The combined forces of publisher Activision and developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch have told gamers that they will never have to pay extra to play Call of Duty online.
Statements from all three parties were released yesterday following the appearance of a video that suggested a "membership" was required to play Call of Duty on Xbox Live.
Activision's Dan Amrich called the contents of the video a "glitch".
"Since you can access a Live subscription renewal from within the Modern Warfare 2 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," he wrote on his blog.
Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling said on Twitter: "For the record, nobody has to pay to play COD or MW2 multiplayer, nor will they."
Bowling added on his blog: "To be clear: There is not, and will never be, additional fees required to subscribe and play Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer. The video above seems to show a user on what appears to be the Xbox Live Gold Membership renewal page via the Marketplace in the guide, but while in-game in Modern Warfare 2 (which is in error). It does not however, prove a pay-to-play subscription model is in the works for Modern Warfare 2, because no such plan exists for this or any other Call of Duty (including the upcoming Black Ops).
"That said, feel free to cease freaking out."
Treyarch's Josh Olin weighed in, again on Twitter: "No, you will not have to 'Pay to Play' #CODBlackOps Multiplayer either. Rumour -> Squashed."
And finally, this statement to IGN from Activision: "Reports of a subscription membership in Modern Warfare 2 are not true. Activision has no plans to charge gamers to play Call of Duty multiplayer."
The debunked video followed a prediction from analyst Michael Pachter that Activision will charge gamers to play Call of Duty online by the end of the year.
Indeed only last month Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said that if he could do one thing, he would make Call of Duty "an online subscription service" as soon as tomorrow.