Activision: Call of Duty Boxed Copies Will Never Have SubscriptionsS

The Call of Duty experience you have now, the one that includes Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops and future Call of Duty boxed games, will never include a subscription fee, Activision tells Kotaku.

"We will never charge for multiplayer for Call of Duty," Eric Hirshberg, newly appointed CEO of Activision Publishing, told me as our interview this week wrapped up.

What Hirshberg didn't say, wouldn't talk about is in what ways the popular franchise may branch out into other genres, genres that could include a subscription fee.

Back in 2008, Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, Hirshberg's boss, talked about the natural evolution of Call of Duty and how it might include a massively-multiplayer environment, one that could be "monetized."

Plenty of signs point to the possibility of some form of Call of Duty MMO in the future. Activision is now teamed with the most successful massively multiplayer online game developers in the world, Blizzard. And earlier this year the company unveiled a new strategic plan for the franchise, one that included forming a dedicated Call of Duty business unit.

That new "unit" plans to expand the Call of Duty brand "with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit" placing a focus on "high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models."

Is that business speak for World of Call of Duty?

That's anybody's guess, but what's clear is that Activision's plans don't currently include adding a subscription fee to the sorts of Call of Duty games that come with a campaign, coop and online mulitplayer.