The Call of Duty games have a massive multiplayer following on Xbox 360. But is the series going to make the leap to a massively multiplayer online game? Nothing is confirmed yet.
"We've heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft's] subscribers are principally on Live because of Call of Duty," Activision Blizzard honcho Robert Kotick says in a recent Financial Times interview. "We don't really participate financially in that income stream. We would really like to be able to provide much more value to those millions of players playing on Live, but it's not our network."
With World of Warcraft in its stable, Activision Blizzard knows a thing or two about just how successful MMOs can be.
Kotick is platform agnostic — and claims to always have been. Consoles are great for the players in the sense that they provide a uniform base. There is no worrying about specs, no concern about upgrading one's machine so it can play a certain game. They provide a standard.
Consoles and platform holders, however, do take a cut of money as evident by Kotick's comments regarding Call of Duty and Xbox Live. And PCs, which are and always have been a viable option, have a serious piracy problem. Steam, though, certainly does provide a robust option for PC games, but it does not apply to large MMOs like World of Warcraft.
"[Consoles] do a very good job of supporting the gamer," Kotick said. "If we are going to broaden our audiences, we are going to need to have other devices."
Some of those other devices include efforts by Dell and HP to connect PCs to televisions, something Kotick says Activision Blizzard will support "very aggressively".
In 2008, Kotick poped this question to a group of investors: "What would be the natural evolution of a property like Call of Duty into a massively-multiplayer environment and how do you monetize that?"
Guess we'll find out.