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.

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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.
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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