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Activision's Kotick Still Thinking About Call Of Duty Subscriptions

by Phil Kollar on Jul 05, 2010 at 11:25 AM

We've heard it time and time again, but Activision CEO Bobby Kotick just can't stop talking about it: He wants the future of Call of Duty to include a subscription model of some sort. But that's not the only thing he reveals about Activision's future in a recent Financial Times story.

In the interview, Kotick suggested that as much as an astounding 60 percent Xbox Live Gold subscribers are primarily paying the Gold fee to play Call of Duty games. "We don’t really participate financially in that income stream. We would really like to be able to provide much more value to those millions of players playing on Live, but it’s not our network."

The Financial Times makes the logical leap to note that the added "value" to Call of Duty players would come with a cost -- a subscription fee. Kotick seems to believe that getting this subscription method to work on a console would be difficult, so he's currently looking at other methods to achieve this goal:

"We have always been platform agnostic. [Consoles] do a very good job of supporting the gamer. If we are going to broaden our audiences, we are going to need to have other devices."

According to the article, Activision is planning to "aggressively support" a new line of gamer-friendly PCs from Dell and HP that are designed to be connected to TVs. If successful, this could grow the PC gaming market and give Activision more of an opportunity to launch a PC-only, subscription-based Call of Duty that could be work.

The Financial Times also says that "Activision Blizzard pioneered multiplayer online gaming with its World of Warcraft  franchise." That's not exactly true, seeing as World of Warcraft was released four years before Activision Blizzard even existed and since Blizzard borrowed the subscription model from previous MMOs -- they just happened to be a lot more successful. Hopefully Activision sees the lesson there: It's not just having a subscription service in a popular franchise that will make them money, but actually creating a quality product.