Call of Duty: Elite confirmed as premium-tier service, MW3 multiplayer still free

[UPDATE] Activision is planning to launch subscription service alongside Modern Warfare 3; will feature extra maps, free Facebook-like social network; beta begins this summer; first trailer inside.

The Wall Street Journal has confirmed speculation that the online service Activision is planning for the Call of Duty franchise will indeed be called Call of Duty: Elite. Speculation about the name surfaced earlier this month when a logo for Elite surfaced online. The service is being developed by a recently formed internal studio, Beachhead.

Call of Duty: Elite will add a premium layer of content onto Modern Warfare 3, but multiplayer will remain free.

As suspected, COD: Elite will be a premium service offering extra content for a monthly fee, not an attempt to charge for multiplayer gameplay. In fact, some of the content offered on Elite, such as a Facebook-like social networking aspect, will be completely free.

"COD ELITE is free, for all players, some paid aspects TBD. Absolutely NO fee to play #MW3 multiplayer. Detailed reveal coming tomorrow AM," tweeted Infinity Ward creative consultant Robert Bowling Monday night. "#MW3 multiplayer is free to play as it always is."

According to the Journal, Activision executives expect the monthly cost for COD: Elite to be less than that of Netflix's lowest-level service, which costs $8/month. In exchange for that fee, subscribers will get access to more map packs and analytical tools that will let players gauge their in-game performance according to kills by weapon type and other factors.

Speaking with the Journal, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said that the service is intended to supplement the Call of Duty experience and emphasized that the multiplayer aspect of Modern Warfare 3 will remain free. He also said that customer service for Elite is so extensive that the service couldn't be supported for free.

[UPDATE] Activision has now formally announced Call of Duty: Elite, saying "many key features" of the service will be free. It also confirmed that the premium level of the service will include "a wide range of state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market." The company did not, however, announce the price of the service.

Activision also revealed that Elite will be the stage for a variety of Modern Warfare 3 competitions, as well as undefined "events." Both types of festivities will see the doling out of both in-game and real-world prizes to winners. A just-released trailer for the service (see below) reveals that Elite's social aspect will let players form groups and clans, as well as share films of themselves in action.

A public beta for Call of Duty: Elite will begin this summer using Call of Duty: Black Ops, with sign-ups already under way at http://www.callofduty.com/elite. However, when the service launches on November 8, it will be "fully" integrated with Modern Warfare 3, allowing for two-way communication between Elite and the game. That means that actions made in Elite--which can be accessed via mobile devices, PCs, consoles, and games themselves--will affect users' in-game experience.

For a detailed examination of Call of Duty: Elite, check out GameSpot's extensive preview of the service.

Written By

Want the latest news about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Follow

Discussion

599 comments
jscapo
jscapo

did some one say free? You pay for social garbage. Have fun. Yes, I am talking about the little kids out there that will force their parents to buy this for them. Whatever....

DawnBlue
DawnBlue

I have not heard of anything the Elite service includes that was not in MW2 - which had everything needed to make a good game (not to mention some things too much that partially ruined it, but those are irrelevant to this). Thus I see no reason to pay that extra price, however low or high, for useless things, whether or not those useless things (like the analytical tools) were built-in with Black Ops. If one really needs all those things then, in my opinion, they are serious enough about the game to pay that extra price. If not, and I think most people wont, what's the problem?

Mortos13
Mortos13

I wouldnt be surprised if you could play as a Blood elf...

PERPLEHAYZ
PERPLEHAYZ

I cant believe that all of you CANNOT read!!!! It says that multiplayer is FREE!!!! DUH. Some "ELITE" content is what you have to pay extra for. "Dumbasses" If you cannot read all of the article, then don't show your IGNORANCE, by posting stupid remarks. Quoted from article...".Absolutely NO fee to play #MW3 multiplayer." "COD ELITE is free, for all players, some paid aspects TBD. Absolutely NO fee to play #MW3 multiplayer." Wow, how can you not see this??? What part of this ENGLISH language can you not understand???

PERPLEHAYZ
PERPLEHAYZ

And besides, the garbage they want us to pay extra for is already incorporated in Black Ops. How stupid on Activisions and Infinity Wards part to charge for stuff that is already in a game that they put out! Like the analytical concept. Its already there in B.O. "analytical tools that will let players gauge their in-game performance according to kills by weapon type and other factors." Why pay for this "ish" when its free in previously released games?

PERPLEHAYZ
PERPLEHAYZ

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

PERPLEHAYZ
PERPLEHAYZ

OK, so, some of the "pay to play" content can win prizes and what not, I'm not buying it."Activision has now formally announced Call of Duty: Elite, saying "many key features" of the service will be free. It also confirmed that the premium level of the service will include "a wide range of state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market." The company did not, however, announce the price of the service.

PERPLEHAYZ
PERPLEHAYZ

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

PERPLEHAYZ
PERPLEHAYZ

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

LeadnSteel
LeadnSteel

60.00 a year for map packs from a game which the graphics engine that has been unchanged since 2005? Lol. At least you could offer dedicated servers with that service. Activision you need to stop rehashing and releasing the same game every year.

GameNow79
GameNow79

***From My Blog -- Abridged*** Okay, so we already pay approximately $60/year for Xbox Live Gold, or approximately $50/year for Playstation Plus. Or, we use the PS3's free, but less content-heavy network service. But, C'mon!. On top of buying Modern Warfare 3, we have to pay for another subscription, Elite, if we want to get the most out of this experience! The publisher/company releases one of these Call of Duty games at least once a year ... and it needs to make even more profit out of us? It could be argued we are the "suckers" for buying it all up, but hey, don't charge the consumer more in addition to actually buying your product. Are you so out of ideas, and so close to bleeding this series dry, that you really have to do this? Sure, I'll suck it up and buy the game ... I love the series. But pay for your Elite subscription? Not a chance.

woonsa
woonsa

About damn time. Who wasn't expecting this? lol

Elem3nt
Elem3nt

The only way you can express your disapproval for something like this is to not purchase the game. In the end you will end up paying about 160 dollars in the first year, and about 100 for every following year, not including your yearly xbox live membership. Just to enjoy a 'premium' experience that should be included for free in the first place. They are just milking this cash cow for everything it is worth and people will gladly buy into it. Gotta love consumerism. I love how about a year ago activision made a statement about how it would NEVER charge for Cod multiplayer service. I guess to their credit they never said they wouldnt charge for a premium multiplayer service. lol

Norrie91
Norrie91

Looks like "Black Ops" is officially my final C.O.D. Burn in Hell Activision =D

Lt_Rage
Lt_Rage

@ DanielL5583 the premium content ACTIVISION is trying to charge for has nothing to do if you are a xbox live account holder or a PS Network user. So pointing out that psn is free and xbox live isn't is pointless in this discussion. Its Activision charging extra for the extra service, meaning both psn and xbox live users have to pay for it since MW3 is multiplatform. And plus its optional, if you dont need the extra features you dont have to pay for it. multiplayer will still be free.

mysticstryk
mysticstryk

First they charge us $60 for a rehashed game and then they want an extra monthly charge for "premium" services?? Why do people still buy into this crap??

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@ivica555 Heard of PlayStation Network? XBOX Live isn't the only online service, y'know.

ivica555
ivica555

Multiplayer is NOT FREE. You have to pay 60$ to play it!

poseidion
poseidion

@ oldman54: love you sarcasm!!! (it is sarcasm right???) ;)

oldman54
oldman54

Yeah, but c'mon people! It's going to have a Facebook-like social network aspect - And Bobby Kotick will join in with us, and we can all swap cupcake recipes, share favorite photos of our pets, and trade CoD floral e-hugs! It'll be great! Wow. I hope it has a cool zombie aquarium app!

mclebron23
mclebron23

@LtReviews...I agree 100% with everything you said. If it wasnt a popularity contest then people would still be playing COD2 which is still the best COD game and it came out 6 years ago!!! and COD4 which is the 2nd best COD IMO. But as much as i agree with you, a boycott will never work because there will ALWAYS be annoying 5, 10, 15 year olds that buy this POS game. Trust me. The kind of kids that dont even know there was a COD 1 or COD2 and even a COD4 lol. Makes me sick. Then when you tell them about COD2 and COD4 and they play it, they think its sucks because those games takes more than 1% of skill unlike MW2 and BO and they cant get a kill because they suck balls at it. Just my 2 cents ans personal experiences =)

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

and the cash cow has just been strapped into an industrialised milker. Seriously I no longer bother with CoD, I borrow it off a friend and play the very brief, but fun, campaign and then give it back.

codename-60091
codename-60091

multiplayer free?? the reason i buy COD is because i want to play multiplayer? now they made it free? why should i buy the offline version when i can download piratedly? and download the free contents. cool. win win suitation for me then ^^

LtReviews
LtReviews

They do this because they can. Every map pack they release sells like crazy, and they charge the hell out of them (maps are actually EXTREMELY easy to make, since the devs are already familiar with the game engine). As consumers, we need to let them know: the only reason CoD has millions of players, is because it is popular, not because it is good. It is essentially a casual gamer piece, for gamers that won't look into anything else but what everyone else is playing. It is a popularity contest. I'm glad to see everyone feels the same way. This time, I hope everyone endorses that the consumer-producer relationship has not been even with CoD and activision. It is because we, the consumers, have not made a collective voice, and silence is acceptance. We need an ORGANIZED BOYCOTT. Let everyone know that by buying this game, they are making the market open and rewarding to this kind of exploitation. That's right- buying the game, not just the service. The service is the result of the game being so popular, it is a symptom. Paying them isn't voluntary. EVERYONE is paying, because we are being denied content that should be included in the initial release, because developers are being told that they can do so. Its not paying to get extra- its pay, or you get less.

disposition000
disposition000

@FacesMan And once again I say: It's optional, yes, but do you honestly think that if it's successful Activision won't find a way to eventually phase out free multiplayer? Why would they spend the time and money on something free if they can just do a premium service? They're greedy pieces of ****. And if you think it won't happen like this, you're fooling yourself. It's only optional until it succeeds. Then it will become mandatory, which is why it has to fail.

ben151
ben151

People who keep up with the Call of Duty franchise already pay a $60 yearly subscription, possibly $75-$90 yearly if they buy the map packs. And they want an extra $60+ a year? Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. "He also said that customer service for Elite is so extensive that the service couldn't be supported for free." Bungie has had a similar stat tracking service since Halo 2. For FREE

josiah4972
josiah4972

f**k you activision, You've taken enough of my money

Luke15g
Luke15g

I've hated COD since MW2 but wow... Activision crossed the line. This will lose them customers which is bad not only for them but for battlefield 3, the likely new home for these homeless fanboys. Do battlefield players really want thousands of COD players going lone wolf and saying a big f**k you to the team based system?

another_drew
another_drew

Ok, I understand this is is optional, but really. I mean comon! Access to DLC maps. So, does that mean you will only be releasing maps to those who subscribe to this trash heap? This is just ridiculous. EA has done that same thing with their services, but get this. IT'S FREE!!!! That's right boys and girls Acti. is just doing the same thing other companies have already done and expect people to pay for it. RS:V2 did the same thing. Sign up for their site, get a few free maps. I will not be purchasing MW3 after this. I am tired of CoD games anymore. I wish I could go back in time to CoD4 days when the games had substance. Oh well at least I'll have BF3 to tide me over til Respawn releases their title and we're finally also graced with GR: Future Soldier. And for those of you who plan to use this crap, consider one thing. Sooner or later those maps will be free to everyone. So in essence you'll be wasting cash to play the maps a few months earlier. Too bad, so sad.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

Remember that one time when Bungie used a stat keeper to keep track of all your kills, deaths, wins and losses for Halo? and it was free? Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah *puts on shades*

RebelMarksman
RebelMarksman

I have now lost all, of what little remaining, respect for Activision.

TigerRifle1
TigerRifle1

The only way this could possibly work to everyone's benefit is if they took the profits from the Elite service and used it to overhaul the game's engine.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

This is beyond retarded. Seriouslly. This is oily going to lead them into charging for EVERYTHING including Multiplayer. I'm so happy I stopped playong CoD because I KNEW something like this would go down. I just knew it. This is only going to benefit those with a PS3, other then that, No one in their right mind who owns a 360, would pay for this, granted, the Xbots have proved me wrong before.

XMuTaNtNiNjAX
XMuTaNtNiNjAX

its just a way to get COD fan boys to give them extra money ITS STUPID

Cruisemissile
Cruisemissile

No its EAT $HIT!!!!!!!! & DIE!!!!!!!!! Activision!!!! Anyway why would anyone pay for a online tracking service its beyond me every other online tracking service is free and this looks like another milking tactic which will totally fail and boost BF3 sales from angry COD consumers....

megamega777
megamega777

Translation for all: COD Elite = Bungie.net Elite Premium = Bungie Pro

p40tomahawk
p40tomahawk

"intra Posted Jun 2, 2011 5:52 am GMT This is the worst idea I have ever heard of for an FPS game." theirs ben worst

p40tomahawk
p40tomahawk

so they want us to buy the game and a subscription why? plus people are starting to get sick with the the Call of Duty series it's got to stop at some point because then people will stop buying the game because they simple got sick with squeals

jamyskis
jamyskis

Part of the problem with this is the same problem that has arisen with MW2 (I've not played Blops so I can't comment on that). A premium service for FPSs effectively creates a two-tiered service. On the one hand you have a service for those that haven't bought the DLC, and on the other, one for those that have. While this shouldn't be a problem in principle, the fact is that the brainless masses will end up donating more of their hard-earned (or parents') dosh to Bobby Kotick's already-fat wallet, and so most of the hosts will require the DLC to be present, leaving those of us with some grasp of economic sense in the cold. It winds me up how many people have whinged about Activision charging for maps, only to go against their own principles and buy the DLC in the end. Because I stuck to my principles, my MW2 is now on the shelf and hasn't moved for about a year. I, unlike many apparently, know where to draw the line.

follioe
follioe

If only people could read and listen, that would be a refreshing change. I'm going to sign up for the beta, try and see what I think before flying off the handle. But that's just me. Some people enjoy being angry and using message boards to vent their frustrations. Brilliant... it makes such entertaining reading, especially the awesome use of spelling and grammar.

lokinineteen
lokinineteen

Multiplayer still free, wtf? By the looks of it it says, "In exchange for that fee, subscribers will get access to more map packs". So does this mean we have to be a subscriber to get the dlc or what? I hope a lot of people come from this to BF3 just to piss Activision off and not give this braindead idea to any other companys that arnt MMOs.

leroy989
leroy989

But what people don't seem to get through there god damn skull is multiplayer is still (FREE) this is optional so why all the b****ing? Don't like the idea don't pay for it dip s***s I'm talking to the nit wit bastards that saying there not going to buy CoD MW3 because of this when sure its tied to it but is not needed it is (OPTIONAL). So there for people need to stop B****ing about this service. Basically anyone thats saying there not buying MW3 might as well toss out there Black ops cause this ELITE is going to work with it too.