The Wall Street Journal is reporting
that the other big long-rumoured Call of Duty announcement has now been revealed to them as Call of Duty: Elite, described as a online service with social networking and stat-tracking elements that will have free-of charge-features as well as a subscription-based component.
In a move industry executives describe as a first, Activision plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for the service, which will provide extra content that isn't offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give players new "Call of Duty" levels to play.
Activision executives said they haven't yet figured out how much to charge for the service, but they expect the cost to be less than fees for comparable online-entertainment services, such as a $7.99-a-month Netflix Inc. movie subscription. Portions of the service will be free, including features inspired by Facebook Inc. that will let "Call of Duty" players meet for online gun battles with others who share various affiliations and interests.
Another feature of the service will give "Call of Duty" players tools, modeled on those from stock-trading websites, to analyze their performance within the game, gauging factors such as which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies.
While this doesn't paint a very clear picture about everything the service will be -- it's very vague as to what the benefits of paying a subscription would actually be and nothing they've described there seems to be much more than what we've already seen with HALO and bungie.net
-- we're sure there's much more to it if they think people will pay for it, so we expect more specifics direct from Activision shortly.