The multiplayer experience is part of what you pay for when you buy a Call of Duty game, says Activision executive.
Call of Duty multiplayer will always be free. That's according the head of Activision Publishing, Eric Hirshberg, who refuted claims made by Michael Pachter that Activision would roll out premium subscriptions for online play.
Hirshberg said that multiplayer was an integral part of the Call of Duty experience, and not something that Activision was looking to monetize. He thought that Pachter's predictions were based on "meta-trends" in online interactions that didn't really apply to Call of Duty. He admitted that there was a shift in attitudes towards this kind of monetization, but said that it wasn't a bandwagon that Activision was looking to jump on.
These comments are likely to generate significant skepticism, but keep in mind that it's incredibly unlikely that Activision's decision is born of altruism. Multiplayer accounts for a large part of Call of Duty's popularity, so Activision is going to be reluctant to do anything to rock the boat, even if it will supposedly make the company more money.
Putting the multiplayer on the wrong side of a pay gate will not only have a negative impact on the install base, it reduces the audience for maps and other DLC. It's almost certain that Activision has done the math and come to the conclusion that it's more profitable to keep the multiplayer free.
Source: Industry Gamers