Free Call of Duty: Elite benefits detailed

Activision offers explanation of what gamers can expect from free membership to upcoming online service; custom leaderboards, video uploads, and heat maps available; mum on what paid subscription will offer.

Earlier this week, Activision announced Call of Duty: Elite, a new online service from Beachhead that promises deep statistic tracking, access to downloadable content, social networking features, and a video series with "top Hollywood talent."

Activision isn't ready to share what a paid subscription to Elite will offer.

However, there was confusion surrounding what was to be offered free and what was contained in the premium subscription (believed to be around $8 a month). Today, Activision released an FAQ for Elite, which details the service at length.

When Call of Duty: Elite launches on November 8 alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, all gamers (at no cost) will have the ability to:

-Access Elite through the Web, as well as via free applications for Android and iOS devices like smartphones and tablets.
-Track and share with friends in-game statistics like kill/death ratio, score-per-minute, win percentage, and more, all shown in "easy to understand" charts and infographics.
-Create custom leaderboards.
-View heat maps indicating dangerous areas in levels where players die the most.
-Upload and share videos from the game's Theater mode.
-Customize a loadout, which includes choosing weapons, attachments, and perks, and transfer it to Modern Warfare 3 via Web or mobile.
-Join groups with common interests.
-Create clans.
-Track Call of Duty career progress, beginning with Call of Duty: Black Ops.
-Be placed into groups based on interests, as designated by Facebook profile listings.

Activision promises that the above list of free components is "just the beginning" and that it will "continue to evolve" in the future.

Activision is waiting to share the Modern Warfare 3-themed perks of Elite.

As for the paid Call of Duty: Elite subscription, Activision has not offered much in the way of details concerning it. However, the publisher did note that a paid subscription to Elite will "set a new gold standard for what the multiplayer and community experience for a console game can be."

Activision says that it will not divulge further details concerning the paid subscription offerings just yet because "the service was designed to be deeply integrated with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and will not be demonstrated until we are closer to the launch of that game." Finally, Activision promises that by the "end of summer" every feature of Elite--paid and free--will be shown.

Activision did firmly note that participation in either the free or paid components of Call of Duty: Elite is entirely optional and that the publisher is not going to charge gamers to play Modern Warfare 3 online beyond the $60 price to purchase the game.

Further, Activision allayed gamers' fears that Elite would sell competitive advantages, as the publisher confirmed that weapons and levels will not be for sale via Elite.

"While Call of Duty Elite wants to help people become better players, there's still only one way to level up to new weapons, XP, and prestige, and that's to earn it in game."

Gamers interested in trying out Call of Duty: Elite can sign up to beta test the service at the Elite page of Call of Duty's website. The beta will kick off this summer, and gamers who are accepted into the trial period can track their progress in Elite with Treyarch's most recent Call of Duty entry, Black Ops.

For more on the forthcoming application, check out GameSpot's hands-on time with Call of Duty: Elite.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

370 comments
ryzrocks
ryzrocks

wait...we have to pay to play online or is this elite thing just for extra maps?

viper007e
viper007e

@Raxman $8 a month includes the map packs for free as they are released from what i remember reading.

hamper17
hamper17

EVERYONE BOYCOTT THE PAID SERVICE! If people pay for it, it's only going to encourage this kind of behavior in the future. I'm sure MW4 will be charging us just to play online. Tell Activision to keep their greedy hands out of our pockets!

Raxyman
Raxyman

The game:$59,99 DLCs:$14,99 each Online pass:$8,00 month Knowing you're being ripped off and suffering from the capitalism is priceless.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

I think with all of these "paid " additions that companies are offering is just either a prelude to the cost of next gen games or a way to keep games at 60.00 but forcing us to fork out more money.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

Wow so this is like MW Facebook. Thats dumb. I wish facebook and facebook ideas would go away.

DemannameD
DemannameD

So for an xbox live user buying the game, playing online and using "elite" service for 12 months will cost about $206....... Are they NUTS? You know why I never bought a NeoGeo? Cause the games cost $150+.

Mortos13
Mortos13

Call of Duty: Modern WoWcraft 3

Smiley451
Smiley451

As for the statements being made about this game being "simple and accessible," yes, you guys are absolutely correct. Because it is recycled (from COD 1, back in 2003...) the game is not complex and easy to get a hold of. The thing is, since each new COD game is essentially a re-skin of the previous one, I don't think they should be full-priced games (with the exception of MW1). Call me crazy, but that's how I feel.

Smiley451
Smiley451

Oh, and I love everything Huntervaneg said. Props to you for being an intelligent person, man.

Smiley451
Smiley451

Knowing Activision, this service will be over-priced for the benefits it brings; they charge way too much for their map packs so I think this will be a similar deal. It just kind of bugs me that this company charges $60 dollars for a game, then $15 for a few new maps every now and then, and now this. Don't they get enough money as it is? MW1, MW2 and Black Ops sold extremely well and I for one think they shouldn't just pocket all that money for themselves, they should invest some of it back into the game for their customers. It's like, they make a great game, millions of people buy it and love it, they make tons of money, and their first reaction is, "Let's squeeze some more cash out of these people." If Activision and the Call of Duty franchise continues to treat their customers like cattle, a population to be exploited, then I can foresee a swift and speedy end to their success.

nyran125
nyran125

pay a monthly fee for call of duty? you kidding? Sorry activision i already have a monthly fee...its called the internet, i dont really want to increase my monthly internet fee by another $8. If we all start contributing to this rubbish we are all going to have to pay a monthly fee for every game released in the future adn that could potentially add up to $50 + per month or even more. What if i added Age of empired into the mix, world of warcraft , counter strike, battlefield. Gah... dont buy into this people, the gaming future is looking like a kinect/cross subscription monthly service future in 3D for all MP games if this rubbish ends up being successful.

darthtman
darthtman

@jedilink109 Are you mad a MMOs? Im just wondering?

Jonwh18
Jonwh18

I switched from xbox to ps3 cux i was tired of paying $60 a year to play all my games online and these morons think im gonna pay $96 for part of just one game? My god actvision milks everything they touch first G-hero now cod. Greedy pigs im done with all activison games from here on out. Ill just play battlefield forget this crap. This was not a smart decision activison

Blanka13
Blanka13

lol ps3-hack users-pull out a lot of hate

aSchizophrenic
aSchizophrenic

@ClaudiusCaesar I'm not going to pay for my online...I never even said I do that. I prefer BF more than cod. And, I play Playstation almost 99.9% of the time, I only play Xbox when I want an exclusive released by them. So I'm definitely no Xbot..good try though. Also, as much as Microsoft talks about Xbox in their conference, it still is a Microsoft conference, not an Xbox conference.

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

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

De_Lille_D
De_Lille_D

Either make it a completely free game with a subscription (like Runescape) or a game where you access all content after a one-time fee. If you ask both, you are just being greedy. I won't be buying this game, unless the added benefits don't add in-game advantage to subscribers. However, if they do that, almost on one will want to subscribe, so I doubt it.

sknight175216
sknight175216

This everybody's fault who plays this game online all the time. Now they're making a good business decision by capitalizing off of it. Personally I think running around shooting each other over and over and over (albeit with different weapons) should be free, but whatever.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

@darthtman Frickin chill dude. I read the article. I KNOW you don't have to pay to play online. But the fact that they're charging for an online service in the first place is what bugs me. Next time, calm down...

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

@aSchizophrenic Go for it XBot. You pay $60 to M$ and now you are going to pay to Activition. What a loser! LOL. By the way, what a difference call it Microsoft or XBox conference. It's much more a XBox press conference since they only talk about XBox. They don't talk about any other M$ products. Use your brain!

Reltec
Reltec

Unless the game is an MMO, you shouldn't have to pay for playing the game. If a monthly fee is going to be required or even if there are micro transactions, I will NOT be buying this game. I'll just have to pick up Battlefield instead.

aSchizophrenic
aSchizophrenic

@ClaudiusCaesar First off, there was no Xbox conference, there was a Microsoft conference. Second, I guarantee you the correlation with both companies wanting to charge for online has nothing to do with them demoing MW3 at Microsoft's conference. That was just an idiotic thing to say. Also, your grammar is atrocious.

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

"You got what you pay for". If works for XBox Live, should work for CoD. No wonder they present MW3 at XBox Conference.

Skirikidik
Skirikidik

That's lame. These are (or should) be things that are included with the game itself. 60 dollars plus 8 dollars a month? Psh. Considering Activision's going to release another Call of Duty next year, what's even the point in getting MW3? I hope the Call of Duty franchise itself fails. That would be ideal.

halosqrrl
halosqrrl

halo players get this for free :P

Hiroo4
Hiroo4

I will not buy this.

darthtman
darthtman

@slainta @grant1023 REALLY!!!! I JUST POSTED THIS CRAP!! YOU DONT HAVE TO PAY TO PLAY ONLINE!!!!! YOU ARE NOT FORCED TO PAY ANYTHING!!!! READ BEFORE YOU POST!!!! IS IT BECAUSE YOU SEE THE TITLE SAID MW3 SO YOU POST CRAP BEFORE YOU READ THE ARTICLE !!!!!!! READ BEFORE YOU POST!!!!!!

huntervaneg
huntervaneg

Last year, I began to play COD, in fact I bought MW, MW2 and Black Ops in the same year... The franchise is nice, but not so nice to get more bucks out of our pockects... The maps packs are a completely theft, this elite system goes beyond that, maybe the major crime will be the murder of the enthusiam of their loyal followers... And yup as many of you has said, what COD needs are major changes in its gameplay, deepness is required in what we play, not in the numbers and results produced by what we have played...

grant1023
grant1023

It sucks because xbox players already pay 60 dollars just to play online and now we have to pay more

king_loei
king_loei

@KrAzY_Croat - the first one was awesome. And that is exactly how I feel.

slainta
slainta

Thanks God I don't play that crap. A subscription to play FPS. I hope they will fail miserably. They already sell millions. WTF make Activision so greedy?

jlm2k5
jlm2k5

FYI at the end of the video "Modern Warfare 3" looks a whole lot like MW2....actually i think it is.

jlm2k5
jlm2k5

Mehhn this game is.... so messed up, dated graphics and animation like this and they are trying to get people to PAY FOR MULTIPLAYER PERKS..... SERIOUSLY!!!!! if this is not a sign that Activision is hell bent on running COD into the ground.....

KrAzY_Croat
KrAzY_Croat

Side note, unless I misread the post, how can they be free features if you have to pay $8 per month?

KrAzY_Croat
KrAzY_Croat

@mattman127 Not everyone fits under this niche; people like myself in particular are becoming restless and bored towards the series due to the lack of innovation and shear volumes of Call of Duty games that are released adhering to that formula. As someone who has played every major Call of Duty title (With the exception of the first one), I can easily state there have been very little changes to the series. This is something that is always considered unacceptable in almost every other franchise, and it should apply here as well. And to the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"; this is ultimately incorrect, as there are always ways to improve upon features of a game. Call of Duty is in desperate need of dedicated servers at times, and at this point should utilize a newer engine to properly compete with games in 2011/2012. Call of Duty is a formula that many people enjoy, and that's just fine. But don't blame people for wanting to see more variety in a franchise they've come to love. As for me, I'll listen to my own advice as I eagerly await Battlefield 3.

kwanzudood
kwanzudood

So they're spending time on making deeper stat tracking instead of adding things like maybe...destructible environments? Bigger multiplayer arenas with more players per game? Better animations?

darthtman
darthtman

@jedilink109 REALLY!!! Did you fail to read the article to??? Lol YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY TO PLAY CALL OF DUTY ONLINE!!! First off the title of the article is FREE BENEFITS!!! Second it is already confirmed you do not have to pay a subscription to play online!! SO BAM!!! And lastly PLEASE READ THE FRICKING ARTICLE BEFORE YOU POST YOUR DUMB COMMENTS PEOPLE!!! THIS IS LIKE THE 25th GUY I HAVE BUSTED THIS WEEK ALONE!!! People are just skimming the article and then writing things that contradict the article! Thanks people! READ BEFORE YOU POST!!! :) :) :)

Chaceace100
Chaceace100

@kvan33 You'll be surprised, my brother only buys one game a year, which is Cod, (which is absolutely ridiculous and I tell him that but who am I?) so my mom probably won't care to pay the monthly subscription fee to something she really doesn't know about. Which is sad yeah but I'm heading to college soon so I won't have to care about it directly. He is breaking the habit and buying skyrim though, so he's not entirely brainwashed..

Granpire
Granpire

All I have to say is that it's time for a new game engine. And a new direction for the series. This is one reason why I believe Battlefield 3 is going to change the playing field a little bit.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

I SEVERELY hope that Call Of Duty fails soon, just so Activision can eat their words and their stupid plans. Not saying I hate COD as I've enjoyed plenty of the games, but this is getting absurd...PAYING for multiplayer service for a game? SCREW THAT.

darthtman
darthtman

@bcoolrob THEY HAVENT EVEN TOLD US WHAT YOU GET FOR PAYING!!!!! SO DONT POST UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT!!!! :)

bcoolrob
bcoolrob

Call of Duty Elite cost $8.00 dollers a month is it worth it? I DON"T THINK SO.

darthtman
darthtman

@mattman127 WE NEED MORE GAMERS LIKE YOU MAN!! GO AGAINST THE FRICKIN FLOW OF LOSERS!!! Love your post! Keep up the GREAT posting!

another_drew
another_drew

@txtbin Oh I completely agree. I've already informed my overly excited wife that I may not be getting this game strictly on principal. I mean they pretty much have to make me Or6@$m based solely on previews.

mattman127
mattman127

@TheTHCGamer so if it isn't worth it, don't buy it. Woah.. did you feel that? That was the feeling of common sense showering over you.

TxtBin
TxtBin

@another_drew You and I both have the intellect to edit videos... but the standard gamer doesn't. They're not gonna go through the process of purchasing recording equipment nor professional editing software so the obvious choice for them is gonna be via COD Elite. They might fix the horrible issues the current BO rendering system faces, but there could be improvements. I'm still not gonna buy this game unless there is cold hard evidence that they have done something different and worth the money.

TheTHCGamer
TheTHCGamer

@mattman127 How do you know for a fact that itll be worth paying 8 dollars a month for even COD fans? You dont know that 8 dollars a month is a lot of money for even a fanboy service and game that does feature online servers. I dont care how good the feature is 8 dollars a month when people are paying 60 dollars on average a year for LIVE is a joke. The only way this would be worth it if it had MMO like properties like constantly updating the gameplay making the game feel fresh however we know that wont happen if activision isnt even using servers to improve how COD plays online. COD is the madden NFL of FPS almost the same game every year with different skins.

thuban
thuban

so far.. they havent at all mentioned anything that you need to actually pay for?... if that is all included for free... what else is worth paying for?.. its either gonna be a hell of an upgrade for the subscription (if it was that good of a thing, u'd think theyd mention it by now), or they will "limit" what is "free" to almost force gamers to upgrade in order to actually enjoy playing it.... quite concerned - a few words comming to mind.

mattman127
mattman127

I just think it's funny how all of you get so worked up about nothing. Everything that has been mentioned is free. More things will be free. If Bobby wants us to pay for something that's $8 a month, it'll be worth it for people who like Call of Duty, maybe not for you. So don't buy it. It's sad, most people these days hate Call of Duty because the person next to them does. I think it's simple, accessible formula is perfect for first timers and the hardcore audience, but that's just me I guess. There are many other games coming out this year to be excited for, so why rant and get butthurt over Activision when you could have you could think about Skyrim, Operation Raccoon City, Battlefield 3, Bioshock Infinite, Duke Nukem Forever, The Metal Gear Solid HD collection (along with Zone of the Enders and Silent Hill) and so much more.