Activision is sure that nobody will pay for an online service that can get hacked like Sony's PlayStation Network.
After years of speculation, Activision is finally trying to cash in on its large online player base for Call of Duty with a paid service. The details point to Elite acting more like a social network than a monthly subscription like an MMO, but that doesn't mean security isn't a major concern. With so many users - Activision boasts 30 million players worldwide - there's bound to be people who want to exploit the system and possibly steal personal information as we've seen with Sony's debacle recent PlayStation Network debacle. Not surprisingly, Activision is taking the security of its networks very seriously.
"From a developer standpoint we put an extremely high premium on security," said Chako Sonny, head of Beachhead, the studio newly formed to handle the Elite service.
"We have dedicated staff focusing on that from an architectural standpoint, making sure nothing we design is exposed, and we're also making sure that we're securing the events and competitions that will eventually become part of the service."
It helps that the team Sonny has assembled is built more to suit that type of business rather than game design. "A lot of the team on the Beachhead side come from worlds that have nothing to do with traditional videogame design: coming from people dealing with mobile apps, user interface and other entertainment and interactive services," said Jamie Berger from Beachhead.
Hopefully, Activision will learn from the Blizzard side of its operations on how to deal with griefers and hackers. Perhaps gamers will start carrying around an authenticator for Call of Duty Elite just like they do for WoW.