Confused by the headline? We were looking for something as vague as today's announcement from Activision Publishing (part of Activision Blizzard) that it plans to launch an online service called "Call of Duty
Elite." Specifically, Activision plans to launch a premium, subscription-based service that will supplement purchased Call of Duty
games. It's not clear what the service will offer, but it is clear that Activision wants more of your cash, so the company announced that it plans to charge for something
. Read on for more details...
The service, developed by Activision's Beachhead studio will "...significantly enhance the franchise's multiplayer experience and deliver a new level of social engagement..." How? That's not entirely clear. Activision claims it will not charge for access to multiplayer. The service will include elements of social network, statistic-tracking and event-planning. Some services will be free and others will cost an unspecified amount of money.
It's not remotely a surprise that Activision wants to further monetize Call of Duty players, transforming their annual game purchase into a game purchase plus a monthly subscription. What is surprising is how half-baked this sounds. It's one thing to announce a game with a few screenshots, a bit of concept art and a title announcement. It's another thing to announce a subscription-based service with little-to-no detail. This has the potential to anger gamers and confuse or even upset investors. Rather than hearing "Yay! More money!," investors may hear a poorly fleshed-out plan and worry about Activision's intentions.