Earlier this year it was rumored that there was a subscription-based flavor of Call of Duty coming. I thought it made sense. Others didn’t. It’s coming. Told you so.
Hours ahead of the agreed-upon embargo for the news, the Wall Street Journal is the first to report on Call of Duty Elite, the long-reported “digital platform” in development at Activision’s new Beachhead studio. Designed to complement this fall’s Modern Warfare 3, Elite will be a paid service though “portions of the service will be free” including a Facebook-inspired Groups feature.
Other features of the service include stats to analyze player’s performance, “gauging factors such as which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies.” If you’re worried that you’ll suddenly have to pay for online multiplayer in Call of Duty titles, don’t be. The Journal reports that “players will still be able to compete against each other online without subscribing to the service.”
Activision hasn’t yet pinned down a price point, though it does expect the cost to be less than comparable “online-entertainment services” like the $8/month Netflix. Part of that fee will go towards a “customer-service operation that will be needed to support it.” It will also include the year’s map packs, which cost $15 each, taking some of the sting out of any annual charge.
I love the Call of Duty franchise. I’ve made note of it throughout the past couple of weeks as Modern Warfare 3 news drizzled out of various nooks and crannies. I don’t love that shit to the tune of $8 a month, though. Since Black Ops dropped in November, I’ve played something like thirty or so hours of multiplayer. Loved every minute of it (alright, not every minute, getting fucking owned), but I just don’t know that much. If I played more, or if I was good enough to give a fuck what weapon I was most proficient in my killing with, this may be enticing. Even with free map packs, $30, I’d have to pay for what, four months of this to justify the cost?
What about you? Are you down with this? Appalled? Somewhere in the middle?