Activision raked in millions in sales with 2007’s Call of Duty 4, but the publisher sees more opportunities beyond the retail box with the upcoming sequel.
"We … see strong opportunities to monetize online gameplay," said Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith during an analyst day on Monday. "The average Call of Duty player has spent nearly five full 24-hour days of their lives online since purchasing the game.
"Over time, we’ll qualify more opportunities to increase the monetization of these activities."
Infinity Ward-developed CoD4 has paid downloadable maps available on digital storefronts, but with CoD5, developed by Activision studio Treyarch, downloadable content will be a considerably bigger priority.
Griffith added that Activision "plans to increase online monetization" with CoD5, offering "3x the amount of content available for download and premium content called ‘Day One Advantage.’"
Strong support for online aspects of games also drives retail sales, he said.
"Continuing to engage consumers online with Call of Duty  is a large part of the reason you still see the title selling for $59.99 in stores and the absence of any used games in the market for Call of Duty," said Griffith.
CoD4 has sold 11 million units to date.
Griffith also said he expects CoD5 to be "Treyarch’s highest-quality game ever."
As for CoD6, he confirmed that Infinity Ward’s next game is slated for 2009.