Call of Duty Elite-like programs a 'necessity' - Activision

Digital VP Jamie Berger says publisher's "services and ongoing content strategy" will be essential to new games in three to five years.

Activision's first significant foray into the social network sphere--Call of Duty: Elite--deploys this November alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, it is by no means planned to be the last such foray.

Activision's services and ongoing content strategy is locked and loaded.

"We believe that a 24/7, year-round services strategy that broadens the game experience beyond just playing is going to be a necessity," Activision's digital vice president Jamie Berger said in a new interview with MCV.

"Right now, it's an option, but in three to five years, it won't be. To support a diverse player base, you will have to have a services and ongoing content strategy. I don't see how games are going to manage without that…Elite is about Call of Duty being bigger than ever five years from now and laying the groundwork for that."

Elite will officially launch alongside Modern Warfare 3 on November 8. The service will have free features and a premium component that is priced at $50 a year and comes included with the $100 Hardened edition of the game. Those who subscribe to Elite will gain access to all 20 pieces of downloadable content that will be released for the game--a $60 value.

The movement toward connected gaming is already apparent both with Activision and competing publishers. On top of Elite, it is likely Bungie's first title with Activision will offer a social network, as the company did with the Halo series through Bungie.net.

Outside of Activision, Electronic Arts is cementing a foothold in social networks for its games as well. The publisher is rolling out EA Sports Football Club for FIFA 12 and Battlelog for this October's Battlefield 3, which itself is based on Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit's Autolog network.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

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393 comments
Tha_DRP
Tha_DRP

I just want to know if I can still get it with all the same perks after the game is launched? or is it a pre-order only type of deal?

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Rovelius I appreciate your feedback rovel, I know my kindergarten comment was harsh, I kinda based it off the thumbs down prompt and assumed which kinds of audience actually read and understand my comments. You wouldn't need to take it from a guy who did University courses on business marketing, you don't even need to take it from a man who works for Chase collection services, but to ignore the fact that everything I said can be confirmed in a quick google search is beyond my understanding. =/

Rovelius
Rovelius

@bigcrusha "I should have realized that explaining anything business wise on a gaming site..." That's GameSpot for ya, bro. I went through your comments and it was quite informative, thanks for sharing.

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Gov1
Gov1

Whats that you say? Essential you say? 3-5 years we won't have an option and will have to subscribe to you, you say? Would you like some blood with that? Considering your trying your best to bleed me dry anyway.

Rovelius
Rovelius

Meanwhile, in Dark Souls...

wars45
wars45

be skiping cod next year as black opps is crap

wars45
wars45

dont think al be playin cod in 5 years geting mw3 but not payin for this noway and if your paying for it on the ps3 the maps should come out the same time as xbox

Thuganomic05
Thuganomic05

While it's obvious they only care about money - it's nice to see that optimism exists, still. Call of Duty in 5 years? We shall see Activision... we shall see.

Thuganomic05
Thuganomic05

I don't mind elite - map packs yo yo yo. Other than that, it's a dumb money getter.

Awesome-o
Awesome-o

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Darkeus
Darkeus

I hate Kotick and his evil, greedy self. Grrrr.....

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

It's the greatest mistake Bungie is ever making, dealing with these thieves. It looks like they'll never be able to go back to Myth & Oni days and keep cranking out shooter sequels.

Anarky86
Anarky86

Just what I've been saying for years... Bobby Kottick (CEO of Activision) is still so sore of being a dumb ass and bidding 3 millions on Blizzard and then buying them for what, a 1000 x more 10 years later wants to make up for his own stupidity and making extra money with games. If you care about money, fine, just don't pretend you have any other interest in gamers than their money... Nobody NEEDS Elite, but when they make it mandatory to play with your friends, now we're Feefft real bad.

eternal_blade3
eternal_blade3

... And this is why I choose Battlefield over COD. Besides the better gameplay experience, that is.

dylan35
dylan35

big big money we want your money !!! its all about the money, running down from my head to my toes,lavish me in polished gold its all about the money !!!!!! screw you gamers!!!!!!!!.......

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@bigcrusha: Just wanted you to know I didn't read any of the like, 4 consecutive messages you posted here recently. After your second extremely pathetic attempt at "grown up talk", I lost any further interest at arguing with you. You're obviously talking out your "you know what" (sad I have to say that, but GS mods are ruthless). Good bye and good luck to you. Reading your comments, it sounds like you'll really, really, really need it :roll:

mustained13
mustained13

Big company boss says something, expects everyone else to follow suit. Yawn. I'll get back with you guys after checking my koopa/goomba stomp ratio in Super Mario.

Kemutsemu
Kemutsemu

...Fifty dollars a year? For a service that Halo has had for free (save for the free maps)? Man, what a scam.

DeltaCactuar
DeltaCactuar

Meanwhile, I'm playing X-Men (arcade) and not giving a f*** about CoD.

lister82
lister82

Of course Activision would say that.

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

Battlefield has the Battlelog for free, I really dont care about this ELITE service, I just wanna play the game. Anyway it only shows stats!!!

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

Activision would do anything to get more money, thats why they have TWO studios making games for ONE game series! Its ridiculous! They know that if they put the title "Call of Duty" on the cover it will sell like crazy! So now they get each studio to release a game every year? HOW MUCH MONEY DO THEY NEED!?

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

Activision is turning into a monster.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

Activision: Its our necessity to rape your wallets for all thats in there, all your money are belong to us.

Gooshnads
Gooshnads

A "necessity" for them to get moar monayyyyyyyy

rageman45
rageman45

Wow Activision, this is way too ridiculous to afford this kind of stuff. I'm not paying for this. >_>

junglist101
junglist101

Why doesn't Activi$ion just admit what there really up to which is that they hope in the near future playing their games online will require a subscription. They are hoping that this will get that idea started and if they get enough idiots to buy this Elite thing they will have some sort of idea if their master plan of pay for play will be feasible or not.

supertom221
supertom221

Necessary in the future?? HOHOHO!! Don't mock us, Activision. Not all of us are spoiled brats who'll play your rotten game because it has guns and lame services. some of us know where to look for when in need for QUALITY gaming.

AlexFili
AlexFili

This is the kind of thing we need to prevent pirates, not DRM.

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Gravity_Slave @ClaudiusCaesar Want another example guys? How bout subliminal advertising and product placement? Companies have been using tactics such as placing 1 commercial on top of commercial 2 so that commercial 2 is subconsciously seen. Why would they keep doing it if it doesn't work? Go look it up if you don't believe me. Subliminal advertising is a VERY powerful advocate of "consumer behaviorism".

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Gravity_Slave @ClaudiusCaesar I'm going to give you both something to think about here. You both say people buy what they LIKE. That is true, no argument there, I agree wholeheartedly. Lets say a gamer buys game 1 because it's fun, then the producer that sold it to him tries to sell him game 2. Ofc the gamer is resistant because he doesn't want to spend anymore money and feels he is satisfied with game 1. Now lets say the producer tries convincing this gamer that buy having game 2, will drastically increase the fun he's having with game 1. Subjecting the consumer to constant advertising of game 2 demonstrating that it will truly enhance his experience with game 1 could potentially create an illusion of need within the consumer. Same way micro transactions work in games, I refuse to spend money on a silly upgrade for my in game character, but then I realize that I get beaten 100% of the time when I'm facing that an opponent with that same silly upgrade. Eventually I feel euphorically driven, to create a need is a difficult process which is why not all marketers can do it successfully, but when they do, they become EXTREMELY successful.

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Gravity_Slave I've done more than google searches, I've been doing business courses on it for 2 years +. So please don't try to mock me. Marketing is part of "advanced economics". They are all interrelate within the same field. I NEVER said they can force a consumer to buy a product, you idiotically take words from my mouth. Why not all products become successful is due to the fact that while "consumer behaviorism" analysis is an effective tool, it isn't necessarily an easy one to employ either. See, if you actually read the google search I gave you, you'd see where I was going with this. That fuzzy feeling you get when you play a good game, you wanna know what that is? Euphoria. Euphoric pleasure can be exploited to create a need within it's host, basically like a drug if you will. Games have been getting shorter and simpler lately because the industry is becoming more and more keen on how to shorten production of their games while inducing that same euphoric state on the consumer. Like any drug, we can fight it simply by refusing it, but to refuse it effectively, you need to understand why you are refusing it to begin with.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Battlefield does that for free with the battlelog... Saying it's a necessity... makes me laugh, but why not. Extra info on what you did is fine. It's certainly does not have to be for a fee.

jonnybutler11
jonnybutler11

Just saying activision doesn't leave them much time to do anything.) Speaking of dlc and of raising prices, pretty soon all dlc and downloadable games will cost 15 bucks, just because activision thinks they can raise the price. Hell, they can, because so many people go ahead and buy them anyways. I think activision better realize cod fans are bound to wake up some day, and the sooner the better.

jonnybutler11
jonnybutler11

@the_requiem lol, good point @shadow580 don't get me wrong, doesn't matter if it's mindless or mediocre compared to other games out there, cod still is fun. I can have a good time playing a few hours of black ops at my friend's house, but I really, really hate activision. I can't bring myself to buy the same game once a year with a few tweaks here and there, so for the past few years, I haven't. I hate how they act like nobody hates them, and I hate how they make millions a year without any real effort from the devs (not hating on infinity ward or treyarch

max_1111
max_1111

@edinko HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH Oh man, thanks for linking that article... That's freakin' awesome..

shadow580
shadow580

@jonnybutler11 I think 5 years is plenty of time to squeeze every penny out of this franchise. I'm sure Activision would be happy to have such a long time to cash in from the money farm. What bothers me the most about Activisions strategy is how highly priced the games are, long after release. Not to mention their ridiculously overpriced DLC's. Let's not forget that it was Activision that raised the prices of PC games to 60$ when Modern Warfare 2 came out. I like playing the franchise, but damn I hate how expensive it is. No DLC bought as of yet.

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

@Gravity_Slave You right, people buy what they like. Lots of people will buy this because they like it. Some others that are not sure, could be persuaded to do so: you release it partially free and after while, the free portion is not enough for them and then they buy it (just like microtransactions). ALL (not only Activision, that's for Activision haters) publishers do that.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@bigcrusha: lmao :D "advanced economics" and than you throw out psychology like it was some big unstudied mystery. FYI genius, that's not advanced economics, that's called marketing. And where the heck are you even trying to go with the MMO thing? All those things you mentioned only proved my point, not yours. You can't make consumers use your product forcefully, otherwise every producer would be successful in the market................................................................................................................... lol You should really consider doing more research and study than the couple of google searches you did acting like you know something about the subject. Point is, people buy what they LIKE, not what they are told to like. So now its confirmed you have no idea of what economics OR marketing is. *golf clap*

the_requiem
the_requiem

@jonnybutler11: Well, the joke's on you. Well, not really you but the folks who WILL go ahead [may already have] buy into this. But am all for it. If CoD's popularity means all the dumasses stay out of other games' MP, it can only be a good thing, right?

RapidFirE53211
RapidFirE53211

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

gralvader
gralvader

This is ridiculous, other games provide this for free. I will not pay for something that only shows me my stats when other games like Halo have it for free.

jonnybutler11
jonnybutler11

This has to be a joke. Not even people who buy a broken, rehashed, mediocre, mindless FPS would go for for this kind of crap. 60 extra bucks so you can check your kdr when you aren't playing? I don't get how activision think they've hit the goldmine with this one. Don't kid yourself, cod will be *dead* in 5 years.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

So I pay for the big Elite thingy and I go online and everyone is already leveled-up to the max and glitching about. I get a popped in the head every 3 seconds and I switch off my console after one game feeling digitally and financially r@ped. No thanks.

PoKeZeMuNKyZ
PoKeZeMuNKyZ

Im only considering the hardened edition for the map packs...because I think if I get the standard then buy the map packs, it'll come up to around the same price anyway...but it's activision...so I'm worried that they'll still find a way to suck more money out of me after....*sigh*

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

Has Activision even given back to their fanbase yet?

Cmoney34
Cmoney34

if u dont have a job or u have alot of bills just get the 59.99 i mean u going to have about 10-16 maps but for the people want more stuff pay more quit crying like a baby people