Pachter cools premium COD claims

Having repeatedly predicted over the course of 2010 that Activision was preparing to announce a premium addition to its online Call of Duty multiplayer offering, analyst Michael Pachter has now said he doesn’t expect the announcement to arrive until some time in 2011.

As a result, Pachter’s firm Wedbush Morgan has removed Activision Blizzard from its Best Ideas investors list.

We are removing Activision from the list as we believe that the introduction ofonline subscription services for Call of Duty will take several more months to materialise,” Pachter told investors.

We expect Activision to announce plans to monetise multiplayer online some time in 2011, and expect greater visibility into therelease schedule throughout the year.”

As recently as late last month Pachter was still insisting an announcement was imminent, telling Industry Gamers: We expect the company to announce plans tomonetize online multiplayer content inBlack Ops, StarCraft II and other games beforeyear-end.

I truly think the biggest surprise [this holiday] will be the launch of a premium service offering multiplayer online gaming. The publishers all are looking at this, and I think one of them will be bold enough to announcesuch a service by year-end. I’ll be surprised if the price is low, and equally surprised if gamers accept it without complaint.”

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