Analyst: Call of Duty multiplayer going pay-to-play

Could you soon have to pay to play Call of Duty multiplayer online? Yes, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. G4tv has the skinny:

"Activision said they are working on ‘value added, premium content that is exclusive,’" Pachter said. "How do you exclude people unless you do it on the basis of whether they pay or not? What are you going to have a bouncer in front of the club where you play the content? The only way it’s exclusive is if it excludes non-paying members," Pachter added.

Folks still pay for downloadable content like map packs, which could be considered "value added, premium content," so there’s no obvious link to a pay-to-play model. However, Pachter supports his case by pointing to Project Beachhead, an Activision studio tasked with delivering "new, innovative Call of Duty content and services." Activision hasn’t been more specific, allowing speculation to run rampant.

Pachter was quickly rebuffed when he claimed that Modern Warfare 2 was moving to a pay-to-play model, so his credibility is questionable. Activision could just as easily go another route entirely. Among MMOs, the trend seems to be toward offering the game for free and charging for premium content within it. In the shooter world, Team Fortress 2 already allows users to purchase in-game items with real money. Microtransactions have made their way into other games, so why not Call of Duty? I suspect gamers would be far more willing to shell out for unique weapons, outfits, and, um, hats than they would be to pay for the privilege of playing online.

Comments closed
    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    Just wait. It’ll be like a cheap hotel.

    $10 for an hour. $50 for 12. $100 for 24. $500 for a week.

    Hookers cost extra. This is the Bobby Kotick Future we have brought about by supporting the monstrosity that is Blizzard-Activision and we’ll deserve every second of the hell this will become.

    • Thanato
    • 9 years ago

    just waiting for the Respawn.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 9 years ago

    Don’t put anything past Activision. Just in this past week Guitar Hero was officially run into the ground. They took one of the most profitable series ever created and killed it by releasing too many games and allowing quality to slip.

    Activision is too focused on present profits to understand that their actions kill their franchises.

    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    As other people have stated, if CoD had a monthly fee there are a lot of alternatives that are very close that would simply gobble up all their players.

    WoW and other ‘good’ mmos can do this because there is simply no other alternative to what they’re offering in the way they’re offering it. Considering there are so many clones for CoD, it doesn’t work that way for them.

    Then again a lot of companies are currently strangling themselves on the CEOs paychecks, so why would this be different?

    • mslowe7187
    • 9 years ago

    Activision would NEVER make CoD online completely pay to play. It would fail miserably. If this happened, I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of console gamers would just switch games. There’s plenty of great shooter franchises out there: the upcoming Battlefield 3, Killzone 3 looks fantastic, and Halo is always a solid option.

    Theres plenty of ways to do value-added, premium content, some of which Geoff already mentioned. Along with all this stuff that’s already being done, Activision could even set up premium dedicated servers for people who wanted to pay to play in larger team battles, for like $5 per month or something. This Pachter guy is a complete shill who thinks he is Nostradamus or something. I don’t buy anything he says.

    • puppetworx
    • 9 years ago

    Offer me guaranteed hacker free gameplay and I’ll pay a subscription.

    Seriously. Otherwise you keep your stinking multilayer cause I’m raging!

      • internetsandman
      • 9 years ago

      Amen to that

      The PS3 version is full of people that claim not to hack, yet in the FFA games I play I’ve seen people win the match before the person in second place has earned 5 kills. Hackers take all the fun out of a game, I would gladly pay for a legitimate CoD experience free from hackers.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 9 years ago

    If you knowingly participate in a scam, you deserve to get screwed. Stop enabling them.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    And on top of this activision is thinking about picking up THQ.

    M:\Job Folders\Armani Exchange\Fall 07\Lakeside\Ceiling\LS_Ceiling Parts

    • Krogoth
    • 9 years ago

    Just as I had predicted.

    As soon as LAN and free server administration support was axed. The publishers would start to pull “subscription-base” schemes. It was only a matter of time.

    Anyway, this is the death knell of COD MP community. Most of the kiddies and their parents can’t afford subscription-based services to play online.

    • ClickClick5
    • 9 years ago

    I commented in the shortbread about this guy…

    This guy and what he says is NOT news.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      But I think we know that in the end he will be right. Activision has no scrupples. Soon they’ll start charging modders to mod their games.

    • Phookia
    • 9 years ago

    It will be a hard sell to take something away that is expected on consoles then to add additional content via Paid DLC. Nickle and diming the player base will drive the consumer to a game in the same genera that maintains the statuesque of buying a game that is primarily multiplier and providing the online content battle ground for free. Also on this note, developers need to be mindful of the DLC. The idea of having to buy a game for $50 then in order to even have a chance online I have to buy $20 of DLC because everyone else has it is a future then creeps me out. Kinda of why I stay with PC games. Where the idea is DLC drums news and excitment about your ageing product and gets old players playing again and new players board withe the game they just beat to buy it. They find out the player base is there and enjoy the game.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 9 years ago

    Don’t listen to Pach.

    He has been saying this for a while now. Pach’s a great guy, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

    TF2-esque micro-transactions are much more likely. As long as we’re just looking at replacement skins (and/or models), there’s no problem.

    And hats could certainly spice up the next CoD…

      • Ardrid
      • 9 years ago

      Pachter’s an idiot. He’s no different than any other analyst pulling nonsense out of his ass, only to be proven wrong time and time again. This is no different than his fabled Wii HD prediction that continues to have a forever moving target.

        • Pizzapotamus
        • 9 years ago

        The idiot in his own words [quote<]Nobody cares if I'm right, except fanboys. My clients are merely looking for a benchmark in front of numbers so that they can assess whether the stocks of the companies I cover will go higher or lower. [/quote<] [url<]http://www.computerandvideogames.com/281666/news/pachter-no-one-cares-if-im-right-except-fanboys/?attr=CVG-General-RSS/[/url<] To paraphrase "I make up up sh*t for people who don't care if I'm right or wrong, so long as they have a number to judge things on(never mind the number is pulled out of my ass)" That one little paragraph covers what's wrong with both Pratcher and the stock market.

    • potatochobit
    • 9 years ago

    micropayments, bro

    don’t you keep up with TF2?

      • Game_boy
      • 9 years ago

      First Valve said that paid-for items wouldn’t affect gameplay. Then they introduced pay weapons with stats that alter gameplay.

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        Then they came for our guns.

        • brute
        • 9 years ago

        and those same gameplay altering weapons are available for free via drops or crafting.

        next thing you know they’ll offer game altering hats for pay!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    MW3: CoDMMO?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    first!

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    Don’t worry activision officially axed the guitar hero goose because it wasn’t laying big enough eggs. Now its time to preform project overkill for call of duty.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      Au contraire. The last several Guitar Hero games laid VERY big eggs, which were all rotten. :p

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