Activision Unveils New Call of Duty Online Service

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Activision Unveils New Call of Duty Online Service

There is a subscription fee, but Activision says you won't have to pay it to play online.

Activision has thrown back the curtain and revealed a new online service for the Call of Duty games, called "Call of Duty Elite." Elite is the work of the recently announced Beachhead studio, and is designed to expand the Call of Duty experience beyond Xbox Live or PSN.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Elite will run alongside Modern Warfare 3, offering additional content that is separate from the content that is on the disc itself. Besides having social aspects like groups and leagues, the WSJ says that Elite subscribers will gain access to new multiplayer maps. If this is the case, then it raises certain questions, like what maps will be offered, and how the service will be managed. It's hard to imagine Activision giving away the $15 map packs it sells online, but the occasional individual map is a different story. Elite will also track statistics, giving players the ability to see how well they perform on different maps and with different weapons. If you're a fan of graphs and heat maps, then these features will undoubtedly prove exciting.

Unfortunately, it's not entirely clear how much the service will cost and exactly what parts of it people will have to pay for. The WSJ said that Elite will be a subscription-based service with some free elements - like the social networking side - and posits a price point of $8 a month or less. On the other hand, Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling indicated that Elite would be a free service, which would feature some premium elements.

The trailer for the service - which you can see above, for however long it remains available - confirms that some parts of Elite are for subscribers only, but again, doesn't specify which ones. Both the WSJ and Bowling have made it clear though, that Activision is not going to charge people to play Call of Duty online. In an interview, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick defended the subscription fee, saying that Elite was a major undertaking, and it wouldn't be able to offer the same level of support if it was completely free.

Activision will reveal more details about the service later today, and we will update once we have them.

Source: Wall Street Journal via Joystiq

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You know, so long as the core online play is unaffected I don't really care. I won't get it, but I don't mind it being there.

In any case, cue lots of bitching in 3,2,1..

looks like the call of duty series has rely gone down the drain.

TheRightToArmBears:
You know, so long as the core online play is unaffected I don't really care. I won't get it, but I don't mind it being there.

In any case, cue lots of bitching in 3,2,1..

Entirely agree with you, but I have a feeling they will be advertising the crap out of it in-game in MW3.

And hasn't Halo had pretty much this (admittedly we don't know the final content of Elite yet, but I digress) for four years? for free? Just wondering how they can justify charging for this sort of service.

be interesting to see if this is included on PC (no mention of PC in article). i don't mind it being there, provided they don't skimp out on regular multiplayer content, because i'll be sodomised before i pay 12 for map packs, or subscribe to call of duty...

Didn't Bungie do this for free?

is it just me or are a lot of those things on BLOPS already? i.e. the maps, heat maps, hit locations etc - all in your combat record. it looks to me like its another case of activision chardging whatever they can to milk the COD series.
think i might get battlefield 3 this year.

Most of this stuff could easily have been given for free... but whatever, im not gonna pay for it

The trailer was quite funny though

Ubisoft forced Activision's hand announcing Ghost Recon Online as a F2P FPS. Which could end up being a better game, as the Tom Clancey games seem to be far more tactical.

image
Fuck that

Won't stop me buying the game, but I certainly won't be paying no subscription fee. Whose bright idea was it to start making us pay to get special league tables? Still, I guess a thousand Christmases just got easier for two thousand parents.

Wait.. So they're starting to do pretty much the same thing Bungie does for free... And then expecting people to pay for it...

Ahaha...

Ahahahahahahahaha...

I get that its an optional service but... C'mon!

And so The Empire Strikes Back.

Wait, why am I complaining? That will be keeping the COD kiddies off Battlefield 3!

All is forgiven Bobby.

I'm pretty sure this is the start of a slippery slope.

What incentive have they got to put any of the good stuff in the "free" version, for which of course you still have to buy the game, and possibly subscribe to Xbox Live. The basic multiplayer will probably turn into little more than a demo/advert for the COD Elite subscription service. This is especially likely given how many people I've seen saying that they're not going to pay more. Therefore Activision have to force the issue to get their money.

As others have pointed out some of the features promised for Elite are already included in the standard no extra charge multiplayer on current COD titles. It's not that paying extra will really get you MORE, it's that you'll have to pay extra to get any real online content.

With 10 million people buying the game I won't be surprised if they have at least 1 million subscribers.

This is just in
pay up to 2 subscription fees to play this online on an xbox 360.

DJTruthsayer:
is it just me or are a lot of those things on BLOPS already? i.e. the maps, heat maps, hit locations etc - all in your combat record. it looks to me like its another case of activision chardging whatever they can to milk the COD series.
think i might get battlefield 3 this year.

Not to mention that Kotick (or whoever) has already said that they wouldn't be taking things out of the core game and charging extra for them. So it looks like they've already gone back on their word.

Fuck off. If this turns out to be as big of a money stealing piece shit as I think it sounds, I wont be paying for MW3. It has officially left my pre-order list. If whoever is responsible for this crap comes out and somehow makes it all better I may consider reconsidering. I actually liked all that extra multiplayer related stuff in BlOps like the replay system. I will not pay to have features that should be part of the game to start with for no additional cost.

I have no doubt they're going to be getting a lot of subscribers but $8 a month is pretty expensive for what you're getting. I mean, I could be farming troll ears for that amount, they'll need to throw in something more appealing than that to pull me in.

Remember people that it's all "additional content", just as every multiplayer map but the 1 or 2 a game will come with and the last 5 chapters of a game, the ability to change your characters name or customize colors/appearance or the ability to chat will be "additional content" available through the "Sucker Subscription Service (TM)" and all but 2 weapons and 3 enemy models you start your game with will also be "additional" content 3-5 years from now if this shit takes off.

Additional Content.

Oh yeah, what they're about looking to do with this... from that Online Survey they did like over one year ago and at about what pricepoints...

http://bulk2.destructoid.com/ul/135924-rumortoid-activision-creating-a-service-for-call-of-duty/CoDsubscrip01-noscale.jpg
http://bulk2.destructoid.com/ul/135924-rumortoid-activision-creating-a-service-for-call-of-duty/CoDsubscrip02-noscale.jpg
http://bulk2.destructoid.com/ul/135924-rumortoid-activision-creating-a-service-for-call-of-duty/CoDsubscrip03-noscale.jpg

Seems like a giant waste of money.

Trailer made me giggle in some places though.

If they really don't change the core game, then I shouldn't think people should be worried.

Of course, then you have to trust a huge billion dollar company to do something that isn't in the best interest of their pocketbooks.... so yeah.

Honestly though, I'm sure they'll think of the backlash before they do anything rash to the core gameplay.

It's still going to be the same old PoS CoD :) So don't worry kiddos, your 4th reskin is still available for you to play.

On the topic of reskins, does it count as a reskin if it's the exact same game? check out the end of that trailer to see the mw3 footage. Or should i say mw2? I can't tell.

tehroc:
Ubisoft forced Activision's hand announcing Ghost Recon Online as a F2P FPS. Which could end up being a better game, as the Tom Clancey games seem to be far more tactical.

I doubt Activision even has it on its radar. Ubisoft don't have that kind of weight behind them, and that little F2P thing especially doesn't.

OT: If anyone pays for it, I will laugh at them. I mean, I will be choking on tears of laughter.

You can't claim something's a massive undertaking when the only features you've bothered to tell people about are ones that other people offer quite easily for free.

Wait... So the combat record stuff might now be paid?

Seriously, that is the only thing that makes me a little uneasy about the whole thing. I ain't paying 8 bucks a month either way.

However, the way Bowling puts it, this looks like it's going to be DLC maps, character customization and hats. Don't see what the big deal is.

Woodsey:

tehroc:
Ubisoft forced Activision's hand announcing Ghost Recon Online as a F2P FPS. Which could end up being a better game, as the Tom Clancey games seem to be far more tactical.

I doubt Activision even has it on its radar. Ubisoft don't have that kind of weight behind them, and that little F2P thing especially doesn't.

OT: If anyone pays for it, I will laugh at them. I mean, I will be choking on tears of laughter.

With a name like 'elite' it's going for the 12 year old audience. A smart move considering CoD itself is primarily played by the 12 year old audience.

"Call of Duty Elite"?

That's some original name generation right there.

To be honest the video looked more interesting than the feature itself, gg Kotick

MightyMole:
Wait.. So they're starting to do pretty much the same thing Bungie does for free... And then expecting people to pay for it...

Ahaha...

Ahahahahahahahaha...

I get that its an optional service but... C'mon!

It's the same thing tons of developers offer for free. And yet there will be a shit ton of people that pay for it anyway. Which is the only reason they're implementing it. God I hate these fucking idiots ruining gaming by suggesting to developers that we're all willing to get bent over a barrel and take up the ass no matter what kind of P2P bullshit they implement.

This shit just confirms that ID is actively trying to fuck up the community.
MW1 was great, MW2 was good but a few annoyances.
MW3 will be tested before I even buy it. This crap should be free.
Brink does it for free. (even though it isnt online yet) Battlefield too in some degree.
Bungie does it for free. And most of this stuff is free with black ops. Exept the whole friends stuff.

And this

Sevre:
I have no doubt they're going to be getting a lot of subscribers but $8 a month is pretty expensive for what you're getting. I mean, I could be farming troll ears for that amount, they'll need to throw in something more appealing than that to pull me in.

You get almost nothing.

LoL, it's digital Mercantilism. They will pay a fee (read: tariff), and they will get favored content (read: customer protection). This is epic fail actually. Especially since the content is stripped down anyway and only offers the same modes on the same maps for an extended period of time. Anyone who buys into this is kinda retarded. So maybe they will get rid of the map packs for sale thing, but this will make customers pay more for the good in the long run.

Look at it this way: Black Ops has been out for 8 months now. There are two map packs in that time. That means that if they were to do something similar to what they seem to be describing (though the details are completely sketchy, so it's all speculation at this time), how could the charge a monthly fee of $8 under the current release schedule and have customers not be paying more than they are now for just buying separate map packs. That would make a map pack $32 ($8*4 months). Or, would they be releasing like a map a month... which works out to the same kind of cost to schedule ratio.

They would have to significantly turn up software output for it to be worth while. Also, as one poster pointed out, they are going to strip the free one down. It won't even track your stats anymore? That is asinine. I gotta say, I do see Battlefield 3 picking up in popularity at this news, at least on the PC.

They will surely sell a whole lot of copies of MW3, and initially the service will probably do pretty decent. But after a couple of months, I think you would see a lot fewer people willing to pay for more of the same stuff from month to month. Then, keeping the pay service going, between running servers, stat updating, and that combined with less income to that end of the service, it will most likely become a liability. But, they have more money than god at this time. So, as bad business goes, they will lose on one end as long as the other end is doing well. It's still just bad business.

I'll be fascinated to know what "you won't have to pay it to play online" means. If it ends up meaning "you can join random games but can't group with friends" or something along those lines I'm sure it'd go over real well.

I really can't see Activision doing anything with it that Bungie hasn't already done with the Halo games. And Bungie's subscription service (which only increases your File Share by four times and gives you 5 SD minutes of uploads to Bungie.net per month) is only $8/year, while I hear that Activision wants $8/month.

I really hopes this bites Activision in the ass, but I can't see that happening. Too many blind fratboys.

Didn't buy Black ops, and this solidifies a non-purchase for MW3. Oh hi there Battlefield 3...

So besides the 60 dollars you have to pay for the game you're going to have to dish out even more for services that are readily available right now? That's a fucking rip off. Giving Activision's previous track record I'm fairly sure they're going to continue selling map packs at 15 which is even more bullshit. How are people falling for this? Why the fuck are so many idiots continuously supporting this piece of shit game?

It's official: They've run Call of Duty into the ground.

I find it rather hilarious that one or two years ago Activision were making firm promises that they'd never charge for a subscription for Call of Duty multiplayer. I don't care that "Elite" is separate from the game itself, it still amounts to the same thing in my eyes.

In other news, Heart of the Swarm will require players to purchase cut-scenes...

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