, giving those titles increased longevity.

Mr Kotick and his shareholders must be acutely aware that sooner or later they're going to need to rethink a revenue model on the CoD franchise, so subscriptions make sense from their point of view. Whether or not players agree is another matter.

On the one hand, it might kill off some of the utter imbeciles who inhabit MW2 on Xbox Live. On the other, it might just drive the core players to another, rival title. Over to you, EA.
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James Verity8 years ago
problem I see is if they want to charge the users for playing online it will mean they will also have to deal with the cheats and wanna be hackers... people will not pay to play (let alone for free) unless they sort out the cheats first, which is something they have refused to do so far...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by James Verity on 20th July 2010 3:37pm

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