The Call of Duty Elite service will be completely free of charge for all players with the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops II this November, Activision announced today.
Call of Duty Elite began life in 2011 with both free and paid premium subscriptions. While all Elite players have access to stat-tracking and social options, for $50 a year, premium subscribers also received monthly map updates as well as increased video storage space and access to certain challenges and competitions.
For Call of Duty: Black Ops II, DLC map packs will be available either individually when released or via a Season Pass, which sells at a suggested retail price of 4000 Microsoft points, or $49.99. (So a year's worth of new content is still $50, but delivered on a different timetable.) In their press release, Activision announced there will be four map updates for Black Ops II, arriving in 2013 and debuting on Xbox 360 before coming to other platforms.
As of this August, Call of Duty Elite had 12 million subscribers, of whom 2.3 million were paid, premium subscribers. For those two million folks, when their subscriptions for Modern Warfare 3 run out, they will "revert to the free service available now," meaning that for MW3, the current free tier of Elite access will eventually become universal.
For Black Ops II, Activision is promising Elite features to include:
- Player HQ – Track Call of Duty: Black Ops II performance with rich game statistics, including enhanced match information such as heat maps and recent match data; track challenges and extensively modify your classes like never before using Treyarch's new Pick 10 Create-a-Class system.
- Clan HQ – Join an existing clan or start your own, invite friends and then take part in Call of Duty: Black Ops II clan competitions with cool digital prizing.
- Zombies Support – For the millions of Zombies fans out there, now you can track your Zombies personal statistics and compare it to other players' around the world.
- Call of Duty Elite TV – Launching with tablet support with Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the new Call of Duty Elite TV will deliver a renewed community focus featuring developer tips and strategy programming, custom class overviews and more.
- Social Sharing and Notifications – With Call of Duty Elite's new notification system, you can stay updated with what is going on in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, as well as communicate directly with your clan.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on November 13 and for Wii U on November 18. Elite services for Black Ops II will launch concurrently with the game.