Call of Duty getting 'innovative new digital platform'

Activision founding all-new Beachhead studio to develop "special services" for popular shooter; CEO compares it to Battle.net.

For months, analysts have been predicting that Activision would find some way to insert a subscription model of sorts into Call of Duty. Although Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg adamantly denied that the company would ever charge for the game's online modes, rumors persisted that the company would be adding some sort of premium tier with extra features a la PlayStation Plus.

Call of Duty's online experience is getting an "innovative new digital platform," says Activision.

Today came the news that something is afoot with Call of Duty's online presence. In a conference call with analysts after today's earnings report, Activision executives announced the formation of an internal studio, Beachhead, to create an all-new online platform for the shooter series.

"Our leadership in online entertainment technology continues to grow, as illustrated by our announcement today of our studio called Beachhead, which is focused solely on the development of an innovative new digital platform and special services for our Call of Duty community," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "We believe we are best positioned today to take advantage of retail and digital distribution channels that can collectively deliver content to more players in more places and with better economics than ever before."

He continued, "We've also leveraged our internal platforms to offer audiences choice and convenience through the provision of direct distribution of Blizzard games. We expect to enhance the Call of Duty experience in similar ways with our new digital platform from Beachhead."

Later in the call, Hirshberg expanded on Kotick's comments, saying, "Beachhead will create the best-in-class online community, exclusive content, and a suite of services for our Call of Duty fans to supercharge the online gaming experience like never before. The platform will support in-game integration and bring online experiences and console play together for the first time. The platform has been in development for over a year, and we're very excited about the increased value it can bring to the community."

Little else is known about the Call of Duty online platform, and Activision executives aren't expounding on the matter. When asked directly by analysts on whether Beachhead's platform would be subscription based, Activision CFO and COO Thomas Tippl declined comment.

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396 comments
ACESandElGHTS
ACESandElGHTS

They had me for years, now they've lost me. The golden age of console online shooters is over. The excitement of COD 4, MW2, that's all gone now. Charging for Call of Duty? Brilliant. If they do it, I'll consider Battlefield for the first time since '05/'06. I guess if you want free online, you can settle for Brink and Homefront. Or you can quit. I'll go with the latter.

Ryan-06
Ryan-06

Battle.net? Good. COD? Sick of it.

santinegrete
santinegrete

Call of Duty is innovative people. Well, was in 2003. Since the second, Call of Duty 2, it isn't. They just refined it sequel by sequel until there's nothing more to refine.

mikees1
mikees1

TommyT456...... i was not having a moan at you, my apologise if thats how it came across. I do think you're being a little hard on MoH of though. The game is still played by upwards of 10,000 a day (yes very little in CoD terms, but still a following) so getting a games never a problem. And yes some maps do make flanking hard, but its set in Afghanistan and the maps are done well and tally with what iv seen on the news about the place.I never said though that MoH of would take away from CoD, i meant that if EA build upon MoH the next one could maybe challenge the likes of CoD.I use CoDBO for Zombies, if i want team death match,capture the flag/area type games i play battlefield BC2 or Vietnam, believe it or not i still play Battlefield 1943 aswel. I wont touch CoD for online multiplayer as its populated by kids and campers and its basically just MW2 recylced and set in a new era! So yeah when it comes to CoD i think we're saying the same thing.MoH of honour though we'll agree to disagree. 1 thing that cant be argued about MoH is the abbility to gain team based perks....thats forward thinking and i'm betting will be used by others in the not too distant future.

TommyT456
TommyT456

@mikees1 Don't know why you're having a moan at me. I agree with everything you say about COD. The problem is people have stuck with the series simply because COD4:MW was so good for a console game at the time (can't deny that) that they have been too lazy to seek out a new Online FPS franchise to swap to since the COD series has gone down hill. Well, not downhill as such but as you say it hasnt moved forward so it's lagging behind the competition. Its still fun and the thing that sucks many in is the immediate accessibility, the engine is a good one making it easy to pick up and play and makes it seem (on the surface) to be the better game due to the smooth handling physics. But yes I am bored of it and haven't played it for a long time. Battlefield though, gives the depth and the variety and scope of game modes that COD is lacking. And its game play promotes the feeling of team work that isnt really present in the very "individual skill" style of COD. My point though (I have an opinion as I HAVE PLAYED MOH, THOROUGHLY) was that the online aspect of MoH was made by the same developers behind Battlefield and was released a while after BF:BC2 but was a step back. Levels spawned you directly in line of the opposite teams snipers, in large team based games there were no ways to flank the enemy, among many other annoyances. MoH in my opinion was awful, and was very lazy considering the same team using the same engine had done such a good job with BFBC2

severe_009
severe_009

bla bla bla diehard fans, bla bla bla take advantage ,bla bla bla more money, bla bla bla kotick happy.

severe_009
severe_009

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

Jayk3
Jayk3

@CyberKlown28 Was it opposite day when you wrote that or are you just trolling? CoD is EASILY the most un-innovative fps game EVER, it pretty much just ripped everything off from good fps games at the time, and then made the game easier so console kiddies will like it. And now every game is just a copy and paste with different skins and a new gadget to appease the army of kiddies fanbase that they have generated. "Not a bunch of nooby little kids who need lives." Thats EXACTLY what the Call of Duty community is made up of. Activision are the plague of gaming.

CyberKlown28
CyberKlown28

The most innovative FPS franchise of all time, more of it is always good. As for haters. Why are you here? Do you play Call of Duty? If not, then why is your life so bad that you have nothing better to do than to get online and trash talk something because its more successful than your favorite game? If you do play Call of Duty, then stop playing because we like to keep a classy community. Not a bunch of nooby little kids who need lives.

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

With all the hard hits Activision has been taking over the past few months, they've decided to go all in on CoD. Let's see how this gamble pans out...

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

No where in this article does anyone say "we're doing this to make a better game." Just a bunch of vague, executive nonsense. And they should be vague. Their last "breakthrough" platform, IW.net, was probably one of the biggest buckets of fail in the past 10 years.

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

I just hope it's something innovative and not just a random pair of boobies, with an old man eating a can of green beans in the corner while your shooting a gun in slow-motion, testing out some new gun in an awkward way...

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

Cod is getting innovative?!?!? i think i just saw a pig fly by my house

Exorte
Exorte

@super_rider "activision is the only publisher having respect upon pc gamers as well as console gamers" I wouldn't say "having respect" upon PC gamer. I would say "having the same amount of respect upon console as well as PC", and by "same amount of respect" I mean "spits on".

Exorte
Exorte

First thought when reading the title: "Did they just put innovative and CoD on the same line?"

wbezuidenhout
wbezuidenhout

@Tokinblckgie, too true. It's as if very few people realise that buying CoD is strictly optional. Especially so when you heard the storms about how ridiculously expensive their DLC map packs were, and then they have record sales... :S Meh, maybe it's time to bite the bullet and get some Activision stocks. If the past is any indication the next CoD will be another big hit (Regardless of quality or lack thereof) and they also have StarCraft IIs second installment (Full-priced expansion) and Diablo III coming, so adding in blind consumers there's only one direction for the stocks to go.

Tokinblckgie
Tokinblckgie

@Legojake94 I feel you man, it sucks when companies ruin some of your favorite series' just to make an extra buck. After seeing them screw up a bunch of my favorites I was like "to hell with it." Almost the only way to get them to step their game up (no pun intended) is to not buy their games though. Or better yet, buying someone else's. When their sales start to go down, they'll get the message real quick. 'Sucks, cause I used to love playing CoD too.

bigboss1203
bigboss1203

Typical Activision, why am I not surprised?

Legojake94
Legojake94

@Tokinblckgie ill have to admit you're right, but I at least like COD, but what makes me mad is that they keep finding new ways to take our money, and for NO particular reason! >:(

Tokinblckgie
Tokinblckgie

@Legojake94 Simple solution? Stop buying they're monotonous games. It's that simple. They definitely aren't crazy if they know people will buy it no matter what. The crazy people are the ones, like some people I know, who keep buying their games and then complaining about how bad it is when they did't have to buy the crap in the 1st place. They aren't "sucking" the money out of anyone. All they're doing is putting their hands out and people are handing it to them. If the economy is such a concern for gamers, then maybe people should save their money instead. Ceo's may not care about the quality of their products, but they definitely aren't stupid. That's typically the consumer base...

jaymib
jaymib

In other words you going to take the COD4 engine AGAIN and copy it AGAIN with only abit of a change to it! I didn't think the day would come, but i'm hoping to God EA can come up with a FPS that will destroy COD, at least then they might change it enough to make it fun to play again.

super_rider
super_rider

activision is the only publisher having respect upon pc gamers as well as console gamers

cheokdoc
cheokdoc

i dont really play that many FPS but i liked COD4: MW. i have played most of the COD after that but i feel like its the same game. i dont see why people keep buying the new COD at full price when it is essentially the same game with different pictures. but then again i am a single player gamer so multiplayer focus games are not for me. and these big companies only look at numbers. they see this game = money. ergo more of that game = more money. other games will stop being produced and ultimately we will be left with the games that are most popular but not necessarily the best. i fee like, if activision was a record company they would only play justin bieber and lady gaga.

Rob_2_K
Rob_2_K

just make COD MW 3 better than ever

Dizzy1976
Dizzy1976

I dont know about the rest of you but I for one would drop CoD like a bad habit if I had to pay anything extra above and beyond my XBL fee and the game purchase to get the full experience.

philp37
philp37

They should be spending this time developing a simply better COD. We have not seen any new innovaition since COD4 came out.

NFSruler
NFSruler

Uh oh, this won't end well for us.

teck157713
teck157713

I think Call of Duty really needs new gameplay and graphics, not the same from CoD4 to black Ops! Who cares about new online management!?

LinkRyan
LinkRyan

I think i'm a bit confused here, but are they saying something like when the NGP comes out, and Call of duty goes on it then we will all be playing on PSN together including people with the NGP, and PS3? So we all can play multiplayer together even if one of us has a PS3 and the other has the NGP? I really don't think i understand this fully lol, can someone help me here xD

campbell153
campbell153

I wonder if Activision read these posts? I know Treyarch do!... they have done research into what people wanted in a CoD game and have done quite a good job with Black Ops... unfortunately for CoD developers i have now set my sights on everything Battlefield, loving BFBC2 at the moment and i really am looking forward to BF3!!! No doubt i will buy MW3 though... could be a bad move not to buy it due to the fact there are some "significant changes" to the game! But it really does not justify a premium charge being put in place!

Legojake94
Legojake94

WTF you guys??? You think that In the middle of our FAILING economy, you think it a wise decision to suck even MORE money out of us?? are you ALL mentally retarted over there? if you REALLY want to "enhance our gaming experience" grow some common sense, and do a coup on activision or something! CEOs have to be the stupidest people on earth! the only thing you guys are "enhancing" is your wallet size! you ppl dont GIVE a damn about your loyal fanbase!

bakasora
bakasora

This will work, given that there are so many fanboys and stupid people out there. lol

JOKEROFHEAVEN
JOKEROFHEAVEN

yay now you can pay for xbox live and to play cod online

DDERME
DDERME

If they do make it pay to play it will be the worst mistake they have ever made.The game itself is already boring as hell with all the sameness we get every year and the bugs on the pc and on top of that if they put a pay to play system; it will be like shooting the series in the knees which will eventually cause it to die.Something that should have happened years ago.Im sorry activision but i will be busy playing Battlefield 3,homefront and brink and even if they turn out bad (low possibility) i still have minecraft.

XeonForce
XeonForce

They should have had this "innovative new digital platform" out after CoD4. How many billions of dollars does it take before they decide to give quality a consideration for their product? Activision has some cheap mofos working for them, how can they refuse to use deticated servers for their most popular IP? Host Migration should even exist...

bluedarrk
bluedarrk

unless the new one is something brand new

bluedarrk
bluedarrk

@hoski0999 I def get your point and I heard that Homefront will charge for second hand games on multiplayer? Does anyone know if BF3 play on more than 1 system? BO is prolly the last CoD I'll buy too much money for the same game. Unless

Hoski0999
Hoski0999

@Circlestrafe Agreed 100%. The makers of Far Cry 2 and Far Cry for that matter have the best idea as far as consoles goes for editing (heck the tool isn't bad for pc either but I know making maps has a lot better tools for PC) Though the game wasn't an outstanding success by anymeans, there were numerous amounts of GOOD maps out for the world to use and they came absolutely free, all you had to do was build them or wait for some1 else to. I know it would be hard to put a map editor in some games, but COD should be a sinch, the game is not that complex, never really has been, it WAS fun to play till call of duty 4 took off (my fav of the series) and all these little kids with terrible parents bought them the game to shut them up and now its a big mess online. All I'm gonna say is, Face it guys, the more you buy this crap from activision the more reason they have to keep charging, you start dipping into their funds they will fold over and give you the respect you deserve, heck you've already helped them make millions, why keep helping them if they don't give you the respect back? 15 bucks a map pack, they can shove it.

Hoski0999
Hoski0999

@bluedarrk oo yea I understand that EA has a firm grip on the NFL license, I was trying to say, which I don't think I did very well, that Madden could update the game as easily as pumping out a new game (to a point I understand not all things can be downloaded and things need an new game now and then). Roster can be downloaded, which obviously it does now, and features can be put into games after launch. I know this isn't the greatest example but look at MAG (I'm a personal fan of what they try to do with the game and liked it, didn't love it), I've been playing since it was launched, heck sense beta, and the game is soo much different then it was. (free DLC for that too btw call of duty sucka's) But activision see's these "brats" as you say and I agree, and are now making a sports franchise but are getting way more money out of it.

Hm1911
Hm1911

All people hate you Activision

bluedarrk
bluedarrk

yeah unfortunately people will buy the new CoD no matter what thats what they want and what they like. KZ3 and Homefront will prolly be great games. @hoski0999 people buy madden every year because thats the only choice because EA has the rights and if your a football fan you buy madden. It'd be different if 2K made a football game again. But a lot of the people who play CoD are the little brats. CoD will keep selling because there are so many die hard fans they will buy it yearafter year.

mikees1
mikees1

TommyT456 firstly, before you criticise a game try playing it first.It helps in forming a valid opinion! Secondly, for the time MoH was away it is a very good game, yes it had its faults but what game does not?MoH has not had a game out since 2004 and it was practically a new team behind it.That team can only get better with experience and i for one look forward to their next title, more so than i do CoD.it had a strong single player with lots of detail (stuff like having different variations of the same rifle) and the multiplayer was nowhere near as bad as you make out.It improved on the MoH of old, reinvented itself....how ofen does CoD do that? Rarely.And besides i was not even refering to the recent MoH I was refering to up coming releases which if CoD do decide to go with the pay to play method, MoH & BF series will be only too happy to take its place. I play CoD, i enjoy it.But there are nowhere near enough changes or new additions to the game to make want to pay to go online. And alot of friends i know and game with have stated the same.....if you have to pay, then we'll refuse to play!

Papzotic
Papzotic

Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, Killzone 3. PERIOD. Non this CoD bullsh!t

Danagan
Danagan

I got a warning from gamespot for commenting on this comment section. All I said was that hardcore COD gamers would pay probably pay for it and apparently thats offensive trolling. What the hell is that?? Damn moderator...

Circlestrafe
Circlestrafe

You can bet it's going to be subscription based (Kotick needs more money folks). I don't think anyone but a handful of the world's population is naive enough to think otherwise. @Hoski0999 Even better than DICE's free map packs... bring back the option for the players to create their own maps via a built in editor!

0678
0678

a few words for activision **** you ****