Call of Duty Online may never be available to play in the United States, according to The Verge. Recent reports indicate that Tencent, the Chinese gaming social network, joined forces with Activision about a year ago to create the new Call of Duty Online MMO.
This version of the famous Call of Duty franchise was planned as a the free-to-play MMO. Raven Software, known for creating the most popular multiplayer maps for the Call of Duty games, worked with Activision Shanghai to develop the new game.
Call of Duty Online was designed for Chinese gamers, and the beta version will be playable only in Mainland China. The game itself has a new storyline, many assets from the previous Call of Duty versions and the traditional micro-transaction system used with the free-to-play model.
Tencent and Activision released the first trailer for Call of Duty Online just in time for the holidays. The clip includes plenty of quick cuts of actual gameplay, and Chris Evans, the American actor best known for portraying Captain America in the Marvel movies, appears in the trailer’s main role.
Unfortunately, Call of Duty Online is not meant to be released in the United States. After all, why would Activision want to cannibalize its own first-person shooter’s share of the US market.
In China, online games are free-to-play and depend on an in-game store or micro-transactions for income. In the United States, MMO’s like World Of Warcraft charge $14.99 a month, and gamers also pay for the original version of the game and major expansions. Activision has mad a great deal of money using the pay-to-play model for North America, and as the saying goes, “Why fix it if it ain’t broken?” As long as the current model is profitable in North America, we are unlikely to see the free-to-play Chinese version of Call of Duty Online released in United States.
You can read Call of Duty Online review on Kotaku.