If you’re looking for one more reason to give thanks this week, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has one for you. According to him, Call of Duty’s online multiplayer portion will always be free. Despite constant rumors of a subscription-based plan for Call of Duty’s multiplayer future, the hammer has been laid down to the contrary.
Hirshberg was pretty firm in putting your mind and wallet at ease:
"Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no. 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…at the end of the day, all I'm trying to get across is I can unequivocally say we will never, ever charge for the multiplayer."
That seems pretty cut and dry. Every time you pop in that new copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops, or should there ever be a Modern Warfare 3, the multiplayer won’t cost anything extra. This comes as especially good news for gamers who are tired of hearing Michael Pachter give these terrible money-hungry ideas to publishers. Even Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s CEO (Activision Publishing is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard), has shown interest in the subscription idea, but it would now seem that all that talk doesn’t matter.
This news actually could have a larger impact in ensuring that other franchises won’t try to go the subscription route with their online offerings. Unlike PC gamers, many console gamers have been wary about any sort of subscription-based games. If any one franchise has the power to raise the comfort level of console gamers, or at least just force them into it, it’s Call of Duty. Not too many other franchises have the clout to move the industry in that direction. Looks like DC Universe Online will have to be the next big title to take a swing at it.
Regardless, that should be a load of all you Ranters’ minds, for now. Are you relieved to hear this news, or do you think it will just be a matter of time before a different high profile franchise takes a crack at the subscription game?