Jul 18 2011

Call of Duty Elite PC Beta Starting in Fall

Category: Call of Duty EliteNightCrawler @ 1:42 PM

Though beta testing for Activision’s shooty subscription service Call of Duty Elite began last week on Xbox 360 and is spreading to PlayStation 3 later this summer, PC gamers will have to wait until fall to give it a whirl. The news comes via Activision’s official blogger, Dan Amrich.

Still, it’s good to hear that there will be a PC beta at all. Though Activision initially stated plans for the beta to hit PC too, it later updated its FAQ to state, “Currently, we do not plan to launch a version of the beta for the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops.” Someone needs to update that again, then.

For a monthly subscription fee, Call of Duty Elite will offer features including performance-tracking heat maps of all your games, custom leaderboards, video uploading, social features, and statistics, statistics, statistics galore.

CoD Duty Elite will launch alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 8. The beta uses Call of Duty: Black Ops. Two million or so Call of Duty players signed up for the CoD Elite beta and invites are going out slowly at first, “more or less in the order” of when players signed up.

Source: ShackNews


Jul 14 2011

Call of Duty Elite Beta Invites Released Today

Category: Call of Duty EliteNightCrawler @ 1:49 PM

Have you been selected for the first wave of testers?

The Call of Duty Elite beta begins tomorrow and the first wave of people selected to be testers will be informed today.

Call of Duty: Elite is of course the multiplayer stat-tracking subscription service set to launch with Modern Warfare 3.

Activision’s ‘social media guy’ Dan Amrich reiterated that 2 million people in total applied via email to be part of the Elite beta.

He said that as many people as possible will be crammed into Elite pre-release but beta access will be done in waves, with the first wave being pretty small.

“It’s hard to give specific numbers for these questions, since both of these depend on the system itself,” he said in an Elite FAQ.

“Remember, this is a live beta with an evolving system – it’s like entering the Indy 500 while the car is still being built. As long as the system can remain stable, more people will be invited as frequently as possible – as many and as often as the system can accommodate.”

The beta itself will use Black Ops data with news of its Modern Warfare 3 integration being discussed at the Call of Duty XP convention. Elite will officially launch with Modern Warfare 3 on November 8.

Source: CVG


Jul 03 2011

Call of Duty Elite the ‘Direct Result of Player Input’

Category: Call of Duty Elite,First-Person ShootersNightCrawler @ 2:46 PM

Premium service built out of your request, says Bobby Kotick

Activision’s new paid Call of Duty multiplayer service, Call of Duty Elite, may have its opposition but it’s the result of extensive player feedback.

Activision boss Bobby Kotick explained the philosophy behind the service in a recent interview: “We started out with a desire to give back to our players; we wanted to add capabilities that were the direct result of research conducted with our audience. We have tens of millions of players, and we went out to our audience and we solicited their thoughts and opinions on what would make the game – on a free basis – more fun to play.”

He went on: “So the bulk of what we’ve done is to create a free service that offers a whole host of new, interesting and well-differentiated capabilities that will get our audience really enthusiastic and excited about playing. We have very articulate audiences – they’re able to prioritise what’s important; they’re able to give us clarity on features that they think will be useful. So from that perspective, what we’re delivering is the direct result of player input – and a lot of it.

“There were also a certain number of things that our players wanted to see, with the recognition that those particular services would be costly for us to develop. And we spent a lot of time talking about what’s a fair way to charge for what are premium services. In that regard too we got great audience feedback. So [Elite was based on] very well-informed research that goes deeper and is more extensive than anything we’ve done before.”

The subscription-based service is widely seen as a way for Activision to monetise its enormous online community, but Kotick isn’t the first to describe it as Activision ‘giving back’ to its players.

Source: Guardian


Jun 06 2011

E3 2011: Call of Duty: Elite Beta Begins July 14

Category: Call of Duty Elite,First-Person ShootersNightCrawler @ 2:32 PM

Activision opening invite-only testing window for military shooter’s new online platform next month; GameStop’s Modern Warfare 3 preorders tracking ahead of Black Ops.

Activision plans to roll out Call of Duty’s new online platform, Elite, alongside Modern Warfare 3 this November. But before Elite deploys, Activision has plans to put the service through boot camp.

Elite will be reporting to boot camp on July 14.

As part of the Electronic Entertainment Expo today, Activision said that it will hold an invitation-only beta test for Call of Duty: Elite. The beta period is expected to begin on July 14, and gamers will be able to access it through their copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops. Those interested in participating in the beta program can sign up through the service’s website.

Activision also noted that in the five days since Call of Duty: Elite was announced, more than 1 million gamers have registered to participate in its beta. The service itself incorporates both free and premium features aimed at enhancing Call of Duty’s online multiplayer experience. More details can be found in GameSpot’s previous coverage.

Elite wasn’t the only Call of Duty-related update issued today. According to GameStop senior VP Bob McKenzie, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 preorders are tracking ahead of those for Black Ops, which was itself the most preordered game in the specialty retailer’s history.

“Last year, Call of Duty: Black Ops became the most preordered title in our history,” McKenzie said. “Already, this year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is significantly ahead of that pace.”

Following the massive success that was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the Treyarch-developed Black Ops currently holds the title for biggest entertainment launch in history. Released in November, the game’s sales topped $650 million in its first five days of availability.

By Tom Magrino, GameSpot


Jun 01 2011

Call of Duty TV Series Set for Elite Subscribers

Category: Call of Duty Elite,First-Person ShootersNightCrawler @ 11:44 AM

Subscribers to Activision’s new Call of Duty Elite service will gain access to a web TV series based around the franchise, the publisher’s said.

The service is set to launch alongside Modern Warfare 3 this autumn and will offer a mixture of free and subscription features, including social network offerings, a Halo Waypoint-style performance tracker, and extra content including downloadable map packs as part of the paid service.

One of the paid features seems to be the Call of Duty TV show, and Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg told the Guardian the firm’s already looking for talent.

“We have engaged some top Hollywood talent to create linear video content that will be exclusive to Elite members. That content is inspired by Call of Duty,” he said.

“If you’re a sports fan, there are lots of ways for you to connect with that hobby, that passion, not just on the day that the games are played, but throughout the week, and we wanted to give [Call of Duty players] real entertainment value.”

It’s not clear whether the TV content will be animated or live-action, though the mention of “Hollywood talent” surely suggests the latter.

When questioned on the specifics of the offering, Hirshberg said: “We’re not going to give much more detail until we have something to show. That’ll be later in the year.”

Source: CVG


May 31 2011

Call of Duty: Elite First Look Preview

Category: Call of Duty Elite,First-Person ShootersNightCrawler @ 1:40 PM

The first details of Activision’s much rumoured Call of Duty subscription service – set to be launched in tandem with Modern Warfare 3 – were finally revealed today.

The online service, entitled Call of Duty Elite, offers a range of features and perks for the more hardcore followers of the franchise.

Extra map packs, a Facebook-inspired social networking facility and a Halo Waypoint-style performance tracker are all part of the package – as well as all-new tournaments in which you can win real and digital prizes.

However, not all of it will be free. Activision has craftily left us hanging on details, but has confirmed that a premium, paid-for subscription element will be optional for CoD’s more hardcore fans.

The prospect of an online subscription for Call of Duty has long been rumoured.

There will be a number of ways to get to Elite. It will be built into the games, of course, as well as being accessible directly from game consoles and off the Net with a browser. Mobile versions are also in the works for phones and tablets on both iOS and Android. It doesn’t sound like being connected is likely to pose much of a problem.

Infinity Ward was quick to stress that “multiplayer will always be equal and free for everyone as always” as far as Modern Warfare 2 is concerned back in 2009.

Now it looks like we are seeing the first glimpses of a service that Activision said two years ago will “enhance the multiplayer experience and provide exclusive access to a group of gameplay enhancements,” including “early access to expansions and betas, exclusive character skins, game modes, enhanced stat tracking and “support for competitive play.”

Elite will launch in full alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this coming November, but a beta will come on line this summer to test the service running with Black Ops. Much of what it offers will be free but there will also be a premium paid membership option. What exactly that will entail and how much it will cost has not been determined yet. It will, though, be an all-inclusive subscription to content for Modern Warfare. Subscribers will receive every map pack at no additional cost as part of the deal.

That leaves only one question to be asked: Based on what we know so far, will you be signing up for everything Call of Duty Elite has to offer – even if it costs a pretty penny? And if so, how much hard cash are you willing to part with each month?

Source: CVG