Activision has announced that the Call of Duty Elite beta is officially live. The digital community designed for Call of Duty: Black Ops players began its staged launch yesterday on Xbox Live, and will be activated in phases. Limited invitations to the new service will be rolling out in the coming weeks as features are tested, so get your registration in now!
Call of Duty Elite officially debuts this fall as part of Activision’s strategy for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which will be available starting November 8. The company hopes that Call of Duty’s (CoD) 30 million-strong fan base will flock to the service; so far, 2.8 million CoD gamers have already registered. CoD Elite is the first optional premium service for a standard retail game; basic service will be free, but some services will require a paid monthly subscription.
Chacko Sonny, studio head of Elite developer Beachhead Studios, said, “Call of Duty Elite is all about connecting our amazing fans around the globe in ways never before possible, and we are excited to get their feedback so they can help us further develop, tune and test the service as we head into our launch in November with Modern Warfare 3. A public beta with the massive Call of Duty community is the best way to generate the scale we need for end-to-end testing. While Call of Duty Elite will continue to evolve post-launch, we want to deliver the most polished, complete and rigorously tested service possible on day one. We’re looking to get as many participants in the beta as possible, so we ask that fans stay patient as we ramp up in the coming weeks.”
Call of Duty Elite is designed to help players connect with one another as a social gaming platform. Players will be able to compete against friends and gamers of similar skill levels or interests. They’ll also be able to join clans and groups. The platform will let players track the progress and performance of their personal network, and allows them to connect via mobile apps as well as the Internet. Elite also hopes to help players improve their skills by tracking player statistics in detail, comparing them to friends or other players, and providing tools and data to help ramp up kill/death ratios.
Once the official launch takes place on November 8, the service will get a major upgrade. At this time, it will introduce organized events and competitions for players of all skill levels, with in-game and real-world prizes. Activision hopes the fully-launched version of Elite will provide constant communication between the service and the game, accessible anywhere and anytime through mobile phones, tablets, on the web, or within the console game. A high level of clan support, focusing on competition, will be included as well.
Members will also get all-new entertainment programs created specifically for the CoD community, although information on this feature is spotty at the moment. Premium members of CoD Elite will get all downloadable content that comes out for Modern Warfare 3, from maps to themes.
The beta will help test some of these features, including video sharing and the use of custom player groups. To register for the beta, visit www.callofduty.com/elite.
Are you angry at what some consider another “cash grab” on Activision’s part? Are you looking forward to an additional social layer to your CoD gaming? Sound off in the comments!