With the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, everyone will be Elite.
Call of Duty Elite debuted alongside Modern Warfare 3 as a subscription-based online service, but Activision is taking a different tack with the upcoming Black Ops 2. The publisher announced today that the Elite service will be included with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 at no extra charge.
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said the company "learned a lot" in the year following the rollout of Call of Duty Elite, including, in a very general sense, that players enjoy things like detailed stat tracking and having virtual clan headquarters. Armed with that insight, Activision decided to fling the doors open to all, with a few minor changes.
The Player HQ, which offers "rich game statistics," enhanced match information, challenge tracking and class modification through the new "Pick 10 Create-a-Class" system, as well as Clan HQ, Zombie stat tracking, Call of Duty Elite TV and "Social Sharing and Notifications" will all be included with Black Ops 2 Elite. DLC discounts will not be part of the package, however; instead, DLC will be sold by way of four map packs which will be available a la carte and through a discounted Season Pass, which will sell for 4000 Microsoft points, or $49.99. Individual map packs will release at 1200 Microsoft points, or $14.99.
It's a bit of a shuffle-step - reduced DLC prices through a $50 "season pass" rather than an annual subscription to Elite - but the addition of new options for everyone is still a net gain for gamers. Activision added that existing Call of Duty Elite premium memberships tied into Modern Warfare 3 will continue to function as normal "through the end of their current subscription period."
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 comes out on November 13 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and on November 18 for the Wii U.