Did you know "about as many people have played Black Ops as there are members of Netflix?" That should, hopefully, put into perspective how massive the Call of Duty audience is -- and why Activision's Bobby Kotick is so focused on "the sustained online engagement and enjoyment of Call of Duty audiences."
Map packs have been generating big bucks for the company, so it's no surprise that Activision has created a new "wholly owned" studio, Beachhead, to work exclusively on "the development of an innovative new digital platform and special services for our Call of Duty community," Without going into specifics, Kotick said that Beachhead's role would be to "[focus] on the delivery, digitally, of new, innovative Call of Duty content and services [that] will enable tens of millions of players around the world to continue to enjoy the experience that Call of Duty offers."
This sounds like a potential subscription service, something Activision has expressed interest in the past. Since then, the company has promised "never" to charge for multiplayer. So, what could this possibly mean? More map packs? Or is Activision proving Pachter, who has long predicted subscription fees for the franchise, right?
Update: Kotick described "Project Beachhead" in further detail. The full quote is offered after the break.
"Beachhead will create the best-in-class online community, exclusive content, and a suite of services to supercharge the online gaming experience like never before. The platform will support in-game integration and bring online experiences and console play together for the first time. The platform has been in development for over a year and we're very excited about the increased value we can bring to the community. We look forward to sharing more specifics on this exciting new endeavor with you in the near future."