"Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no," Activision's Eric Hirshberg, CEO of the Publishing division, told IndustryGamers
in what we could only hope was a Stuart Smalley staring-in-the-mirror moment
. "The experience you have out of the box, connecting with the online community to play Call of Duty
is absolutely integral to the experience, and we'll never charge for that. It's not going to be something we'll attempt to monetize; it's part of the package."
As if his point wasn't clear, Hirshberg further insisted that he could say "unequivocally" that Activision will "never, ever charge for the multiplayer." Earlier this month, statements from both Hirshberg and CFO Thomas Tippl hinted
at vague plans to better monetize the franchise next year with more digital content, which in turn renewed speculation about the long
-considered Call of Duty