Call of Duty: Elite - would you pay monthly for this?
Video game company Activision has finally revealed Elite, a new social layer for its wildly popular Call of Duty games. Elite was designed to unite the massive community of Call of Duty players as well as provide tools to help gamers of all levels improve their skills.
Cross-platform services are becoming more popular as video game designers realize their community isn’t console-specific. Web players want to test their mettle against console players and vice versa. Elite goes beyond the game to include social networks like Facebook. Users can link up their Facebook accounts to Elite to pull in Likes and automatically find friends who are also using the service.
Elite also introduces groups and clans, which will play a much larger role in Modern Warfare 3, the next Call of Duty game. Groups are largely open and can be based on anything. Like eating lobster? You can join or create a “Lobster” group. Like playing with machine guns? There’s a group for that. Same with “Yankees” or “Los Angeles.” Groups operate similar to fan pages on Facebook. Users can track and compare themselves to these mini-communities of players. Users can join a total of 64 groups.
Clans are more limited. Users can only belong to one clan and there is a cap on how many players can be in a clan. The Call of Duty folks were tight-lipped about how clans will play into the next iteration but promised they would be key.
We recently sat down with the game’s designers for a demo of Elite. The room, a penthouse hotel room in Manhattan, featured rows of huge black computers with the Elite skull logo. There, they talked about their goals and plans for Elite.
The service is available on web browsers, consoles and mobile apps and will work with all future Call of Dutygames, including Black Ops, the most recent game in the series. Elite features four main sections: Career, Connect, Compete and Improve.
The service will launch in full along with Modern Warfare 3 in November, but a beta is already open for use withBlack Ops. Elite is largely free, though a premium membership is needed to get full functionality. That membership also includes all downloadable content released in the future, but it still might be a little pricey for the casual user.