Call of Duty Elite News for Xbox 360

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Call of Duty Elite screenshot
Call of Duty Elite screenshot

The rumours are true: Activision's Beachhead Studios has spent the last two years working on Elite, an integrated online platform for all upcoming Call of Duty games.

Modern Warfare 3 will launch on November 8 with full support for Elite, which itself will include a premium subscription option for dedicated fans.

Premium subscriptions will allow users access to Call of Duty DLC as and when it's released - though map packs will still be available in their traditional retail fashion - and Beachhead Studios is also teasing exclusive Call of Duty content for Elite subscribers, opening the door for the possibility of things like custom weapon skins and even Elite-only Spec Ops levels in Modern Warfare 3.

Pricing details won't be announced until later in the summer, but Activision assures us an Elite subscription will cost less than any comparable service. Seeing as subscribers get the map packs included for free, and on average you'll see about three map packs for a Call of Duty game, I personally expect the price to be at least £40 a year.

Call of Duty: Elite will also include support for Black Ops, which is currently how the service is being demonstrated.

A closed beta will be launching this summer with Black Ops support, and interested users will be able to enrol via e-mail in the next few months.

While it would not be impossible to retroactively implement Elite into Modern Warfare 2, it is unlikely and would require considerable extra work - Beachhead was already working with Treyarch during development of Black Ops, hence the support.

The current Call of Duty: Elite website - still in beta - looks slick and impressive. The aesthetic is slim grey lines and deep textured blacks, with a clean and modern web interface displaying reams of pertinent information both elegantly and without confusion.

There's clear inspiration from Halo's impressive statistic tracking, but Elite goes even further: users can view individual heat maps for every game played, for instance, but each has its own scrollable timeline that can detail both individual and cumulative kills and deaths.

Call of Duty Elite screenshot

I'd say it's both more functional and more attractive than current Bungie.net stat tracking too, and Elite offers an additional feature by allowing you to join and create groups that have their own individual leaderboards and statistics.

You could join groups for London or Manchester, for instance, and see where you stack up compared to other locals. Or you could join a group for VideoGamer.com, perhaps, and wallow in self-pity after basking in my impressive records. I heartily recommend the latter.

Basic statistic tracking and group functionality is provided free for all users. Basically, if Bungie.net does it for free then Call of Duty: Elite will also do it for free.

Subscribers, however, will get access to leagues, tournaments, and competitions alongside fully-fledged clan support.

Competitions will be frequent and come with real prizes attached, according to Activision, with both iPads and Microsoft Points being mentioned.

Also provided is a learning resource for players, with detailed map and weapon guides produced by top-tier players. Elite will integrate your personal statistics into these tutorial sections, allowing you to chart incremental improvements and areas of weakness directly alongside the guides themselves.

Like any self-respecting 2011 website, Elite folds Facebook and YouTube integration into the service. Users will be able to use Elite to directly upload videos to YouTube from Call of Duty's Theatre mode.

The service will also launch with dedicated mobile applications - an iPhone app is being demonstrated - and will fully blend into Modern Warfare 3 itself when the game is released in November.

I want to know more about the pricing before I'm ready to commit, but I'm impressed from what I've seen so far. If it doesn't cost too much, I could definitely see myself subscribing.

VideoGamer.com saw Modern Warfare 3 in action last week and has detailed the Manhattan level and the London underground tube chase.

Modern Warfare 2 was VideoGamer.com's Game of the Year 2009. Find out why by reading our 10/10 Modern Warfare 2 review.

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Highest Rated Comment

squidman's Avatar

squidman@ CheekyLee

Here's an exclusive peek at my day in the office today:

9am: turn up and see the Wall Street Journal has posted all the information. Make a cup of tea.
11am: start working leisurley on the content expecting the embargo to be 4pm.
1pm: spit out tea (not same mug as before) when I see an e-mail telling me the embargo has been moved to 2pm.
Posted 14:34 on 31 May 2011

User Comments

p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker

Eh yeah not interested....
Posted 20:26 on 31 May 2011
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu

What a waste of money. Talk about milking the cow. Stuff for free? Just like PSN + right? No...didn't think so.
Posted 18:50 on 31 May 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ squidman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston
I think people are focusing far too much on what you pay for and forgetting that you get a substantial amount of stuff here for free.

If you don't sign up it's not exactly like you're getting a bum deal - you get access to a swanky website that tracks your stats better than what anything else currently does. Doesn't exactly sound like a cause for concern in my books.
^This. Especially if it does indeed do it all "better than what anything else currently does", which is a tall order because Bungie.net is astonishingly comprehensive.
Posted 17:39 on 31 May 2011
draytone's Avatar

draytone

Ah okay, well that's good enough for me. I don't need any of that extra stuff really... just to be able to track my shockingly average KDR.
Posted 17:34 on 31 May 2011
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ draytone

No. Regular stats - what you're used to on Bungie.net, for instance - are free, as are the Facebook-style 'groups' you can join.
Posted 17:30 on 31 May 2011
draytone's Avatar

draytone

I thought you had to pay to access the stats?
Posted 17:15 on 31 May 2011
squidman's Avatar

squidman

Maybe I'm just a CoD fanboy, though. I like what Halo has with Bungie.net but, you know, a comparable service in CoD is interesting to me because I spend a lot of time playing CoD.
Posted 17:12 on 31 May 2011
squidman's Avatar

squidman

I think people are focusing far too much on what you pay for and forgetting that you get a substantial amount of stuff here for free.

If you don't sign up it's not exactly like you're getting a bum deal - you get access to a swanky website that tracks your stats better than what anything else currently does. Doesn't exactly sound like a cause for concern in my books.
Posted 17:09 on 31 May 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ 87Sarah

Elite covers Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3 and I'm assuming all future Modern Warfare titles so the cost is spread out over that. Nobody knows what the cost is.

This is pretty similar to Halo Waypoint which covers Halo 3, Halo Reach, Halo ODST and Halo Wars and any future Halo titles, except Halo Waypoint offers daily updates, strategies, career information, intel, armory, characters, factions, locations, ships, avatar awards and ingame unlockables. That catch with Waypoint is that, although 'free', it's for XBox Live Gold Subscribers.

No skin off my nose as I spread my XBox Live Gold subscription across 115 games.

If I'm reading the articles right, Elite will only be accessible via PC and smartphones (maybe a PS3 web browser too?). So I'm not really impressed with what I've heard so far, and it's a no brainer for me that I'm not going to be signing up for it.
Posted 16:52 on 31 May 2011
87Sarah's Avatar

87Sarah

Isn't £40 what Xbox Live costs a year? And that is likely to be the amount for elite for one game? No thanks..
Posted 16:33 on 31 May 2011
draytone's Avatar

draytone

It also suggests that there are going to be a lot more Call of Duty games. I guess we knew that anyway, but for Beachhead to spend 2 years on a stats tracking system that would have been pretty useful a game or two ago fills me with a little apathy.
Posted 16:20 on 31 May 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

(Thankyou for the Waypoint comparison by the way)
Posted 16:09 on 31 May 2011
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga

Interesting, but not enough to make me want to part with any money. I lke CoD, but not THAT much.
Posted 15:43 on 31 May 2011
draytone's Avatar

draytone

I don't really disagree with it... I just won't be paying any extra to play it.
Posted 15:19 on 31 May 2011
TomPearson's Avatar

TomPearson

seriously, no thanks
Posted 15:08 on 31 May 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 08/11/2011
Developer: Beachhead
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Unknown
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 1,485 137
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