Activision set to launch free-to-play blitz

Publisher Activision wants to “break the mould” in the free-to-play space – and could eventually release a free to play Call Of Duty title worldwide.

The publishing giant’s head of mobile Greg Canessa told us that Activision intends to take free to play gaming beyond simple city-building and casino games. Activision is already trialling a free-to-play Call Of Duty game in China; if the title is deemed a success, the free to play Call Of Duty Online could eventually be rolled out globally.

“We spend alot of time talking about [free to play],” he told us. “It’s the state of the industry as it is today. It’s clear from looking at the top of the iTunes top grossing apps, they fall into two buckets – they’re either a city building game or a casino game. Having said that, there are titles pushing the envelope a bit. Clash Of Clans is an example. That title is not your straight city building game and they’ve broken through to do something very different and that title is doing very well.”

“There are titles trying to break the mould, and in some cases it will be us trying to break the mould. There may be opportunities where we try and push free to play into other game genres. Clash Of Clans has done it, CSR Racing has done with racing, so I think it’s in our interests as an industry, and certainly in our interests as Activision, to broaden the canvas for free to play beyond the city building genre. And that’s something we’d love to be the thought leaders on and that we have some ideas around.”

Activision has made great strides in the mobile space in the last year, establishing a new mobile studio in the UK and launching its social mobile platform Activate. Its move into free to play will likely take place on iOS devices first, with PC and console to follow. You can read more about Canessa’s efforts spearheading Activision’s mobile business here.