Activision was adamant in saying they will never charge for CoD online . But from a business/shareholder standpoint, that's not the correct attitude.
In a new research note issued today, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says that Activision's failure to monetize the online multiplayer portion of Call of Duty is a big ol' slap in the face. In fact, he calls it "a betrayal of shareholder trust" and adds:
"We were disappointed to hear Activision's new head of publishing flatly deny the company's plans to charge for multiplayer. We firmly believe that until the publishers address monetisation of multiplayer, game sales will continue to be challenged by the publishers' altruistic decision to provide significantly more entertainment value per hour than ever in history."
Without the shareholders, things don't happen. At least, not for a massive corporation like Activision, which must continue to make their stockholders happy on a continual basis. Gamers have to understand that the bigwigs behind the scenes, including investors, must have a positive outlook. Finished Pachter:
"Considering that each of the publicly traded publishers exists to maximise shareholder value, we view their reticence to monetise multiplayer as a betrayal of shareholder trust, and can only hope that each implements plans to address the impact of increasing free multiplayer going forward.
Even if we are mistaken and charging for multiplayer doesn't result in packaged goods growth, we think that investors will be satisfied if publisher revenues once again begin to grow due to contribution from multiplayer monetisation."
He also said "monetization of multiplayer is one of the greatest opportunities for publishers" and "it would be a serious strategic error to pass on this opportunity." Well, despite CEO Hirshberg's comments about "never charging" for online, we can't help but remember Bobby Kotick's statement, where he said he'd implement a premium charge for CoD online "tomorrow," if he could.
Well, if the shareholders are asking for it…