A lengthy feature in The Los Angeles Times yesterday covered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's astounding commercial success, once again framing the game's $550 million five-day revenues against Hollywood blockbusters. But there was also talk from internal sources of intensified activity on the franchise.
Reporter Ben Fritz wrote, "One person close to the company said it also was considering adapting Call of Duty as a massively multiplayer online world." Fritz said that a mysterious third studio is working on the franchise which has traditionally been shared between Infinity Ward and Treyarch.
Talk of a Call of Duty MMO has been growing in recent weeks. On November 13, CFO Tom Tippl said, "You should expect us to test and ultimately launch additional online monetization models of some of our biggest franchises like Call of Duty. Our gamers are telling us there's lots of services and innovation they would like to see that they're not getting yet."
Activision / Blizzard, publisher of World of Warcraft, will need little instruction on the fiscal benefits of subscriber MMOs. Coupled with the biggest game launch ever, it's hard to see how the company would fail to test such a project's validity.