The lights are on
It seems like whether it wants to do so or not, Activision is going to be forced into announcing a subscription plan for Call of Duty due to the sheer number of constant rumors and analyst whispers regarding it. The latest adds an interesting twist, at least: Popular Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes StarCraft II could be getting a subscription service as well.
Speaking on the success of downloadable content for Modern Warfare 2 with Gamasutra, Pachter said: "We expect the company to announce plans to monetize online multiplayer content in MW, Black Ops, StarCraft II, and other games before year-end."
Pachter's implication is definitely that these games will be getting subscription fees of some sort, though it's worth noting that Blizzard already plans to "monetize online multiplayer content" to some degree through the introduction of paid user-created content in StarCraft II at some point in the future.
Personally, given that Modern Warfare and StarCraft II have both already launched with robust, long-lasting online experiences, I don't think many gamers would be pleased with the titles having subscription fees tacked on after the thought. I'm not sure what could be added to the games to make the subscription fees worthwhile, unless you were getting new maps every month. Even then...
Interestingly, Pachter also notes that, in his mind, most of the negativity surrounding Activision from the Infinity Ward exodus seems to be over. "Most of the negative news (including the Infinity Ward departures) is behind the company," he stated, suggesting that it's a fine time to announce these plans and give a bump to the publisher's stock.