Looks like the subscription plan was just Kotick’s idea. The CEO of Activision, Eric Hirshberg, stated that they will not be charging gamers to play Call of Duty online.
Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no.
The experience you have out of the box, connecting with the online community to play Call of Duty is absolutely integral to the experience and we’ll never charge for that. It’s not going to be something we’ll attempt to monetize; it’s part of the package.
Nothing we or anyone else tries is going to work if it doesn’t have tremendous value for people and add a tremendous value to the gaming experience. He’s [Bobby Kotick] probably looking at meta-trends in the world and in culture about online services and new ways things should be monetized from Netflix to cloud-based computing.
“So there are certainly a lot of behavioral shifts towards long-standing online relationships… But at the end of the day, all I’m trying to get across is I can unequivocally say we will never, ever charge for the multiplayer.
Hopefully, Hirshberg’s message will be the last we hear of a subscription for Call of Duty. Then again there is always that rumor about a Call of Duty MMO, which will also have an online subscription.