Activision has no desire to charge gamers to play the Call of Duty franchise online, according to the publisher's chief executive.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in California, Activision CEO and perennial games industry ogre Bobby Kotick insisted that consumers who have just bought a new game should not be expected to hand over further cash for online play.

"That's what people are paying their $60 for," explained Kotick. "They get a game that has a lot of replayability.

"We've seen our margins and audiences expand from providing more appealing gameplay. I think why Call of Duty has been so successful is because we're delivering extraordinarily high quality gameplay, production values and interactivity at great value."

And the warm and fuzzies didn't stop there. Kotick went on to take a veiled swipe at EA for inflicting excessive in-game advertising on gamers.

"There was a time when we thought sponsorship or advertising was a big opportunity but what we realised is that when our customers are paying $60 on a game or a subscription fee, they don't really want to be barraged with sponsorship or advertising.

"So, being very respectful of our audiences, unless it's something really authentic that enhances the game experience we're generally not going to include something [like that] in a game."

What next? Gift baskets and free hugs?

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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