'Call Of Duty Elite' Is A Paid Online Subscription Service

We were already aware of Activision's 'Beachhead Studio', and the knowledge it was working on some kind of online social network style platform for the Call of Duty franchise. Now, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, Activision is primed to release Call of Duty Elite - a paid online subscription service designed to give users more information on the games they play online and new "Facebook" inspired features.

At the moment Activision hasn't decided how much to charge for the service, but the Wall Street Journal estimates that it will be around the US$8 mark per month.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Activision is a little "coy" about the features included in the service - but for $8 a month, considering the great job Bungie do on their site for free, it has better be pretty extensive.

But we think it probably will be. Activision has spoken extensively on its intentions to extend the Call of Duty franchise into the social networking sphere, so we imagine most of the features will work around connecting Call of Duty players in different, hopefully unique ways.

According to the Wall Street Journal piece, Activision chief Bobby Kotick isn't worried about pushback from gamers because they still have the option to play for free. Wishful thinking we would have thought, considering that there is a vocal minority out there becoming increasingly frustrated with Activision and their treatment of the Call of Duty franchise specifically.

What do you think? Are you willing to pay an extra fee? That'll be $119.95RRP for the game, $89.95 per year for Xbox LIVE, and possibly $9.95 per month for Aussie users?

You'd have to be a pretty big Call of Duty fan to stomach all those fees in our humble opinion - but time will tell.

'Call of Duty' Sets Sights on a Fee [WSJ]


Comments

    I still plan to buy MW3 because I want to know how the story ends and secondly, MW2's multiplayer is still superior to Black Ops, even with people noobtubing and quickscoping.

    However, I will not pay an additional subscription (considering I'd be paying twice - for myself and my wife).

    Also, if the subscription gives game-unbalancing advantages to subscribers that makes the game less enjoyable for non-subscribers, I will simply return it once I've beaten the story and to hell with the multiplayer.

    A very disappointing move by Activision - and I didn't think they were capable of being any more disappointing... so there's that, at least.

    They have failed so hard, they exceeded my expectations.

      Wait...you think this will be the last game in the 'Modern Warfare' SP story? :P But there are more numbers after 3, Modern Warfare 4 has a nice ring to it.

      I'm not big on multiplayer as it is and definately won't be paying for this.

        if you want to know how the story ends you could read the big kotaku leak story and save yourself $100

    As you say, Serrels, after everything Bungie's done for free with Halo 3/ODST/Reach on their site, I'd imagine this CoD dealie would have to be mighty impressive to warrant an US$8/month fee - that's more expensive than the XBL Gold subscription fee!

      I second this. B.net is amazing, the wealth of career stats, game tracking, fileshare and rendered videos is how it should be done. Activision have a high bar to vault over.

        There is a paid service on bungie.net if you want more storage space for uploaded videos.....

        Maybe Activision will be doing a similar thing. Part of the features is the community stuff and the other part is paying for file storage.

        Whatever the case, there would have to be some very freaking cool features to get a paid subscription out of me every month.

    Pass, thanks. Hello Battlefield 3. Good news for DICE, I feel.

    It has better be pretty! ;p

    Its called Steam and its free.

      Steam doesn't do video replays and connect into social networking, which is what I gather they're intending to do here.

        Yet... They have already started offering the functionality of In-Game screenshots regardless of game as long as the Steam Overlay is running.
        and the functionality of Instant video capture in TF2.

        How long until they add an instant video capture through the steam overlay?
        When they figure that one you will have steam. which is free. Which does Screenies and vids, plus gives you a place to store them (a limited storage space which they already have implemented).

        As for the connection to social networking that is something that will not take too long for steam to attach to. The social networking APIs (at least the big ones) is so simple that nearly anything can add Facebook/Twitter/Digg/etc... connections to their anything.

        no but MW2 and Bo did from memory.(or maybe it was just BO) but they said months ago this thing would only charge for new features

        Not yet anyway. Valve plans to add a screen recording feature to the in-game overlay and you can already link youtube video's to your steam account.

    So they take what Bungie did with Halo and Bungie.net and charge people for it? HAHAHAHAHA.

    All righty then.

    They are going to charge for a subscription to a website?? I'm genuinely confused. I've been saying for months that CoD multiplayer should shift to a subscription service, but this isn't exactly what I had in mind.

      Out of interest, what did you have in mind that would justify the sub for you?

        I believe the idea was to make it into a subscription service instead of releasing a new game every year? So you just pay the subscription and get updates and don't have to buy the games.

          Yeah that's basically what I was saying before. For one, I think releasing a new game each year segments their potential multiplayer base, along with all the map packs and things, so from a business perspective, it seems like it'd work better. From a consumer perspective I feel like it would satisfy the different players better as well, those that want single-player don't pay for the updates to the multiplayer and vice versa.

          It just seems like those people who play CoD multiplayer are basically engaged with it like players of an MMO, ie. they play regularly and long-term, with clans, they like the updated content/maps etc but aren't being serviced the same way an MMO with subscriptions would be.

    Wait... $8 a month and subs aren't even including a game? Yikes. There better be more details to this activision because that is nucking futs.

    hahaha.

    As if I'd ever pay for this sort of thing. To me multiplayer is always going to be a small side to a singleplayer game.

    I have no interest what-so-ever in subscription based content, specific for one game.

    I hate this. Pretty much everything about it.

    I don't want my games and my social networking sites linking up, I can find my friends online perfectly fine through my friend's list and don't want facebook to be spammed with messages everytime someone gets an achievement. However this is somethins some people may still want.

    I already have a social networking site, it's facebook. I resisted for a while, but in the end I had to get one to keep up to date with events. I don't want another one. In this day and age aren't we trying to pull back on the amount of accounts we have on different websites and services.

    If I do want an expanded social system for my gaming, I don't want to pay for it. At all. Most if not all social networking sites are free, unless they start releasing map packs, or demos only to their users, or to their users early. In which case they aren't so much giving the users of this system something extra, they are depriving anyone that doesn't use it from something they have always gotten.

    I will wait and see, but I don't like the look of this

    $119RRP is just ridiculous, surely there's some consumer watchdog to prevent publishers from setting such high margins for retail...

      You do realise you're not obliged to buy the game, right?

      If you don't like the price, don't pay it. Refuse to buy the game and let market forces do the rest.

      The watchdog is you and grip you maintain on your wallet. If literally no one paid for it then it would go away and be considered a failed experiment.

      My real question is how much is being left out of the game to make this service essential.

        i didn't buy world at war, didn't buy black ops and won't be buying this one. if i want to complain about activision slapping on a $10 premium on top of already high retail prices because they know they'll squeeze out a few more dollars, i damn well will. disgusting business practise.

          Or just get it from JB for $89 like every previous COD

    Congrats Activision, prove that you've lost the plot.

    Unfortunately, suckers will buy it like there's no tomorrow.

    I pity those getting MW3 on 360, they've already got to pay to play it online.

    Also, it'll probably be $15 a month for Australians.

      Yeah, but the thing of it is... we are playing it online.

      Pity us not, for we know what we're getting into... and our controllers have proper triggers.
      :P

        Shame all FPS suck on any console.

          I wouldn't know... I stopped playing games on my computer.

          It happened right after I ugraded my pc... for the fifteenth time, that was right before summer of patches... which came before the winter of driver updates, but after the autumn of software updates.

            You must miss staying current! How is DX9 these days?

              Running everything I need it to.

              Did they ever get around to optimising Crysis2 for DX11?

                No idea, never played it after the leak because it sucked. All Crytek games were ever good for was graphics, and now they don't deliver there either.

                  Let me guess: Batchelor by name, bachelor by nature.

        Lol. Just quietly, how is paying to play online?
        Let me know what its like, because til then, I'll be playing for free on steam servers. With free updates and map packs and DLC.

        You seem the type that enjoys being squeezed of all your gaming funds. Does Microsoft hit you? Its ok to tell the truth. Be strong.

          It's like paying for your car registration.
          You pay it once a year, and you don't bother yourself about it again.

    LOL info on games? social networking? Welcome to the internet where its all free anyway.

    They can do what they want, theyre just wasting their money on developing pointless stuff

    So now you pay even more for the priviledge of having your sexuality brought into question by a 13 year old?

    I'd say it'll be like the Rockstar Network and the Bioware one... it'll track you across multiple games and platforms.

    Let's say I own MW3 for xbox and Batguy has it for PS3 if we both have the 'Elite' then we'll be able to check on each others progress.

    There'll be file sharing, stat tracking, outfits, emblems, clan-tags... all the usual stuff.

    I don't see how it will hook the mass CoD market though. I don't think 14 year olds are going to pay a monthly subscription, and I don't see it adding value to their PWNING NOOBZ mindset... maybe uplaoding videos to youtube to show off their 733t skilz?

    wow.... activision can go to hell. Seriously, what a joke!

    Bungie.net is amazing, and totally free.

    This is a Joke, First MMO's want us to pay per month, now COD wants a charge to look at STATS! Come on, what happend t the days of paying RRP for a game and getting support for that purchase, a la TF2. They seem to be taking advantage of their fanbase and milking everything they can. You can keep that shit, I say.

      Funny you use TF2 in your example there... care to explain how Hats aren't taking advantage of the fanbase?

        I agree, the hats are a bit of a joke, but you can unlock them in general gameplay, you dont HAVE to buy them, bt a good point. My main example from TF2 is the numerous updates that came for FREE years after release. Compare the free stock material from 360 to PC, and you will realise how much they have added since launch, for free.

      I understand your concern, but using MMO's as an example is misguided. MMO's are ever evolving and adding new content, dungeons etc to extend playtime. The subscription fees are generally pretty fair for what you get in return (generally a never ending game).

      I would be happy with a supbscription based FPS, as long as I could subscribe on a monthly basis, pay a reasonable price for the initial game (eg $20-$30), and know that the game will continue to be supported for a few years to come, not just 12 months.

      I wish CoD was like TF2, built on an engine like Source so It could be constantly improved year to year. They could change the timeline of events, skins, maps etc every 12months so it's like a new version every year, but you just pay the on going monthly fee. And if they really want, they can have things like hats in TF2 to get more cash, because at the end of the day, you decide whether or not to buy those cosmetic add-ons. And another idea would be to release a campaign mode separate to the MP and sell that each year, but at a reasonable price, seeing as MP would not be included. Then to coincide with those releases, the MP updates with maps, skins, timeline change etc can be released.

    EA and DICE enjoy your spoils :)

    Please don't subscribe lads.

    Please don't let this be standard.

    What interests me is...

    If they make the Map-Packs and DLC go to their 'Elite' subscribers first... how is that going to impact on their console specific agreements?

    I can see DICE taking a total piss at this by making something very similar for bf3 and it will be free with every new game brought with the code you get.

    Call of Duty R.I.P

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Wow. And activision wonders why they are called greedy by the rest of the internet. It will be interesting how many people sign up for this. Chances are there will be an in-game benefit for paying this.

    JOKE!

    BAAAAAAAAATTLEFIEELD!
    ...
    BAAAAAAAAATTLEFIEELD!
    ...
    BAAAAAAAAATTLEFIEELD!

    - Bobby Kotick; dreaming.

    I'd pay a monthly subscription, as long as I didn't have an initial outlay for the game. (yes I know thats not what their talking about)

    Say download it, then whatever a month for access.

    2011 is most likely the year when the gaming industry will find out if we, the gaming community, are willing to pay for more than the game itself. I'm pretty sure that EA, Microsoft, Rockstar Games and other publishers are carefully monitoring how CoD Elite is received.

    If Activision manage to make a success of CoD Elite, it's not unrealistic to think that others will follow. Don't you agree? The Freemium / Premium model has proven to be profitable in other industries ...

    Apparently only certain features are paid for... Looks like stats etc will be free while content and some other stuff like groups may be paid content.

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