Acti were impressed with Blizzard's Battle.net services and so wanted something similar for Call of Duty. It's been in development "for over a year".
"Beachhead will create a best-in-class online community, exclusive content and a suite of services for our Call of Duty fans to supercharge the online gaming experience like never before," declared Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg.
"The platform will support in-game integration and bring online experiences and console play together for the first time," he said. "The platform has been in development for over a year, and we're very excited about the increased value we can bring to the community."
This all came out at last night's Q4 earnings for Activision. Bobby Kotick said that they've "...leveraged our internal platforms to offer audiences choice and convenience through the provision of direct distribution of Blizzard games. We expect to enhance the Call of Duty experience in similar ways with our new digital platform from Beachhead."
This likely means map pack and other DLC treats made exclusively available through this digital platform where they may introduce a subscription based membership alongside microtransactions. The multiplayer itself will always remain free they say.