Not the end of free multiplayer online play
Activision has finally confirmed what many have suspected for some time now: the company has confirmed Call of Duty: Elite. Elite will be for players of Call of Duty titles and will support Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3 to start with; but it is expected that all future CoD titles will support Elite going forward.
Explaining what Elite is about is difficult right now because the service and capabilities of the service are still evolving. We know that it will offer a social networking component as well as a very specific and specialized analysis of your play performance, complete with statistics, breakdowns, and feedback on areas for improvement.
While some parts of Elite will be free and open to the general public, other areas will be so called “premium-only” areas that will require a paid subscription to access. We are under the impression that paid premium users will obtain DLC and map packs at no extra charge, but that non-premium users will be able to purchase this content if they so choose.
Activision is very careful to say that no one will be locked out of online multiplayer. The company is also cautious to state that players will never have to “pay” to play Call of Duty titles online. The Elite application might in some ways be very similar to what we have seen with Microsoft’s Halo Waypoint; but Activision plans to take Elite in new directions by offering access to it both within the game and in a separate application, and even on mobile platforms using an Elite application that will be available for some mobile devices. (Activision has not yet committed which mobile devices they will support.)
Elite will enter a public beta to test this support, and Activision is hopeful that they will see a 100% subscription rate to the free features. The company is also hopeful that the premium service will prove popular, as well, but until Activision releases more specifics at E3 we don’t know what to expect. No pricing has been announced, and we are not sure if it will be announced at E3 or not. Look for more details next week that should help give us more of the specifics.