Activision has announced that the Call of Duty: Elite service is now being made completely free for the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, doing away with its subscription component, and offering all value-add features --with the exception of the DLC season pass-- to all registered players.
To put it in the most simple terms, the service now follows a similar model to EA's Battlefield 3 with it's Battlelog service and its additional Battlefield Premium one-off DLC bundle purchase.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II's planned downloadable content expansions, has been revealed as four post-release map packs that will once again be timed-exclusives to Xbox 360, and cost 1200 Microsoft Points (approx AU$15) if purchased separately, or 4000 Microsoft Points (Approx AU$49) for a "Season Pass".
“We’ve learned a lot in our first year of Call of Duty Elite, and we’re very proud that we over delivered on our commitment of playable content to our premium members,” said Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg. “What we have realised is that several of the Call of Duty Elite services which are currently only available to our premium members for Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 are things that would further unite, engage and delight our player community. So we are going to make them free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”
Hirshberg continued, “For Call of Duty: Black Ops II, DLC Map Packs will be a separate offering from Call of Duty Elite. The Season Pass will be a great way to acquire all four Map Packs at a discount, but if our fans would rather take it one Map Pack at a time, then we’ll offer each pack á la carte for anyone who wants it. What we aren’t doing is requiring a paid membership to access the great player services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II and we’re thrilled to offer all of Elite’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II features to players for free.”
Today’s news of Call of Duty Elite’s free integration with Call of Duty: Black Ops II follows the recent reveal of several new multiplayer features that are in the works by Treyarch, including an all-new ‘Pick Ten Create-a-Class’ system, an added emphasis on eSports featuring CODcasting, and an all-new Score Streaks system. GameStop president Tony Bartel says, “Consumer anticipation for Call of Duty: Black Ops II is tremendous. We are seeing the highest pre-orders in history. With its current pace, this Call of Duty is on track to break records and is likely to be our biggest game launch of all time.”
Elite for Black Ops features include Player HQ, Clan HQ, Zombies Support, Call of Duty Elite TV, and Social Sharing and Notifications. A demonstration of some of these can be found in the video below, and players can sign up ahead of the game's launch at callofduty.com/elite
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is due on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on November 13th 2012 for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, with a Wii U version to follow on the console's November 30th launch.