The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Activision Blizzard will be launching a new monthly subscription service with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, something that the company has been talking a lot about in recent times.
This is no doubt part of Activision's strategy to monetise the franchise even further, looking at the significant income World of Warcraft and other such subscription models have brought into the company. In essence, players will need to pay a monthly fee to access certain features or receive downloadable content (DLC).
Robert Bowling, Infinity Ward creative strategist, has been taking questions all morning on his Twitter feed around the service. It seems that the Wall Street Journal printed the story before Activision wanted the details to get out, meaning there are still a lot of questions. But what Bowling seems insistent on is that the new subscription service for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will not interrupt the (basic) multiplayer aspect of the game – this will still be free.
"Nothing is being charged for that was previously free. More details coming in the morning. Give it a read," Bowling said to one Twitter user. "Multiplayer will remain pure," he said to another user.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
From the Wall Street Journal article:
Activision executives said they haven't yet figured out how much to charge for the service, but they expect the cost to be less than fees for comparable online-entertainment services, such as a $7.99-a-month Netflix Inc. movie subscription. Portions of the service will be free, including features inspired by Facebook Inc. that will let "Call of Duty" players meet for online gun battles with others who share various affiliations and interests.
Another feature of the service will give "Call of Duty" players tools, modeled on those from stock-trading websites, to analyze their performance within the game, gauging factors such as which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies.
Xbox 360 users, of course, will have to not only pay their current subscription fees for Xbox LIVE but now also additional subscription fees. While the question remains as to what Activision will give away for free and what will now become subscription-based, there is also the worry as to where this could all lead. And, no doubt, game prices will definitely not come down, even if publishers start taking away certain gameplay elements and putting these under subscription services. Watch how what used to be part and parcel of the game experience will now be labelled 'free' (as if they're doing us a favour) and, on the back of that, soon be labelled 'subscription only'.