The CEO of Activision Publishing (that's not Bobby Kotick—he is the CEO of Activision Blizzard) pointedly said his division does not share rival Electronic Arts' interest in Facebook gaming because "Call of Duty has more players who pay-to-play online than any Facebook game." Ruh roh.
That's another bon mot offered by Eric Hirshberg at the 13th Annual Pacific Crest Global Technology Leadership Forum, where he earlier said Ridley Scott (the Blade Runner director) would be developing "exclusive episodic entertainment" for the Call of Duty community.
But back to that wording, because as a wise man once told me, "Words are but the skin of thoughts." Yes, you currently get multiplayer free with any copy of Call of Duty. At best, this reinforces what we suspect: Multiplayer drives the bus in that franchise, with singleplayer as the add-on. At worst, well, we've got Call of Duty Elite coming, and that sucker still isn't priced yet.
This isn't some off-the-cuff thing. "Our players pay more per player on average than any Facebook game." Hirshberg said. Sure, given that you start out with a $60 purchase but, still. EA is pressing the Facebook sector because it sees an opportunity to grow in the pay-to-play market. Activision, by Hirshberg's words, believes it's already dominating it.