Yesterday Activision released to the public it’s plans for the future of online multiplayer, specifically for their perennial fan favorite the Call of Duty series. With the release of Modern Warfare 3, Activision will be implementing a new system titled Call of Duty: Elite, which will serve as an online tracking and database system similar to Bungie.net Halo: Waypoint. The system will include free and premium content, which has not been revealed at this time.
Now before I go further, there has been a lot of speculation on that fact that the premium content is possible talk for a pay-to-play service or a monthly subscription fee for Call of Duty: Elite. As of right now there is no confirmation on how the premium content will be implemented, what the content actually is, how much it will be, and if there will be a monthly subscription involved. Let me be clear by saying that a majority of that discussion is only rumor and speculation at this time. Instead, I want to look at what has been confirmed as of right now.
*- A new interface to look at statistical information. As I said before, the CoD: Elite will feature a service reminiscent of Halo Waypoint, where you can access your personal statistics as they are charted over time, including recent match history, class usage, your kill/death ratio, even file and video sharing with peers.
*- You can compare performance in game with your friends list. You can do this game-by-game or throughout your CoD careers.
*- Three different sections have been revealed so far for users to interact with, Connect, Compete and Improve.
*- Connect implements the use of groups and clans. Groups are unofficial social networks that can do the above features, only with a smaller number of people. The groups can be anything from a college dorm room to a high school graduating class, for example, an informal circle of friends basically. Groups are also for the public. Clans operate the same way, only on the competitive level and are private groups.
*- Compete is what you would expect, implemented tournaments and leagues and clan vs. clan based match-ups for the more hardcore players.
*- The Improve section functions as an information tool (ala wikipedia) and a tracker tool to show how you can improve online. It will track your statistics and showcase how you can improve your in-game skills.
Currently, Activision is offering players of Call of Duty: Black Ops a chance to enter the Beta for Call of Duty: Elite. You can sign up for the beta here. As stated before there will be premium content offered, but as of right now everything mentioned above is free with the purchase of Modern Warfare 3. I have to say it is an interesting strategy employed by Activision to keep sales and interest on the series up, but I must admit I am highly skeptical about the entire service. I personally need more information about what content you do need to pay for before I make a final judgment, but based on what is confirmed, what do you all think about Call of Duty: Elite?