In 2008, Activision boss Bobby Kotick said some scary stuff about the natural evolution of Call of Duty, an evolution that involves taking the franchise into the massively multiplayer space and monetizing it. Signs point towards the CoD franchise branching out in such a fashion, but Activision is here to assure you that the standard CoD package (i.e. single player, co-op and multiplayer out of the box) that you’re so utterly obsessed with and addicted to now will never have a subscription fee tacked onto its multiplayer component.
“Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, in an interview with IndustryGamers. “The experience you have out of the box, connecting with the online community to play Call of Duty is absolutely integral to the experience, and we’ll never charge for that. It’s not going to be something we’ll attempt to monetize; it’s part of the package.”
Hirshberg went on to say that he could “unequivocally” say that Activision will “never, ever charge for the multiplayer.” He declined to comment on whether or not Call of Duty could branch out into other genres, ones which could include a subscription fee. Activision unveiled a new strategic plan for the franchise earlier this year, which included forming a dedicated Call of Duty business unit. Said unit plans to expand on the franchise “with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit,” focusing on “high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models.”
Regardless of what this all means for the future of the entire CoD brand, you can rest assured that the CoD we know and love will never force you to pay extra for some online fun. Except for map packs – you’ll still have to hand over your credit card details for a handful of maps.