The company has unveiled a subscription-based online service called "Call of Duty: Elite" that will provide extra content for players, including map packs and social network functionality for players.
Due to launch this fall alongside "Modern Warfare 3," the next installment in the series, "Elite" will not only give players access to downloadable content for the game, but will offer in-depth tracking of player statistics and an advanced matchmaking service, letting people play multiplayer games with friends or opponents with similar skills.
People who do not subscribe to the service will still be able to play the games online for free.
Activision has not yet announced what Elite's monthly subscription fee will be, though analysts expect the charge to be between $5 and $8 per month.
That would be on top of the $60 players pay for the original game - and, if their preferred platform is Microsoft's Xbox 360, they're likely also paying $60 per year for Xbox Live (which allows them to play online).
That starts to become a high price to pay a video game, but "Call of Duty" has long since transcended the "just a game" category. The franchise has sold over 100 million copies - and when new versions come out each November, they cement a spot at the top of the sales charts for months. Over 7 million people play "Call of Duty" games every day, spending hundreds of hours playing multiplayer matches.
It's a regular habit, too. Activision says the average customer spends 58 minutes per day playing the game - more time than most people spend on Facebook.
While "Elite" is an ambitious effort, it's one that could have a long-term impact on the stock, says Pachter.
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