Activision has partnered with Tencent in releasing a free-to-play version of 'Call of Duty' for the Chinese gaming market.
Call of Duty: Online will allow gamers in China play the award winning game online for free while offering the sale of in-game items. The premise of the game will be based on the Modern Warfare-series.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, stated in a press release, " We are very excited about our relationship with Tencent and the opportunities for gaming in China. We think China is one of the most exciting places in the world for us to grow our business and to develop innovative new games."Call of Duty: Online has been in development for two years by Activision Publishing Inc. (a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard) while Tencent, under a multi-year agreement, will have the exclusive license to operate in China.
According to Josh Engen of GeekParty.com, Activision releasing Call of Duty: Online as a free-to-play game is very significant for entering China's gaming market due to the nonexistent console market (the sale of gaming consoles have been banned since 2000).
However due to the differences between Chinese and Western consumers, the move could be seen as risky according to Ian Sherr of The Wall Street Journal.
Call of Duty: Online is expected to be available later this year.
The news of Call of Duty: Online comes several days after Aspyr Media announced plans to release Call of Duty: Black Ops for the Mac in Fall 2012. Meanwhile Treyarch is developing the sequel, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 which is set to be released on November 13.