If you signed up for the 'Call of Duty Elite Premium' service on the launch day of Modern Warfare 3 last year - thus making you an 'early adopter' - you can look forward to an extra three-and-a-bit months of service. This is Activision's way of apologising for the outages that affected Elite at launch. As Joystiq report, when that extra time is up - on March 1st 2013 - Modern Warfare 3's Elite service is going to go completely free. Upon that date, your Premium service will continue as normal (with all the same features), but you won't have to pay another penny.
Call of Duty Elite
Activision announced today that the Call of Duty Elite service will be free for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 players when the game launches on November 13. Formerly a premium subscription service for players of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the service will be integrated into Black Ops 2 and allow all players to enjoy features like stat tracking, clan support, Zombies tracking, and social sharing.
The folks at Battlefieldo have dug up details on a possible Call of Duty Elite style service for Battlefield 3. According to an unofficial but "very reliable source" it'll be called "Battlefield Premium," and will offer players hooked up to the service a series of "unique in-game items not available anywhere else."
A few such items are mentioned, including a "one-of-a-kind Premium knife and black dog tag." New soldier camo patterns, weapon camos and "personalization options." The reveal is apparently set for June 4, on the eve of E3.
A calendar on the Call of Duty site outlines the release schedule for all of the Modern Warfare 3 DLC that will be released this year. As well as the two maps they've already teased, ten more multiplayer arenas, six more missions and two new modes are listed. That makes up the 20 chunks of DLC Activision promised a week or so ago.
The schedule is aimed at those signed up to Call of Duty Elite, though the extra missions, maps and modes will make their way to the PC eventually. Black Ops DLC took about four weeks to cross the desert that separates Xbox Live land and PC gamer world. Check out these Modern Warfare 3 screenshots for an early look at the first two maps, Piazza and Central Park.
Here are nine new screenshots from the first two DLC maps for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The maps will arrive first for Xbox 360 Elite subscribers, but will likely come to our machines about a month later. The sunny, continental map, Piazza is a tight, winding map set in Italy. As with every Call of Duty map "attacks from behind, above and below are an ever-constant threat," but there will be a strong close combat focus, with plenty of flanking routes.
The other map will be called Liberation, and is set in a militarised Central Park, full of long sight lines perfect for snipers. If there's one thing everybody loves most about Call of Duty, it's snipers. "Always be aware of nearby sightlines to avoid becoming fodder for the enemy," reads the fact sheet. Alternatively, just go sniper and own the map yourself. Screenshots ho!
Earlier today, PC Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 players received a flashbang to the face when Activision dropped a hint that the stat-tracking community-oriented Elite service, which was initially promised for all platforms but delayed for the PC, might not appear on PCat all. Now, though, the publisher's singing a significantly more upbeat tune.
Remember the Call of Duty social network, matchmaking and stat-tracking service, Call of Duty Elite? The one that was available on Xbox and PS3 at Modern Warfare 3's launch? The one that Activision described as a "necessity" for games? It might not make it to PC.
Beachhead Studio head Chacko Sonny implied that we were getting it a few weeks ago, abeit later than the console kids: “We’re as committed as ever to the PC, but the need to ensure a safe PC environment is greater than ever,” he said. “It’s really extensive. We need more time to get there, so Elite on PC will not launch on Day 1. We’re working our butts off to make it happen, but we won’t release it until we know that PC gamers can enjoy Elite as it’s meant to be.”
It seems the situation has changed. As Eurogamer spotted on the official Call of Duty Elite Twitter feed, we might not be getting the service at all. EVER.
The social network, matchmaking and stat-tracking service, Call of Duty Elite will not arrive alongisde Modern Warfare 3 on PC next week as originally planned. VG247 have spotted a blog post from community manager Dan Amirch explaining that the service has been delayed due to security issues.
"We’re as committed as ever to the PC, but the need to ensure a safe PC environment is greater than ever," said Beachhead Studio head Chacko Sonny. "It’s really extensive. We need more time to get there, so Elite on PC will not launch on Day 1. We’re working our butts off to make it happen, but we won’t release it until we know that PC gamers can enjoy Elite as it’s meant to be." It doesn't sound like a small delay either. "It is not going to come out until we've done a lot more work" say Beachhead.
Game-specific social networks are all the rage right now, with Call of Duty Elite, Blizzard's Battle.net, and BF3's Battlelog leading the charge, to name a few. But are they here to stay, or will they be in social network heaven making angsty MySpace posts about their failures before too much longer? Activision, naturally, doesn't even doubt for a second that it's the former. VP of digital Jamie Berger didn't stop there, though. He claimed that future blockbuster games will go the way of Blockbuster if they don't hop aboard the social bandwagon.
Take a good long look at the 30 minute video of Call of Duty Elite above, it's all PC gamers will have to go on for a while. The updated Call of Duty: Elite FAQ now states that "currently, we do not plan to launch a version of the beta for the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops." CVG spotted a blog post from Activision social media manager Dan Amrich in which he says that "PC players will have to wait until the fall to try it out." The beta kicked off on Xbox 360 late last week.
The Call of Duty Elite beta kicks off today, but what's in it? The new trailer goes over Elite's free features, including clans, leaderboards, stat-tracking, video uploading and sharing, weapon performance maps and more. Those who subscribe to the elite version of Elite will get all of the Modern Warfare 3 map packs and will be able to join tournaments to compete for real prizes. The Elite beta will work with Call of Duty: Black Ops until its full release alongside Modern Warfare 3 in November. Earlier today the first images emerged for Battlefield 3's competing Battlelog service.
Kotaku are reporting that Activision are sending out the first wave of Call of Duty: Elite beta invites today. Some of the two million Black Ops players who registered for the stat-tracking and community system will receive their invites sometime over the next 24 hours. Those who don't receive anything today are likely to have an invite in their inbox within the next month.
If you get in on the beta, Call of Duty: Elite will allow users to test some of the system's functions with Black Ops. Elite won't be fully available until November with the launch of Modern Warfare 3, but if you're a die-hard CoD fan, you'll be able to get a feel for what Activision are offering with Elite from this trial. The full list of features for the premium service is to be announced at Call of Duty XP this September.
If you get an invite today and try out Elite, let us know what you think in the comments.
Activision have updated the official Call of Duty Elite FAQ to include a list of the free features included in the service. Call of Duty Elite is set to launch alongside Modern Warfare 3 on November 8, and will be backwards compatible with Call of Duty: Black Ops. You'll find the list of free features below.
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg has told The Guardian that subscribers to Call of Duty Elite can expect exclusive access to an upcoming web TV series featuring "top Hollywood talent." Activision are keeping schtum on which characters will be in it, and won't say whether it'll be a live action or CG series. "We're not going to give much more detail until we have something to show," says Hirshberg, "That'll be later in the year."
There's going to be a closed beta for Activision's new Call of Duty Elite service, which will bring a suite of social networking features to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops' multiplayer components. A lucky selection of players will get early access to these features as part of the closed beta, which is set to kick off "later this summer." You can apply for a spot right now on the Call of Duty Elite site. All you have to do is enter an email address, your date of birth, and your platform of choice, which will be PC, naturally. Good luck!
The trailer above confirms the long-rumoured Call of Duty premium subscription service. Call of Duty Elite is set to launch alongside Modern Warfare 3. It will add social networking features like Facebook integration, video sharing, friends lists, groups, competitive leaderboards and more to Call of Duty's multiplayer. Some of these features, like the Facebook integration, will be free, others will require a monthly subscription fee. Activision haven't announced which features will be paid-for just yet, and the amount of the monthly fee hasn't been decided either. Activision insist that players won't be forced to pay to play online.