Call of Duty Elite to enlist 2 million - Analyst

Wedbush's Michael Pachter gives new Call of Duty subscription service a thumbs-up, expects Activision to eventually introduce an auction house, EA to charge for Battlefield's Battlelog.

The term "Elite" suggests the best of the best, an exclusive level of excellence reserved for a select few. If one analyst's prediction holds true, the members of Activision's Call of Duty Elite subscription service will be anything but exclusive.

Expect multiplayer matches to boil down to Call of Duty Elitists vs. Call of Duty Proletariats.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter today released a note to investors giving a glowing appraisal of Activision's service, saying it represents a "great value" for gamers and a chance to pad out the books with high profit margin revenue for the publisher. Launching alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on November 8, Call of Duty Elite gives players access to all of the game's downloadable content and access to competitions, premium video content, and more in exchange for a $50 annual membership fee.

Pachter expects the offering to be popular with players, suggesting that "at least 1 million" will sign up for Call of Duty Elite by the end of 2011. The analyst has mapped out a bright future for Elite, projecting the service's full first year to attract 2 million subscribers, growing to 3 million by the end of 2012 and 5 million at the conclusion of 2013.

While Pachter doesn't expect Activision to raise prices on Elite for its first two years, he suggested that the publisher may want to ratchet up the annual fee once it gains traction with the audience. That's not the only change Pachter expects Activision to make a little further down the road.

"Longer-term, we expect Activision to generate additional incremental Call of Duty revenue as the service grows in popularity, and we expect the creation of an online store similar to Diablo III's auction house," Pachter said. "We believe that the online store will allow Call of Duty Elite gamers to buy and sell different items, with Activision potentially receiving a flat listing fee, a flat sale fee, and a percentage of any balance that is cashed out using a third-party payment provider."

If Call of Duty Elite takes off like Pachter projects, the analyst expects the competition to mimic the service. Pachter said Elite's main competition will be Battlefield 3's Battlelog service, which includes many of the statistics and social tools of the free version of the Elite service. However, Pachter said EA is likely to include its own downloadable map packs into the Battlelog service, giving it a reason to charge a similar $50 fee for a premium membership.

For more on Call of Duty Elite, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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211 comments
beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

you cant blame activision, they are a company and they need MONEY heck just imagine the investment they had to do on this project. just buy it or dont buy it. but i'll pick zelda skyward sword over to this anytime!

chrs_vedder
chrs_vedder

for the dlc that you get alone makes up for the deal. and im telling you people get the hardened edition. yeah 100 bucks for a game is a punch in the gut, you are basically saving 5-10 bucks (depending on tax) because it comes with a year of elite. does it suck that mw3 is likely mw2.1? yeah, but we leave in a free market society where companies can simply pull these type of things off as long as the consumer is willing to pay for it. so dont be mad, just dont get it, its the best and only way to really "get back at the man"

1q3er5
1q3er5

Good to see you console gamers getting angry now...what took you so long. You guys are paying 60 bux a year just to play on xboxlive. This stuff was ALL free on the PC since....FOREVER. Now these great console ideas are making their way to PC multiplats too.

junyeyu
junyeyu

It's my understanding that Activision and IRS have an employee-exchange program to improve themselves in their daily act of robbery. But seriously, 2 millions for this elite service? that's 2 millions of guaranteed sales, so that's 2 * 60 = 120 millions in the pocket. How much did they invest on developing the game and this service?

dstv
dstv

@Psythce oh and paying the $50/year only gives you ACCESS to all the DLC, you dont own it and therefore once you stop paing for elite you will LOSE ACCESS to all the DLC....Basically this is just the biggest scam in videogame history

drswank
drswank

Because everyone has extra money to throw around to pay for this. We're already paying $60, people.

zee_90
zee_90

@Chemical-mix-- Capitalism only works if people want or need a product. If a gaming company goes to far, they will not have sales. No sales equals no profit. They would change there game plan and make something people want. So they can become... wait for it... profitable

zee_90
zee_90

@Philly1UPer.-- I understand that they are making profit and I don't care. It is not ripping someone off if they understand it is not a good deal. They are supplying a product people like at a premium!

zee_90
zee_90

I play COD because it is pick up and play. I don't have time to play a game with a high learning curve and long battles. So what it doesn't have depth! It is fun to pick and play for half an hour...

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@nyran125 Search and Destroy...OH! You mean that game mode CoD has that they pretty much stole from Counter Strike? Yeah, I remember playing that like, 10 years ago on de_dust. It was awesome, because once you got killed, you were dead for the whole round until your team ether blew up the objective or all the Terrorist were dead.

esqueejy
esqueejy

Nothing better than a brand new overly short single-player campaign lacking a coherent, cohesive or innovqative storyline which has been tacked onto a repetetive level-grinding affair sporting almost no graphical or mechanical improvements over the last version. But oh, wait, so exciting, it's new and improved with online subscription fees and a real-money auction house complete with in-game protection-money taxes by the development company!!!!11!!! What a joke.

bandarman
bandarman

@Psythce well said man... well said! ROFL..

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

If only they would spend their brains in improving the quality of video games instead of the price, we'd have games years ahead of their times !!!

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Psythce ROFL!!!!.... Savings..... looooool DUDE! Seriously! you have a future in comedy man! Tell me when you get your first gig bro!

original_elite
original_elite

lol. how do these guys come up with these ideas. they seem to always find new ideas to rob people. why can't they ever use their greedy brains to come up with ideas to improve games like MW3

piemoul
piemoul

at least its still a FPS

pamplinas322
pamplinas322

So in the future games will cost hundreds of dollar..

TheGreyArea
TheGreyArea

wow. they really are going to try and crank as MUCH revenue out of this one as they possibly can aren't they. I personally think the only way to truly conquer the competition, would be extend "good will" content, such as the likes of the next Red Dead expansion... milking your audience / customers for every penny is arguably "ok" (ish) as long as you are able to deliver one hell of a product. But REWARDING your customers for their loyalty alone, doesn't seem to be much of a trend at the moment. which is a pity. VERY dubious about the "Elite" subscription. I'm not sure I can swallow it.

wars45
wars45

no way am payin for it just noway but for new maps i will go half with mates

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

Introducing MW3! This Game Includes... SAME CONTENT AS MW2! NEW BOX ART!! HIGHER PRICE!! SOME WEIRD GAME STAT THING FOR NO REASON U HAVE TO PAY FOR!! MADE BY A NEW DEV WHICH NO ONE KNOWS! AND OTHER THINGS WE DONT WANT TO TELL YOU!

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

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

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

@Psythce YOU DONT KNOW HOW MCH IM CRACKIN' UP RIGHT NOW!!!

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

@Psythce LOL!!! SAVINGS??? WAT THE CRAP YOU SPEND MONEY TO LOOK AT STATS??? HOLY CRAP iM LAUGHING!!!!

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

@nyran125 stop talking crap, admit it that this so called "Infinity Ward" is no longer the original. COD has fallen, too many devs wanna continue it. Just because the title says "Call of Duty" doesnt mean its gonna be great. Lol they needed Sledgehammer games to help em. I havent even heard who they are or wat they have made but Elite is gonna be crap. seriously all it shows is stats, messages and watever. Would you rather be PLAYING more or LOOKING at crap you pay for yearly. To all BF3 Boyzz out there, this is my message and belief... DICE has Risen. Infinity Ward Has Fallen.

dstv
dstv

@nyran125 Firstly, the BF3 "sub service" is FREE......secondly, your entire comment makes NO SENSE .....and finally, if you are willing to pay for cod elite (i'm assuming that's what your comment meant) then I feel for you ....but then again it's your money, spend it however you please

nyran125
nyran125

yep its all over for you BF3 fanboys too....sorry to say. There will be a sub service in the future for BF3 too...how do you like your precious DICE now? One thing i might add though, if you seriously ARE going to pay for ELITE, lol. Then you should take the game SERIOUSLY, because you might as well go for the competitions and try and get your moneys worth. Search And Destroy being the most serious mode in ANY MP FPS game, a part from CS. Because once your dead YOU RDEAD forever, its what makes Search and Destroy and counter strike, the most hardcore mode of both games. Out of BF3 and MW3 search and destroy IS the most realistic mode. It doesnt get more intense than once your dead your DEAD for the whole round. Battlefield is yet to implement something like this. Even a once all flags are taken the round is over Mode or something would be more intense than running around like call of duty's team deathmatch over a large map in Battlefield. Battlefield is pretty much Team Deathmatch over a large map with Vehicles and that needs to change in a mode or something for me to take Battlefield seriously.

dstv
dstv

@Psythce ....I started reading your comment from bottom to top and fell off my chair laughing at "savings".

beuneus12
beuneus12

psythce, your one of those people who "save" when they buy i guess

Psythce
Psythce

Beuneus Get over it yo. For $100 you get Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty Elite for a year, that comes with all the DLC for that whole year and the option to participate in Tournaments and MLG gaming events through Elite with the purchase, so technically your spending $50 for MW3 and $50 for DLC that will more than likely cost much more than the priced $50, so if you dont like it, go play something else, Im gonna enjoy my savings.

beuneus12
beuneus12

can you people stop buying this Sh*T? It's just another way for the gaming developers to see how much millkage they can get away with. I know you all need your annual COD 'fix' but FFS grow a brain and don't buy into this bull

mickyfinn84
mickyfinn84

Just don't buy it, It's as simple as that. You don't need to have elite to play the game. Also if this crap is a success for Activision, then EA are sure to do something similar with the next BF, they are already doing it with EA sports games.

kmconstable
kmconstable

The real problem with Elite is that no matter what they offer it is really only for one gaming franchise! I could pay 50 a year for XBL/Windows Live and get way more out of it. What Activision needs is some real competition in the market to bring down prices. It's just too much for one game.

dstv
dstv

The only thing that changed from MW2 to MW3 is the boxart

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

This is disgusting, and if 2 mill really do pay for this, humanity is more naive than we give credit for. Oh and if you think you can dodge this service by buying MW3 but avoiding elite, think again. The combined total of all the map packs released throughout the year will probably be alot higher than 50$. This way, they can propagate that illusive "value" notion even further.

botroo3
botroo3

OMG a real money auction house in a freaking shooting game!!!! how would that even work?spend real money for better guns to gank people who refuse to buy that crap? i swear every time Activision opens their mouth the more i hate them.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@Law260 Well, lets, lets look at the bigger picture. You already pay a monthly bill just to have internet access, You have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to play your multiplayer games on Xbox Live, and now you are going to pay a monthly and yearly fee to get the 'Elite" Service for CoD. Right off the bat, you are giving TWO different companies money (Microsoft and Activision) just to play ONE game online to get features and contest for said game, even though the Marketplace on Xbox Live already does contest and such for said game. So, You are completely fine with giving Microsoft 60$ yearly to be able to play your games online, along with giving Activision another 50 dollars yearly to play ONE game online that you already paid Microsoft for Xbox Live to have access to online gaming in the first place, just so you can compete in tournaments and and download DLC and such, even though thats what everyone already paid microsoft for in the first place when signing up for Xbox Live?

Chemical-mix
Chemical-mix

tool6669- I completely agree with you. I think this is a dangerous turn for gamers to have to put up with, and i can see it effectively leading to eventually paying £30-$40 for a basic game, and another £30-£40 per year for the content. But unfortunately, this is nothing more than a symptom of the flawed profit-based market capitalist system. It was really only a matter of time. It seems like that dark day may have finally come...

tool6669
tool6669

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

tool6669
tool6669

What all the CoD fanboys really fail to see the actual problem here. It isn't about bashing the game, it's is about the standard that Activision is setting for the future of gaming. When DLC first started coming out on XBL, people said no big deal, it won't get worse. When games started releasing full levels already on the disc, people said it won't get worse. Now, you are being charged upfront for stuff that should mostly be included at launch, but paying essentially double for. Plus, I am sure there will be more DLC that you need to buy in the future. This is setting an extremely disturbing precedence and will continue to get worse until you stop and do something about (i.e., not buy this game). Don't screw all gamers just to prove a point.

runenakken
runenakken

I'm going all in with Call of Duty Elite because of one thing which is to save bucks on the DLCs. If you, as I, buy all map packs then you save money which is very nice.

Law260
Law260

@ Philly1UPer If one willingly purchases Elite, knowing exactly what is being offered with a $50 a year subscription, how is said person being robbed? On top of that, you said that by paying $60 a year for Xbox Live people are also getting robbed. According to your calculations, each person that decides to subscribe to Xbox Live and CoD Elite will be robbed of $100 annually. People are just attacking Activision because MW3 and CoD Elite is hot right now. How about all the other games that retail for $59.99 but are price dropped several months later? I guess anyone who buys a game at retail price is being robbed. For the amount of enjoyment and replay value I find in CoD: MW, WaW, MW2, and Black Ops I believe MW3 will bring the same. I look back on all the DLC purchases and time I spent in each game and have no problem paying for Elite.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@Law260 The only time I've seen a CoD game make it to the bargin bin for less then 20$ at a Gamestop is when they release a new CoD game. This service is meant to rip people off, mainly the 360 owners. Plain and simple. You will literally be dropping 100$ yearly just to play on game to its full extent. and even if people don't go Elite, They are still going to charge 15 bucks for map packs and still rip people off. This Elite Service is beyond pointless, because half of everything you can do in the Elite Service, is already being done on Xbox Live (Last Time I checked, Live is always promoting tournaments and contest where you can win real life prizes and they have had many CoD Tournaments) Stat Keeping is not as new as Activision is making it, seeing how its been around for damn near close to a decade now. Honestly I'm not buying ether CoD or BF3, I am atcually waiting it out for the New CS so I can see for myself, which out of the three would be actually worth my money (and right off the bat, its going to be a toss up between BF3 and CS.)

SkamArtist
SkamArtist

My how Activision has changed from it's Atari 2600 Pitfall days. Look, I hate Activision for how they operate from a consumer standpoint, but they are creating the perfect business model. They are making their bottom line (and then some). Hell yeah it's greedy, all big business is greedy. But from a big business standpoint it's smart. And for all of you guys talking about EA vs Activision; Do you really think either company really cares? Think about it, if BF3 sells make $800 mil in five days and MW3 sells make $700 mil in five days then who really looses...NOBODY. Both companies win. EA and Activision are playing this against us. There are probably people who will buy BF3 not because they really want the game, but more because they don't like Activision. Believe me, these people are out there. The bottom line is buy what YOU will enjoy. On a side note...I'm looking forward to Dust 514,

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

So 2 Million people will be spending 60 dollars on Xbox Live Yearly and 50 Dollars Yearly for CoD Elite therefore being robbed of 100 dollars on a yearly basis? That's cool, thankfully I'm smarter than that.

Darth_Nater307
Darth_Nater307

2 billion people are about to get robbed of 50$. You know what I'm gonna be getting for 50$?: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

@CASwim1111: I agree with that. Unless the next (most likely Treyarch developed) Call of Duty has a special edition that features a premium Elite membership, I expect a huge drop-off in subscriptions after the first year.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

I would love to play CoD from time to time... if only the ps3 servers were still playable!

Law260
Law260

You babies act like its the end of the world because Activision is charging for Elite Service. Everyone who posts enjoyed playing CoD at some time or another. If you don't want to pay for an optional service. Don't. But the value is there.... by subscribing to Elite for $50 bucks a year, you avoid having to run out or go to the marketplace to recharge MS points. There is convenience and you don't have buy a card or enter your cc number. No longer would you have to worry about "leftover points". Call of Duty has actually saved me money because of its replay value. Its enough to keep anyone occupied until other games make it to the bargain bin.

yahoo1979
yahoo1979

I will never buy it.. This is the another way to rip people's hard earned money. greedy will kill us all and it is now.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

Call Of Duty Amateur, Rookies, Medium and Mediocre will be released after "Elite"..