Will Call Of Duty Get A 'Second Tier' Of Online Multiplayer?

Call of Duty publisher Activision has been talking about new ways to make even more money from its shoot 'em up cashcow for years. A new report makes it sound like that new way to play Call of Duty online is imminent.

The analysts at Wedbush Securities believe that Activision is set to reveal a new "tier" of Call of Duty online multiplayer within the next three months. "Activision remains a top pick, primarily due to the company's potential to create and monetize a second tier of multiplayer online gaming for its Call of Duty franchise," Wedbush analysts write. "We expect this to occur during the first quarter of 2011." Yes, that's soon and, yes, they're being awfully specific.

If accurate, that new way to play Call of Duty in some capacity may represent Activision's desires to deliver that "high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models." That was the company's plan as of March 2010.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops still do big numbers in online multiplayer and big sales of retail copies. But Activision brass has bemoaned the limited number of ways they can sell goods to the Call of Duty-playing masses after they invest in the game, map packs notwithstanding.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has been thinking about "the natural evolution of a property like Call of Duty into a massively-multiplayer environment" for some time, taking cues from World of Warcraft makers Blizzard. The company may also see the ongoing success that developer Valve has had with games like Team Fortress 2, which recently began selling in-game goods to an audience willing to spend, and want some of those dollars.

The Call of Duty publisher (and its developers) claim the boxed, retail copies of games in the series will never carry a subscription fee to play their online components.


Comments

    Oh, Wedbush Morgan?
    Can Pachter see the future on his Wii HD?

    Re : Valve mention...

    Valve have also provided numerous FREE updates to the game and in general supported Team Fortress 2 incredibly well. Similar to Criterion and Burnout Paradise, the way I see it and I'm sure I won't be in the minority either.

    If the developer put in the hard yards to support the game and the player base with free updates that bring new features, gameplay types, etc... then the consumers are more likely to spend money on for the lack of a better word "premium updates".

    I just can't imagine that Activision will be anywhere near as generous if/when this MMO style of game is made and all/any content will carry a fee to use.

    I'm guessing this is going to be some CALL OF DUTY "ARENA" thing that has a global rank across all the games, kinda like HALO WAYPOINT.

    They'll release games on every platform they can, then conduct challenges in the "COD WAYPOINT" that will unlock stuff to benefit the consumer with micro transactions being the quick way to unlock stuff if you don't succeed on the require challenge.

    ...maybe

    I've recently picked up a copy of Bad Company 2 (PS3) and have put about 25 hours into multiplayer and I'm loving it.

    After buying the full Vietnam expansion for around 60% the asking price for a COD map-pack (some of which are recycled maps!) I don't beleive that Activision have any respect for their customers.

    I prefer the model being used by EA at the moment, where all 7 maps packs have been free provided you have a new copy of the game.

      TBH I don't like that model either, and I didn't know that's how it worked with BC2. I preordered the game , I could have waited 6 months and bought it for 10 dollars with all the maps. Support your preorderers guys.

    I stopped reading at the word "analysts"

    Analysts.. I've given up listening to them. They're rarely ever correct. They're the gossip spinners of the gaming industry.

      Too true mate.
      "PC gaming will be dead/is dying with the rise of consoles".
      How many times have these "Analysts" told us that one?

    I'm guessing low level players will be able to pay real cash (as opposed to CoD points) to purchase weapons only available to higher level players.

    Was the main frustration for me, and 2010 has shown, through Farmville and the like, that people are willing to pay. So if you make it say 99c for a good weapon right from level 1, I'm sure a lot of people will pay for it. The hardcore players to level up quicker, and also the noobs, who get owned, and think a new weapon will help them.

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