Outspoken US video games analyst Michael Pachter has told MCV that despite Activision's three-pronged denial that it is intending to introduce paid-for multiplayer in its Call of Duty titles, he still believes Activision is planning some premium functionality for future titles.
If they say you won't ever HAVE to pay-to-play multiplayer, I believe them,” he told MCV.This suggests that there will always be free multiplayer, but does not confirm that there will never be a charge for premium” content.
I suppose that they can charge for tournaments, ladders, virtual items, etc, and offer up a monthly all-inclusive charge for those who prefer all-you-can-eat, while maintaining rudimentary multiplayer for free. They can also choose to continue to offer increasingly robust content for free, but I don't think that makes as much business sense.”
The analyst goes on to say that he's so insistent in his belief purely because Activision's past behaviour points very strongly to such a strategy.
I am not an advocate for multiplayer fees; instead, I am merely an observer of the company's past behaviour in its endeavour to maximize profits, including the termination of the heads of the Infinity Ward studio,” he added.
It is not consistent with this past behaviour to continue to provide multiplayer for free, but if two blog posts and a tweet from people not in the company's senior management have convinced you that they won't charge, I'm sure your conclusions are sound.”