originals\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Why Call of Duty Elite Is Not A Rip-Off After All


You don't have to be a Call of Duty fanboy to appreciate all that Activision is doing with Modern Warfare 3 and it's Elite subscription service. Offering gamers early content access, monthly content drops, expert strategies, and exclusive TV, the Elite service will not only enhance the multiplayer experience for Call of Duty, but for every other multiplayer game in the future. There's no doubt that Call of Duty Elite is a genius marketing strategy, but it's also the topic of hot debate and has caused much turmoil in the gaming community. Anytime the word "subscription" is thrown around, people are going to throw a fuss. Let's face it, as gamers we are the ones paying for the games and anytime we see a company come out with a new business model we automatically label them greedy. Before we throw our hands up in the air and scoff at the idea of paying for another service, let's actually take a look at what the Call of Duty Elite brings to the table and see if it's worth the money.

First, let's clear something up: You don't HAVE to pay for Call of Duty Elite. In fact, you don't even need to spend a cent to enjoy some of the perks Activision is offering with Elite. Activision is offering a free Elite service where players can still enjoy everything they had in the previous titles plus additional features. You still get to create a character profile, customizable loadouts, HD video sharing, and a stat tracker. Did I mention it's a totally revamped stat tracker? Not only can you track how many hours you’ve played, how much experience you’ve gained, how many matches you’ve won, how much money you’ve earned, how many headshots you’ve pulled off, but it also offers tools to help you improve your gameplay. Added to the Career section of the Call of Duty website are heat maps, which detail where and when you were killed in recent matches, as well as who killed you and what weapon they killed you with.

Great, so what is Activision offering to the gamers that decide to subscribe to the Elite premium service? Actually, they are offering much more and when you look at the details, you can see that Activision is actually helping you save money, while giving you more access to content than ever before. Let's take a look at what exactly is included in the Premium Subscription model of the Elite program.

The Price

Confirmed at the Call of Duty XP event this past weekend, the Elite premium subscription will cost $49.99 a year. That may sound like a steep price, but let's remember the DLC. It's already been confirmed that DLC for Call of Duty will cost $60. Let's do the math. If you plan on getting all of the DLC, you're already saving $10. The $10 saving right there should make the premium subscription a no-brainer.

Early Content Access and Monthly Downloads

Not only are you saving $10 with the premium service if you plan on purchasing the DLC, but you will also receive early access to portions of DLC map packs before they're released.

Daily Competitions

Elite is already holding regular tournaments as part of its free service for real world prizes like t-shirts, iPads, and even jeeps, so what do Premium subscribers get? While no real details have been released, we can only hypothesize that it'll include more frequent competitions with better prizes. Not to mention, the participating player pool will be much smaller.

Leveling Up Your Clans

The free service allows you to customize who you play with by changing your personal matchmaking criteria. While you can play as friends, you can't really roll together as a noticeable, single unit. You're going to become a team now and it's time you start looking like a team. How do you do it? You get a premium subscription a nd level up your entire clan, unlocking clan tags & emblems. You can also earn double XP as you level up your clan with operations and challenges.

Pro Analysis & Strategy

You don't need to be "elite" at Call of Duty to enjoy the new Elite program. In fact, Activision is offering you multiple ways to improve your gameplay. The Premium subscription gives you access to the real Call of Duty pros as they walk you through the stats and strategy to help you make sense of the heat maps and perks.

Elite TV

Call of Duty themed TV show? Sign me up. Two regular shows were announced for the Call of Duty Elite Premium subscribers. In case you were wondering, these aren't cheaply made shows thrown into the package to make it sound more appearing. These are legit shows with legit actors, directors, and writing. Ridley and Tony Scott team up in a program called Friday Night Fights, a show about real-life rivals settling scores online over Call of Duty. The second show comes from Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. Naturally a more comedic focus, George and Michael Bluth will grief players by regularly showcasing kills, highlights and other silliness occurring over Modern Warfare 3.

Suddenly, $49.99 doesn't seem like that steep of a price when you take into account everything you get for it. Like I said, you don't need the Premium subscription to enjoy Call of Duty Elite, but all of these bonus features sure make me want it. I might just go the easy route and purchase the Hardened Edition of Modern Warfare 3 which will contain a free Call of Duty Elite "Founder" subscription.

What are your thoughts? Will you decide to subscribe to Call of Duty Elite Premium?

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