The head cheese at Activision, Bobby Kotick, recently made headlines for his assertion that, in order to compete properly with World of Warcraft, publishers may need to invest nearly a billion dollars in such a venture. Fortunately for Kotick and crew, they now have access to the big brains at Blizzard and Vivendi, a group of folks who know quite a bit about the MMO business. How then, can Activision exploit its biggest earners into even bigger financial monsters?
The Activision CEO says that during the first few months of integration planning with Vivendi, they asked themselves some serious questions about what they consider "the fastest growing markets in the world", including Asian markets and MMOs.
As an example, Kotick said to investors at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, "What would be the natural evolution of a property like Call of Duty into a massively-multiplayer environment and how do you monetise that?"
Kotick parlayed that into a thought on in-game advertising, in which he pointed to Starcraft as a model for short-session, ladder tournament play that can easily support ad spots. While a Call of Duty MMO may be a long way off, if it ever gets off the ground, it's starting to sound like Activision execs may be giving it serious thought and we'd expect it to be a big focus for the publisher's ad revenue model.