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.
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.