Rumor: Black Ops Multiplayer Going Subscription Based

By: Geoff Calver

Update: We’ve contacted Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling who confirmed to us that the rumor is just a rumor, nothing else. Consider this squashed. Good riddance!


This is one rumor that isn’t good. We’re sorry ahead of time for bringing it to you guys, but it seems Activision is working on a subscription model for the multiplayer portion of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

According to an MCV report, Activision is preparing to “announce a premium multiplayer component for Call of Duty: Black Ops.” Furthermore, they say the announcement could be made by next month.

This follows on the heels of yesterday’s reveal of the first multiplayer trailer for Black Ops, which can be seen below. To be honest, the multiplayer component doesn’t look much different from that of Modern Warfare 2, but Treyarch’s last effort, World at War, managed to maintain the same style and basic underlining of previous Call of Duty multiplayer efforts while enhancing it to near perfection.

Would it be worth paying extra for, though? I don’t think so. Let’s be honest, does anyone want to pay a subscription to play a game that they already paid $60 for? It’s not very likely. Talk about getting hosed. If this is the new model for online play I’ll just stick to single player, thanks.

Obviously it seems that Activision is talking about making a “premium” portion of the multiplayer pay-to-play, not all of the multiplayer portions, but what will that leave regular, non-paying (beyond $60 for the game, of course) Joes get? My guess is a pretty bare bones product, two or three maps, little more. Ugh.

What do you guys think?

Source: MCV

  • That is the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I already pay $60 for games anyways and even that is way too overpriced! I’m sick and tired of paying for these shitty as console fees and then on top of that I’d have to pay a premium for MULTIPLAYER as well. What is the point? Maybe this will start a trend with other video games considering Call of Duty is the biggest fps game and one of the biggest series if not the biggest.

  • Geoff Calver

    @Anonymous – Exactly. If it somehow works out for Call of Duty every publisher will jump on the wagon. The real question is what idiots are going to pay extra money for something that should be included in the $60 price tag? Someone out there will, and it’s going to punish all of us.

    A game should include everything unless it’s an MMO. If they want to go subscription-based they ought to allow people to download the multiplayer game free and then pay a monthly subscription. If they make us pay $60 for it and then add a monthly fee on top it’s highway robbery.

  • Joe Grogan

    A similar rumor surfaced a few months back, and in somethin like 24 hours of it hitting the big publications Activision bolted out to assure everyone that that wasn’t the case. The fact that they haven’t said anything yet this time around is troubling. I play Modern Warfare when I’m looking to just get a quick shooter fix, but I’m not nearly crazy enough to pay a subscription for it.

    Come on Activision, as it is you’re about as popular with the community as Skeletor, what do you hope to accomplish here? This is just gonna dig you into a deepr rut. Honestly, it seems like you’re trying to get out of your hole by digging to China. But here’s some news for you, if you keep making decisions like this it’s only a matter of time before you hit the Earth’s core. $10 says the vast majority of people who follow gaming news agrees.

  • Geoff Calver

    @Joe – Can’t agree more. Last time the “rumor” surfaced guys like Robert Bowling (Infinity Ward’s PR guy) and others at Activision/Treyarch were all over it making sure that everyone knew that wasn’t the case.

    Not this time, though, and it’s already everywhere. I’ve contacted Activision to see if we can get a comment.

  • Helio Rodrigues

    if this idea start to begin, ppl will stop play online games for sure lol, call of duty will die becose only the hard core gamers will pay that or most of them probably not!… call of duy communaty will decrese a lot if this idea will be imploment in the game…. the games are alredy to expansive, and pay for play! what the hell dont make any sense, i am against any payment, buy the game is enought!!!!

  • Geoff Calver

    Rumor squashed. Robert Bowling confirmed with me via Twitter, saying “That rumor was already squashed.”

    Good to know it’s rearing it’s head a second time with no real reason.

  • Joe Grogan

    Well that’s good. Now I can keep pwning 12 year old n00bs when I’m feeling a bit bored. But I’ve still got my eye on you Activision…

  • Geoff Calver

    Yeah, still don’t trust them. But I do like Robert Bowling!

  • Josue Flores

    Good thing that the rumor has been squashed and @Joe good one but aren’t we the ones that pwn the adults most of the time?


    Damn, the balls on these guys, huh?
    I’ve been a huge fan of the C.O.D series since day one…and of course I’ve already pre-ordered Black Ops (before i heard the pay-2-play rumour). My opinion is that Treyarch’s ‘World at War’ multiplayer servers kicked ass…I haven’t played that one since the day MW2 came out, but if I remember correctly, the online multiplayer lobbies ran a lot smoother than MW2, which after the better part of a year is still pretty pathetic if you ask me. I’ve shut my console off numerous times because I was so sick of the bullsh*t…like getting kicked out of the lobby randomly, ‘lost connection to host’, the old “server timed out” message. My personal favorite is when my 4 person clan finally gets into a game and……..oh whoops, everybody got in except one…”Back out guys, everybody back out, Joe didn’t get in.” It can be excruciating sometimes, but we put up with it because it’s a badass game. But where do we draw the line? I don’t mind paying $60 for a game like W@W or MW2, because I know I’ll play the crap out of them, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna give a multi billion dollar franchise a fee to play their precious game on top of the fee that I already pay to Microsoft to play the same freakin’ game!! Are you kidding me?? Oh, I know people will probably roll over and pay it anyway, but not this soldier…I’ll go back to Battlefield if it comes down to it. Oh, and Infinity Ward, you might wanna take notes on how a multiplayer server is supposed to run, because if you guys announced tomorrow that MW2 would require a fee for online play, I believe the the simultaneous collective laughter of millions of Call of Duty fans would be deafening….but that’s just my opinion. We’re in this together guys…we pay these developer’s salarys, and this is one diehard fan who will definitely draw the line if this ludacris policy ever goes into effect…..

    thanx for allowing me 2 voice my opinion…….

  • Anon

    SGT KILLDIE, great points but I think you’ll find its the publisher scum that drive this kinda crap. Not developers. I’m more than happy to pay the salaries of developers, however, its another thing when we’re paying scum like Activision and EA more than we should be…

  • Revon275

    I’m glad its just a rumor because the other day i just pre-ordered black-ops.
    If I was told to pay a monthly subscription I would probalbly lose it and get tired of activision doing all of this random bs. I mean why would i want to pay another 60$ 70$ a year after i just bought the game for 60$. Hell if it were true i’m sure in time they would raise the subscription fee as a cruel joke. Honestly Activison needs to cool it before they lose a lot of money because of the stupid ideas of a extra fee. I mean come on the map packs are already a little bit over pricy, but i’m glad its just a rumor.

  • =BiG=Pud

    Thats why since getting screwed with the pc version of modern warfare 2 ,the volume of hackers and the horrendious lag in the pc version.i haven’t bought a single activision product not even the map packs,i wont be buying black op’s or any other AVTI product for the forseeable future.

    I will be buying medal of honor(EA),future Soldier(ubisoft),Need for Speed hot pursuit(EA),HomeFront(THQ) -now this game looks Sick!!!! and more than likely Battlefeild 3(EA).

    Titles i would of bought this year from AVTI if they had patched in dedicated servers for pc and actually addressed our concerns in there own forum(infinity ward)
    2 Map Packs,Blur,Split Second,Black-Ops and the Steam Cod Pack a couple of months back and all future COD titles.

    Subscription no i’d go back to cod 4 or any currently free online game rather than pay these idiots a dime!

  • Brandon Schlamp

    If they were to do this I would quit playing call of duty. I think its worth the 60 bucks it costs or 80 for hardened which im getting. But if it were to go to a monthly fee its not like its the only fps out there I would just start playing bad company 2, medal of honor, halo reach, crysis 2 when it comes out, ect. are they retarted or something?

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