Activision Publishing CEO: 'We Will Never, Ever Charge' for Call of Duty Multiplayer

By Xav de Matos, Nov 24, 2010 3:45pm PST Although some hints have pointed at the idea that Activision could eventually begin to charge for multiplayer access to Call of Duty--presumably in the form of a subscription model--one executive at the publishing giant says that plan is not in the cards.

"Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no," recently appointed Activision CEO of its publishing division, Eric Hirshberg, told IndustryGamers. According to Hirshberg, the online community of the Call of Duty franchise is "absolutely integral" to the experience and Activision will "never charge for that." Hirshberg also noted that multiplayer is "not going to be something we'll attempt to monetize; it's part of the package."

Some of the dicussion spawned from predictions made by Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, who said Activision could offer tiered levels of service for the Call of Duty franchise, to further monetize its cash cow.

"He's probably looking at meta-trends in the world and in culture about online services and new ways things should be monetized from Netflix to cloud-based computing," Hirshberg said, agreeing that there are a lot of "behavioral shifts" towards long-standing online communities. "But 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."

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