Pay-to-play Call of Duty: The saga continues

Console FPS fans around the globe have been panicking for the past 24 hours, ever since an Xbox 360 gamer published a video that seemed to be asking him for a “Modern Warfare 2 Membership”.

The video, posted to 360 Junkies shows a gamer called

Pwnshop trying to join a friend’s game of Modern Warfare 2, before being faced with a pop-up clearly labelled “Modern Warfare 2 Membersh…”.

Originally posted to show a feature Pwnshop believes may have been planned but later scrapped, the video comes just weeks after Activision CEO Bobby Kotick stated that he wanted to see subscriptions for Call of Duty multiplayer. As the series accounts for a whopping 60 per cent of Xbox Live gaming, it’s only reasonable that he’d like a slice of that action, right?

…at the moment though, it’s a lot of fuss over “nothing”. Activision‘s Dan Amrich has explained at One of Swords that:

This video shows just a glitch — since you can access a Live subscription renewal from within the MW2 game interface, it appears some data got jammed between two parts of Live. It’s not a secret portal to some nefarious plot to charge people for COD multiplayer — and there are no plans to do that.

Developer Infinity Ward‘s Robert Bowling jumped onto Twitter, claiming that:

Modern Warfare 2 subscription plan rumors going around. For the record, nobody has to pay to play COD or MW2 multiplayer, nor will they.

His counterpart at Treyarch, Community Manager Josh Olin also piped up that their part of the franchise is safe as well:

No, you will not have to ‘Pay to Play’ #CODBlackOps Multiplayer either. Rumor -> Squashed.

So they’ve ruled out subscription fees (for now), but forgive me for observing there are plenty of other ways to make money from this venture… maybe that shiny new gun you’re coveting will cost you a bit of real-world cash?

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