Call of Duty: Black Ops subscription - Would you pay?

Debate: How would you feel about an Activision online subscription?

Newsflash! Call of Duty is pretty popular. What started off as a humble World War II based PC first-person shooter has grown to become the gaming equivalent of Godzilla.

Every year it rolls into town, ruins a few personal relationships, smashes a few revenue records and brazenly stomps on a number other high-profile media releases.

Activision uncovered a goldmine with Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare, and ever since the virtual airways have been clogged with rumours and speculation that Bobby Kotick plans to introduce a subscription based payment model and then upload his impression of Scrooge Mcduck to YouTube.

Although Call of Duty developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch have both assured gamers that a subscription model wasn't on the cards for Call of Duty in the past, that hasn't stopped everyone's favourite Activision exec from casually reigniting fears.


Not a week goes by where ol'Bobby doesn't drop a vague and cryptic statement suggesting he's prepping a pair of velour gloves to make it easier for him to stick his hands in gamer's pockets and take what he wants.

Unequivocal statements like "what we'd like to ideally see is that the investment in the subscription fees going towards the provision of a higher level of customer service," or "we'd like...to see some portion of the subscription fees go towards game enhancement," certainly don't leave much room for doubt.

Early today the Mystic Meg of the gaming industry, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said Activision is simply biding its time and that the inevitable announcement of the subscription model was simply delayed because it would hurt launch sales numbers for Black Ops.

He seems pretty convinced, but are you?

On the one hand a subscription model would create an easier, simpler and arguably cheaper way to get new Call of Duty content, which could be important since Activision plans to create numerous map pack add-ons.

However, it would also introduce a split player-base, not to mention a potentially lethal amount of animosity towards the Call of Duty brand, the developers and the publisher.

Since we're guessing that Activision doesn't have any plans to scrap the yearly retail release of a new Call of Duty product, how would a subscription payment model retain value on a year by year basis?

Is the transfer of content and stats enough of a value proposition to not only get players to subscribe but also to jump from one new CoD release to another, continuing to contribute to the mammoth sales figures now expected of the series?

What do you think about a subscription model for Call of Duty? What would it take for you to get on board with the idea? Start your yappin'.