Call of Duty players will be given the choice to "opt-in" to a premium model of the game, analyst Michael Pachter has predicted.
Overnight Activision, Infinity Ward and Treyarch refuted rumours that plans were in place to charge Call of Duty players extra to play online.
As a result, Pachter has readjusted his previous prediction that Call of Duty multiplayer will move to a paid model by the end of the year.
"I don't want to call out any of the blog posts or tweets or statements to IGN as untruthful," he told Eurogamer sister site Gamesindustry.biz.
"Rather, I think that they probably are true: Activision won't require people to pay for multiplayer, but I think that they will find a way to offer a premium experience for a fee, whether that takes the form of subscription, pay-as-you-go, microtransactions for virtual goods, tournament fees or some combination.
"I am confident that the company will continue to move in the direction of extracting more revenue from gamers. In my view, Activision is motivated to charge for multiplayer, has a window of opportunity to do so, and can extract greater profits if it imposes a charge.
"It makes logical sense (to me at least) that given their motivation and opportunity, coupled with their past behaviour, they will charge in the future. Call of Duty is the most likely candidate due to the large number of users."
But how will gamers react? Pachter predicted a riot.
"Some consumers will likely revolt, but giving full credit that the blogs, tweets and statements are true, virtually everyone will be able to continue to play for free, and only those who wish a premium experience will pay for it, with an opt-in model.
"I think that this is the most fair way to approach extracting value, and yes, I think it will be successful."
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