Activision talks Call of Duty 2011 online 'monetisation' plans

Extra paid for features likely, but existing ones will remain free

Activision has given the strongest hint yet that this year's Call of Duty release will offer users new paid for online experiences as the company looks to better monetise its monster FPS franchise.

Central to these plans is new digital-focused Call of Duty studio Beachhead, which Activision says will play a key role in delivering an "unprecedented online universe" alongside 2011's CoD game.


Speaking to investors on Activision's earnings call last night, CEO Bobby Kotick stressed that the company doesn't plan to take away any of the free online CoD experiences currently offered to players.

"The Beachhead initiatives will be... an integral part to the innovation signature nature of the Call of Duty game that we're releasing this year," he said.

"And I just wanted to back up on the earlier question [and] make sure that I underscore that while we are attempting to deliver new incremental experiences that have yet heretofore been unseen by our players, we are not attempting to monetise or take any experience away that currently comes as part of the value proposition of buying the game.

"I think, very importantly, our community of Call of Duty players is one that we celebrate and you will see a lot of new services and capabilities that will be provided free of charge to all of our customers."

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg added: "Well, we haven't yet released the details of the business model of Beachhead. The passion that people have for the game, the amount of time they're willing to engage with one another in a connected way. Our goal has been to create an experience that was amplifying enough and energising enough and igniting enough to that community to be able to be monetised."

Activision said that details of 2011's Call of Duty "initiatives" will be revealed in the coming weeks.