Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey expects new Call of Duty studio Beachhead to facilitate "an item-based sales model for incremental online monetisation strategies".
Earlier this week, Activision gave the strongest hint yet that this year's Call of Duty release will offer users new paid-for online experiences - although existing ones will remain free - as it looks to better monetise its monster FPS franchise
CEO Bobby Kotick said "Beachhead initiatives will be... an integral part to the innovation signature nature of the Call of Duty game", but stopped short of revealing the exact nature of what the studio's working on.
Hickey speculated in an investor note: "Additional online services through Beachhead could include a more extensive in-game wagering system (Zynga poker style), competitive leagues/tournaments, community development, exclusive content, traditional map pack DLC offerings, and vanity / customisation related items."
Beachhead's Call of Duty project is rumoured to be called Call of Duty Elite. Alleged logos for this year's expected CoD game, the as-yet-unannounced Modern Warfare 3, and CoD Elite, were leaked yesterday.
Hickey also said he believes last year's CoD release, Black Ops, has shipped 20.6 million-plus units, and that a direct sequel is in the works for 2012.