Activision has remained silent about the details surrounding its premium Call of Duty service. Before today, the only details we knew about what is now called Call of Duty Elite was that it would be included in Modern Warfare 3, and would be an optional service. The in-game content is created by a studio named Beachhead, a studio that seemed to be created specifically for this purpose.
A Wall Street Journal report revealed that Call of Duty Elite will be a monthly subscription service. Although no price has been set for the subscription, Activision will keep it below the amount companies such as Netflix and Hulu charge for their services.
Call of Duty Elite will be comprised of free and paid content. The paid content will come in the form of new maps and other unspecified content. The free features will add an additional social element to MW3.
CoD Elite will have a built-in social network of sorts that will let players meet each other before jumping into matches. This feature is meant to link like-minded players together. Another free feature is an advanced stat tracker that examines your proficiency with certain weapons.
The regular multiplayer components of MW3 will continue to be free outside of the regular Xbox Live subscription fee.
Update: This story has caused a stir on Twitter. Apparently the details on Call of Duty Elite is embargoed until tomorrow morning. The WSJ report was either the result of an Activision-granted exclusive story, or a classic embargo break. Those who signed non-disclosure agreements are calling out the WSJ article for misinformation. Therefore, take these details with a little bit of salt until the morning. We’ll have more solid details then.
Update #2: Infinity Ward’s creative strategist Robert Bowling offered some clarification on CoD Elite on Twitter. The service will be free to everyone, but some aspects will cost money. The core multiplayer experience will continue to be free. Those who pay for the add-ons will not have a strategic advantage over non-players.