Activision recently formed a new studio called Beachhead to work on a digital platform for the Call of Duty community. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick recently described the platform as a “suite of services to supercharge the online gaming experience like never before.” As we all know Kotick is a fan of money, and this newest venture will allow his company to capitalize on the Call of Duty franchise which “has about seven million daily players.”
The platform has been revealed early by WSJ as being called “Call of Duty Elite”, and it sounds pretty ambitious. Self-described as “if organized sports and social networking had a baby,” Call of Duty Elite will combine online stat tracking with a clan system and social networking functions.
You will be able to view and study detailed views of maps, and lots of information about your play habits via an online interface accessible on your PC, Phone, and tablet. Much like the stat tracking in Black Ops currently does, it will show live detailed statistics on weapon performance, allow you to compare your performance to teammates, and show various heatmaps of where you get the most kills and deaths.
It will also allow you to form groups, which sound very similar to the Facebook feature which bears the same name. Groups will allow more casual players to connect on common play habits or likes, and more hardcore players can graduate to clans. The system will let you compare your clan to others, view rosters and game schedules, and provide a unified platform for competition. It also promises real prizes for winning competitions and battles.
There is a theater feature which will allow you to upload videos of your sick killstreaks and headshots to Youtube and integrate it with a social networking section of the system.
Call of Duty Elite will work with Call of Duty: Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3, and future titles. Some of these features will be free, others will be premium and require some sort of monthly subscription. The planned price hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it will be less than “comparable online-entertainment services, such as Netflix,” so expect something less than $8/month. While that sounds pretty steep, your subscription will include free access to the map packs which usually cost $15 each. As Wall Street Journal points out, the recent price-hike of XBL might make players more hesitant to subscribe.
Call of Duty Elite is separate from the online multiplayer features so do not worry, you will not have to pay any money to continue to play any Call of Duty titles online.
You can watch an especially meta introduction video (narrated by TJ Miller) right here.
(The actual announcement for this system will occur at 9am, it has been leaked by WSJ early. More details will probably follow this morning.)