Activision mulling pay-to-play model for Call of Duty?

New 360 video hints at possible Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops "membership" proposition; publisher's representatives set the record straight.

Source: A YouTube video posted by a member of the 360Junkies forums.

What we heard: In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick expressed interest in participating in the financial revenue stream propagated by Call of Duty participants on Xbox Live. This morning, 360Junkies member PwnShop posted a YouTube clip (embedded below) of what appeared to be Activision's attempt to further monetize the series by charging a membership fee of some sort. Specifically, the user said he was "trying to join a friend's session on MW2" when he was prompted with a line of text that read "Modern Warfare 2 Membersh…" and a suggestion to select a level of membership or add Microsoft points.

Activision is out to make money, but how?

Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling used Twitter to crush the idea of a subscription model for a Call of Duty game, saying, "Modern Warfare 2 subscription plan rumors going around. For the record, nobody has to pay to play COD or MW2 multiplayer, nor will they."

Additionally, Call of Duty: Black Ops is due out November 9, and Treyarch's community manager, Josh Olin, today shot down the idea of that game being "Pay to Play." His full statement was:

"No, you will not have to 'Pay to Play'#CODBlackOps Multiplayer either. Rumor -> Squashed," he wrote on Twitter.

The official story: As of press time Activision has not responded to GameSpot's request for comment on the matter or the monetization methods of future products.

Bogus or not bogus?: Certainly not bogus that Activision is looking for ways to wring more money out of its games, but exactly what form that will take is up in the air at the moment.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

672 comments
cuinn_s
cuinn_s

Business wise, this is a smart idea. Look at Blizzard (partner company to Activision, if you could call it "partner") are raking millions monthly. This shows easy revenue even if it's at a much lower cost. They realize people WILL pay for COD online. Just wait for B.net to start charging.

Pr0ving4Gr0undz
Pr0ving4Gr0undz

people calm down its a glitch lol and there would be no point of this because we don't play online on servers

pull1nger
pull1nger

How about they make good games befor they think about charging more to play them, it just like DLC I dont buy it and never will!! they can go f**k themselves!

magusat999
magusat999

Is that a cash cow I hear mooing across the Activision farmlands?

Sanel_aka_Sano
Sanel_aka_Sano

@ odst trooper117, I think u should get xbox live because xbox is boring without it and i know because i had a xbox. Now on to Pay to Play, if they do this nobody would get the game so it really wouldnt matter. Also im debating about getting a xbox again. Everybody that thinks that INFINITY WARD ruined Call Of Duty with One Man Army, Noob Tubes, Danger Close, Heartbeat, and Commando. Like this comment.

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

Am i the only one who dindnt buy MW2 and not suffured the consequences

odst_trooper117
odst_trooper117

@ ExtremeFallout, AGREED. @ Sanel_aka_Sano, I agree except that i have an xbox and like it better than the PS3 (Its my opinion) but i dont have xboxlive. Im still debating on wether paying for xbox live or not.

drago2021
drago2021

If it is P2P, I'll probably buy something else like LBP2 or some other game coming out this year. If not, I'm gonna get it.

clinton03
clinton03

somebody obviously mod their game so anyone not invited had to give up microsoft points to play..thank the god's i have PS3 version and don't have to deal with that nonsence!!!

Sanel_aka_Sano
Sanel_aka_Sano

I cant believe u guys actually believe this crap. Activision and Treyarch make great game espicially Call of duty. World at War was one of the Best COD game. Really go on Mw2 and look at all the flaws Infinity ward made. So you guys are giving Activision Crap? There not that cheap to make you pay to play, if they were then you guys wouldnt play the game so i dont get why you guys are makeing a big deal about it. Add me on PS3 and I'll tell/show the flaws Infinity Ward made. Ask for Name in message.

Joshk1997
Joshk1997

i swear to god if they make cod p2p i am selling all my cod games and never buying another

bisonfan2010
bisonfan2010

Breaking News! Activision is losing money this financial year becuase no one bought their games to pay to play online...3rd party developers are making huge amounts of cash that used to belong to the "pig" activision and EA is now the top game maker!

Sanel_aka_Sano
Sanel_aka_Sano

Wow really online or offline? Who plays offline? No one exactly so they wouldnt get any money and you wouldnt waste any. Thats on Xbox anyways so i dont care. I have a PS3 and the internet is free unlike microsoft cheap self.

ExtremeFallout
ExtremeFallout

i dont care if this is real or not but that fact that it actually came up makes me hate activision even more now!

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@Sethbeastalan I'm confused because this article is related to Call of Duty not Starcraft.

Sethbeastalan
Sethbeastalan

@Hvac0120 For one, Starcraft 2 is a computer game. Also, that wasn't the point. The point is that they'll tell you what you want, and they've done it before.

Foliage-King
Foliage-King

After looking at that vid maybe the idea is to allow silver members the ability to play online if they invest in a cod membership. This membership wouldnt effect gold members at all.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@advanracer is your period key stuck so it puts doubles down every time or what?

advanracer
advanracer

@zzmaro :: No Worries..mate..I own Both Consoles. LOL..for sure..I'm gonna Stick to to Sony if goes down. FREE ONLINE GAMEPLAY. That's always a GOOD THING.

The_Mad_Hatter
The_Mad_Hatter

Activision strikes again... they really seem to aim to kill video games... it's about the fun not the cash, we gamers do not care about price as long as it's worth it... but playing to play online? that will kill your franchise...

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

like always GameSpot adding fuel!! :D burn baby! burn! LOL

snake3rules
snake3rules

@metly3219 and @jking98 -- You two are hilariously naive ... you think its AN ACCIDENT that the code was written into the system? As I said a page ago: How do they say BS like "for the record no one has to and no one will [in the foreseeable future]", when there is LITERALLY video evidence that someones has written the code into the system... what a bunch of lying, pathetic, money-hungry individuals. You two are wrong, you really think this would have happened if activision WASNT writing that code and taking steps to make this a reality? You both make me laugh at the naivety of fanatics.

gunner967
gunner967

If there really is a pay to play for later CoDs, then you can count me out on buying them. I payed $60 for a game and $50 a year to play them online(XBL subscription). I shouldn't have to pay another $10 a month.

prioritymail
prioritymail

I wouldn't be surprised. They already started taking small steps toward this by charging so much for the map packs.

Dark_Arkitect
Dark_Arkitect

Some of you people.jeez,really?Yes he said "you won't have to pay to play",but he didn't say if that was offline or online.Knowing the reputation of Bobby Kotex.You would really be shocked by this? The industry is losing their minds at a very fast rate.This is not shocking news.Just wait.it will get worse before the freeze.

theend818
theend818

all of the ppl to support/defend this ARE IDIOTS and you guys are the ones that will lead video games makers to charge for everything(like they do now)...dlc was free at one point!! online should be free too you dont go to the park and pay to play with other ppl do you(if u ever been to a park)!!!!!!! video gamers= dumbest consumer

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

Can't wait for Tony Hawk's World of DiabloCraft: Modern StarHero Prototype Warfare 2

Sanel_aka_Sano
Sanel_aka_Sano

Wow did you guys really not bother to read the whole article?? I guess not. Its not true that they'll make you "pay to play" so calm down and it is true all of you will say you won't buy the game Black Ops but you will buy it. I know for one I will buy the game. It looks great. No offence to Infinity Ward but you guys kind of ruined Modern Warfare 2 with noob tube's, One man army, Heartbeat sensor, and Commando.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

WOW so much hate from people who are willing to PAY MS to simply play online!!!! I guess you are only one company's B!+c#... XD XD ... LMFAO!

grungeman91
grungeman91

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

chrisda
chrisda

I kind of hope they do charge you to play, anything that may lead to the death of Call of Duty, seriously, call of duty has ruined the genre.

Cheesehead9099
Cheesehead9099

Knowing Activision he probably means OFFLINE multiplayer. I say when the game comes out Activision will have a P2P service for the online and everyone will be like wtf and they will be like we never said ONLINE multiplayer MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA

angelcar
angelcar

I had already decided I am not getting this game. Go ahead, dumbasses, try to charge a fee for what others offer at no additional cost. Freaking joke

TheVGamer
TheVGamer

Im curious to see if they'll make they're own service network, but since Microsoft and Activision (two greedy giants) have a deal about dlcs for future CoD games, Im sure they're gonna figure out how to rip-off with LIVE.

Flint247
Flint247

Call of Desperation: Need Your Money 2

Jking98
Jking98

@ melty3219 Tell me about it was just a rumor that came up a few days ago and they are said it will not charge to play these guys are bunch of babies and to stupid to read the whole article

melty3219
melty3219

wow really? you guys will just cry and moan over anything and everything wont yah? Activision, IW and Treyarch all they they will not charge for COD and that video was a glitch on the XBL marketplace, instead of it saying XBL memberships it glitched and said the game he was playing hence the "Mordern Warfare 2" memberships. So dry your tears and quit making a big fuss over nothing. sheesh.

okassar
okassar

Omg LOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! They can't be serious about this.

hakkinnen
hakkinnen

I hope it becomes pay to play. So COD can die already.

naruto133
naruto133

i know that this cant happen we pay about $60 to buy mw2 and if we buy $60 cod black ops and make us pay for online well there going to lose lots of costamers and the person who annoced this is a idiot and greedy

ssj4dragon
ssj4dragon

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kakashi6666
kakashi6666

bad idea activision the second u guys make people pay so that they can play cod i garrentee u you will start loosin customers your sales are gonna plummet sure you will get some starglers there always is but who in there right mind would want to play a game that cost £60 pound to buy then theres the cost for xbl and then what ever activision will charge pluss stupidly priced dlc content

Henninger
Henninger

Well i wont b paying 2 play a game i already bought & already am paying 4 xbl. I dont like the way things r being handled @ Activision & Kotick still needs 2 resign. I will b buying Black Ops cuz thats not IW's game its Treyarch's. Treyarch, imo, redeemed themselves with W@W. Cuz we all know that COD3 wuz garbage. So i'll give em 1 more shot 2 impress. Now if the game is as broken as MW2 then im done with COD as a whole. If they try & charge 15 bucks or 1200 Microsoft points 4 their maps then im done with COD as a whole (still havent bought the maps 4 MW2).

tainted_lynx
tainted_lynx

The funny thing is that most of the people bashing Activision will be buying CoD anyway. Face it, most of you will be lining up for Black Ops when it comes out. Activision is so bad, blah, blah, blah.. yet you still give them money. Modern Warfare 2 sold over a billion copies and this one will probably be no different.

quagmireisgod
quagmireisgod

activision can go and fXXX themselves, Battlefield 2 is the way forward, and remember Medal of honor is on its way yeeeehaaaa

admiral_picard
admiral_picard

Heh, I've said Activision is the dark side for a long time now - the funny thing is they used to kinda hide it a bit, now they just don't give a damn anymore. They done ensnared enough people with MW2 that a lot of people don't notice. Down with Activision, and down with Emperor Kotick - he's the biggest problem behind it all. Although to be honest I don't care if they do this, I don't play MW2 and I'm not going to but it's still a bad business philosophy.

Ace77765
Ace77765

You guys knew this was coming...and don't think it will be seperate and included with live. That is microsofts money you gonna pay to play the game too! just like ps3 folks. They are out to get their money for their FPS...

Dizzy1976
Dizzy1976

It isn't about pleasing the customer anymore for some companies....its about how much money they can milk them for before they leave. :) In this case everybody threatened to bail so the idea was a no-go. lol And yes Kotick is a prime example with his "seven pillars"