Subscription-Based ‘Call of Duty’ Multiplayer Coming Soon?

Published 4 years ago by

Call of Duty Subscriptions Still Coming?

Right now the biggest cheerleader for implementing pay-to-play Call of Duty multiplayer, besides Activision, is Wedbush Securities. One of their analysts, Micheal Pachter, has recently ripped into Activision saying that they are betraying their shareholders by not charging for the multiplayer portion of their record-breaking CoD games.

In Wedbush’s eyes, by only charging players the $60 purchase price Activision is ignoring a large potential revenue stream that could be used to increase their profits and in turn increase the value of their stock. It appears that Wedbush Securities may have some inside information as their January 2011 newsletter mentions that Activision could introduce a second tier of CoD multiplayer as soon as the next three months.

What this multiplayer offering is going to be is not revealed. Activision has stated in the past that they will not charge for out of the box multiplayer for the Call of Duty series, so it is not likely a strictly pay-to-play subscription. Despite this reluctance on Activision’s part to discuss monetizing CoD multiplayer it didn’t stop Wedbush from recommending them as a potential investment opportunity for their clients:

“Activision remains a top pick, primarily due to the company’s potential to create and monetize a second tier of multiplayer online gaming for its Call of Duty franchise. We expect this to occur during the first quarter of 2011.”

While Activision has denied rumors of charging for basic multiplayer, they never said they wouldn’t implement some type of tiered subscription service. Could this be something along the lines of PlayStation Plus where you pay a monthly or yearly fee and get access to weapons and maps that others would have to buy individually? With the recent announcement of the first Black Ops $15 map pack coming to Xbox 360, this DLC seems like it could come out in this Q1 2011 window Wedbush is talking about. This could theoretically set up for something where players can pay Activision a $10 (for example) subscription fee and get the maps along with specialized playlists, new weapons and modes.

Or could it be something completely different, like an entirely new game? Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has stated in the past that he thinks a natural evolution of the Call of Duty franchise could be in some type of massive-multiplayer enviroment. Could we be getting a Battlefield type game where large numbers of players are fighting in a large play field? Activision could introduce a subscription service or charge for certain loadouts and items like many MMO games do to turn a profit. And a billion dollars of sales for Black Ops in a matter of weeks is just the beginning…

Now whether or not this prediction from Wedbush turns out to be true or a wild and wrong guess, we won’t have to wait long to find out. If something is going to happen, they expect it to be in the next few months. So readers, what are you thoughts on this? Do you want a premium subscription to the main CoD games where you get DLC and other perks, or would you rather this be something completely new? Or are you tired of hearing about this and wish this story would go away? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Kotaku

TAGS: Activision, Black Ops, Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2

  • Anthony Taormina

    Would I pay for COD that has weekly map content and updates? Yes. Will that be the case if COD goes pay to play for a new tier? No.

    I presume this will most likely not happen anyway so I’m not too worried.

    • Rob Keyes

      Ya I agree. The way they charge for maps make me not look forward to paying for any extra service since we see how much they overcharge for DLC as it is.

      But, if it adds usable and fun stuff (and more functionality) then I might be interested.

  • Victor

    CoD-MW2 Yes. Anything by Treyarch. NO. All of their games in comparison to Infinity Wards’ are Garbarge, in opinion of alot of forums, I would pay for: 1 Map/Variant/Perk a month for an additional $10. Everyone is on a budget Treyarch. If your game sucks, no one cares.

  • Ace

    I’m only buying the map pack because my sister and dad play and they want it.

    For me I’m done with COD, Black Ops was alot more enjoyable than MW2 for me. But the multiplayer is just so stale.

    Thank god it’s less than a year til Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim, some deep games I can sink my teeth into, like I’m currently doing w/ New Vegas

  • Nutzilla

    A COD subscription service that included Clan rankings, Leagues and Tournaments would do really well. Most COD players are pretty serious and already pay for services like this on the web. Why wouldn’t they pay Activision to handle it in-game.

  • eddie

    the pay to play service mmo’s utilize works because theres a smaller quantity of quality for that type. there are at least 10-12 fps with multiplayer released every year that are at least worth lookig at and of those half are good enough for multiple plays. ill say that the cOd franchise does a lot of things better then others of the same genre but the competition is catching up quickly. Basically i wouldn’t have a huge problem giving up black ops if they suddenly required a monthly fee.

  • MRZ_Polak

    New player models, weapons, maps, and possibly and mmo style of play would be cool…. for about two weeks. Then you realize you have to pay 15 bucks, on top of the 50, oh wait more like 65 now, for live, that you’re already paying. The 65 bucks a year is for the best online gaming expierience you can get, dlc, videos, friends, chat, the lot. Xbl is amazing, and that’s why so many are willing to pay for it. However, I remember the days where dlc was free on xbl. But, you can still play any game online, and have all features of xbl with a gold account, without paying for dlc. So, wouldn’t it seem absolutely rediculous for a game developer to be allowed to charge pay-to-play on this sort of network? The players already pay 65 dollars a year, 60 buck for the disc ( unless you buy the 150 dollar legendary box ), and then another 40 or so in dlc, if not more. Seriously, how is that not enough revenue? $250 for most hardcore gamers, plus another 65 for xbl? I just don’t understand. If the call of duty developers release this they will see a drop in player numbers, because it is the wrong market. If we wanted mmo gameplay, and to pay monthly, we would be on wow, not live. Yes rich gamers will go into this. But the game is built around competitve play, which led to the adaptation of this game into MLG. Pros will not go for this subscription, and will drop the game. They have other shooters they can be good at. Bottom line, cod will loose what it has earned if they go with this plan.

    • Matt Bowman

      MRZ_Polak keep in mind that $65 you are talking about for Xbox Live none of it goes to Activision. Activision is like a jealous sibling here and is mad that they don’t get any of that money because they think their game is the reason why people buy Live.

  • Victor

    “””If we wanted mmo gameplay, and to pay monthly, we would be on wow, not live. Yes rich gamers will go into this. But the game is built around competitve play, which led to the adaptation of this game into MLG.”””
    Thank you!!

  • Donald Robbins

    Man, I really, really don’t understand this. I mean, I get that Activision needs to make money. However, I feel like they’re going to end up making people dislike the whole FPS genre. There are more FPS out there to play, but most people want to play this.
    I hope that if they implement any pay-to-play strategy, that they keep what is currently free free, and charge for extra stuff that is not directly translated to superior player performance. That way the people who pay and the people who don’t are both happy…. And Activision makes even MORE money.

    Top 3 terrifying companies in all of the land:
    1/ Nintendo
    2/ SkyNet*
    3/ Activision

  • KantStandYa

    I take my kd on cod pretty seriously so I would pay for any new thing involving cod. just hit 2.03 pretty syched about that.

    • kantStandCodElitists

      – rolls eyes – yeah that’s pretty serious , you need serious help…

  • SWH

    Nuts! You would loose 4/5 of all the gamers… I know this is a Treyarch game… But come on, do not commit suicide! This is not some cheap ass asian MMO, you do not want to pay for superior gear… Have a look at NFS world or whatever that was called… Biiiig success, not xD
    If you let people buy better gear in-game the whole point of this game gets lost… When i play it is to be better than all the other gamers, if you can purchase gear to give you an edge, competition goes out the window…

    Lets have a look at the past call of duty games…
    Easy way to compare this hmm….

    Say… Call of duty 4: Modern Warfare was a perfect Whiskey
    Then comes World at War, this is a glass of water
    Modern Warfare 2, here the whiskey has been watered down, just a tad…
    Black ops… Where did the perfect good ol’ whiskey go? Oh i think i might be able to taste it, not sure… Subscription fees?! Yeah, nice glass of water you just served up…. was that tap or bottled?

    And i am sorry to say this but Wedbush (nice name btw), you are not gamers, you do not know what the people want, stop thinking “money money money”, and try, just try, to keep Activisions rep intact, while they still have a tiny bit left…

  • An9el

    I will pay if they ban hackers and cheaters. They are the ones messing up the enjoyed of playing online.

  • dan

    uh, i don’t think this would happen, activision might overprice their map packs, but i don’t think they’re stupid enough to alianate their fans of COD for stupid stuff like more pay for play.
    Whatever shareholders that feel betrayed can go by new stocks.
    i believe people pay enough for cod, for example

    COD BLACK OPS NORMAL 60$ + map pack 1,(2, and probably 3) = 115$ in all.
    COD BLACK OPS HARDENED 80$ + mp 1,2,3= 135$ in all.
    COD BLACK OPS PRESTIGE 150$ + mp, 1,2,3 = 205$

    the game already passed the billion marker, and it will make more millions off of map packs, so shareholders in this article have not been betrayed, they’re just greedy.


  • mikey rae

    I loved playing modern warfare 2 (and 1), in fact ALL the COD series on multiplayer……..BUT, This is not the reason I subscribe to X-BOX LIVE. I subscribe because of other multiplayer games also, and the community.

    If Activision charge for the multiplayer mode on top of x-box live they will find that there revenue will drop….dramatically! Gamers are not dumb!!

    Keep on churning out excellent games and leave the multiplayer networking and subscription to x-box!

  • Diego

    i wont pay to play…dont care, i already buy the game…not paying more to play online. if this happens, ill just join the hacked servers and play there. try stopping that on the PC freaks.

  • dfunky

    That would be the end of the CoD franchise. It would die an extremely quick death lol. I would be gone. I’m sure they have looked at the number of people expected to leave compared to the added income but why can’t game developers do things for the players anymore? I understand its a business but a great game will sell. The CoD games are the same old with a different cover on the box every year. And there’s no need for fan boy talk for IW or treyarch. Both sets have become boring because they work off of the same multiplayer idea. I like both but I would not pay a monthly fee. Unless they game got dedicated servers, ran perfectly, glitches were fixed fast, and the game had some sort of wider scope then having games that mean nothing in the bigger picture of the game. It’s not an MMO if what you doesn’t effect those around you in some way.


    With the release of ‘HOMEFRONT’ just recently I prey to the gods of gaming that It’s not a ‘carbon copy’ of the COD series…….don’t get me wrong, I LOVE COD –but when you buy a new title entirely, you expect a few new tweaks, game play, features ,characters ,level up structure ,un-lock process etc.

    Now, from the screen shots and videos I’ve seen on you-tube etc it looks pretty similar to COD!
    I also heard that the SP mode runs for about 4 hours only! Although I buy FPS for their multiplayer features I also like to complete the SP mode first a couple of times, now, £49.99 is NOT worth 4-5 hours of game play. There are others who do not play X-BOX LIVE (Why ? I do not know!!)so they are basically paying £10.00 per hour for the privelage!!!

    If anyone has bought/played ‘HOMEFRONT’ could they let me/us know if it is a NEW game or a re-hash of COD?


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