Call of Duty Elite Adds Community to The Series

Posted by at 4:08 pm on May 31, 2011

The leak turns out to be true.  Activision is launching an online service for its “Call of Duty” games that’s part Facebook, part player matchmaker and part organized sports.

“Call of Duty: Elite” officially launches on Nov. 8 with the next installment of the series, Activision said Tuesday. A test version will be available before that, but Activision isn’t saying when.

Two years in the making by a specially-created game studio called Beachhead, the service lets players form groups, compete by skill level or interest, share statistics like baseball fans, and create video clips of their best “Call of Duty” moments, among other things.

“The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer. That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Whether it’s allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before. Elite will also allow players of every level to improve their game with an intuitive suite of tools, and compete in tournaments for both real and virtual prizes.”

Call of Duty Elite’s Features and Services Engage Users in Three Key Ways

  • Connect: Call of Duty Elite gives players unprecedented control over their multiplayer experience, transforming it into a true social network. Players can compete against friends, players of similar skill levels and players with similar interests, join groups, join clans, and play in organized tournaments. They can also track the performance, progress and activity of their entire network, both in the game itself, as well as through mobile and web interfaces. Elite will be an “always on” way for players to connect with the Call of Duty community.
  • Compete: Call of Duty Elite establishes the most exciting, competitive environment in a multiplayer game. Players will have available a constant stream of events and competitions, tiered to group them with those with similar abilities. Both in-game and real-world prizes will be rewarded to all skill levels.
  • Improve: Call of Duty Elite is like having a personal online coach. It provides players with a dynamic strategy guide that tracks their statistics and performances down to the most minute details. It can show gamers how they stack up against their friends or others in the community. Tools and information are provided so players can learn and up their game.

“Elite” will be accessible from game consoles, computers and smartphones. It’s as if “social networks and organized sports had a baby and they gave that baby a flamethrower,” as Activision puts it.

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, calls it a response to the rise of social networking.

“A way to think about this – the NFL used to be something you could only interact with on Sunday. Then, things like fantasy football and ESPN started surrounding it,” Hirshberg said.

Hirshberg stressed that the company won’t start charging for anything currently available to “Call of Duty” players for free, such as the ability to play multiplayer games. Activision is not saying what it plans to charge for access to “Elite,” though it’s likely to be in the form of monthly or yearly subscriptions possibly combined with the sale of virtual items and extra content for the games.

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