Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Call of Duty: Elite is how they get you

The Call of Duty: Elite service was announced by Activision a couple months ago but up until this last week we never really had any specific details. Just a vague idea we were all going to get screwed by Activision. Well here's the deets:

  • The barebones Elite service is going to be free, but a premium membership will cost $50 for a year subscription or you can get it "free" if you buy the special Hardened Edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (which costs $40 extra, surprise!).

  • Elite premium members will get new content (ie. maps) every month instead of every 3 months. Activision has already estimated that Modern Warfare 3 will have around 20 pieces of DLC, some available shortly after launch.

  • Premium subscribers will also get "celebrity-fueled" video content. I'm guessing this mostly be comprised of Kobe Bryant telling you about his favorite load outs. No one will watch these.

  • There will also be daily competitions for virtual and real prizes. Activision throws the iPad word around here but my best guess is 99.9% of the time you're going to be competing for a Call of Duty t-shirt for your avatar.

  • The premium Elite subscription fee also lets you level up your clan through specific challenges. There will be clan specific swag you can unlock through those challenges.

This is all in addition to the expanded stat keeping and video storage a barebones Elite membership already gives you. There will be a mobile ap too, so you can see how awful you are with the double barrel shotgun on your iPhone.

I've got to admit, this is pretty brilliant stuff from Activision. If your "time played" counter for Black Ops is listed in days instead of hours you will pony up 50 bucks a year for the super duper Elite membership. I've already decided my dollars are going to Battlefield 3, but if I was going to pick up Modern Warfare 3 I'd take a real hard look at the Hardened Edition.

Welcome to the future of video games.




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