Earlier this year, analysts suggested that declining video game sales could be boosted by charging for online gaming. Since then, Call of Duty fans have been anxious to hear whether or not Activision would indeed charge them for multiplayer use online. Executive Bobby Kotick even said in July that if he could change his company in any way, it would be to turn Call of Duty into “an online subscription service tomorrow.”
But rest assured, Kotick won’t be getting his way. Today, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg claimed its users would not be hit with a new bill. Hirshberg told Industry Gamers “The answer is no” when it comes to charging for online multiplayer. Saying the community aspect Call of Duty online brings to its users is “integral,” Hirshberg went so far as to state that there would never be a fee on the service.
The record-breaking success of Call of Duty: Black Ops has clearly been good for Activision’s business, and maintaining friendly relations with its consumers is a smart move for future Call of Duty releases. Announcing that the game’s online multiplayer function remains free of charge mere days before Black Friday also serves as a subtle reminder: the bestselling game is on shelves this holiday season, subscription fee-free.