Publisher Activision is wasting no time in getting players to try out its upcoming Call of Duty Elite multiplayer service. Officially announced earlier this morning after months of rumors, the Call of Duty Elite web site is now taking sign ups for players to beta test the service. The sign ups also ask you which platform you play Call of Duty games on; Xbox 360, PS3 or Steam (PC). The closed beta test will use the current game in the first person shooter series, Call of Duty Black Ops, but a press release today announced that the service will officially launch this fall alongside the launch of the next game in the series, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.
VG247.com also has more info on the service itself which is being developed by Activision's new Beachhead Studios. While Call of Duty Elite will have a number of features that will be free to use by players (exactly what features will be free has yet to be revealed) it will also have a monthly fee for premium services. Those paid services will including getting downloadable content and maps for free although free users will still be able to get those maps for a separate fee. Call of Duty Elite will also give players one account that can be shared across all Call of Duty games from Black Ops to Modern Warfare 3 and future games in the series. Activision claims that playing Call of Duty games online will still be free even when Call of Duty Elite launches.
While you can access Call of Duty Elite features in the games themselves, Activision will also allow for those features like player stats and more to be access via a web browser or via downloadable apps. It will allow players to network and form Cal of Duty groups where you will be able to keep track of your group players' stats as well. Activision is also promising to hold competitions with real prizes in association with Call of Duty Elite.
Moderation of all these services is certain to be a huge job but Activision spokesperson Jamie Berger said, "From the service side, the good news is that we have these partners down the road called Blizzard, who have been tremendous in sharing thoughts on how they deal with this very issue." Certainly Blizzard's years of experience with its Battle.net online service will be a huge help with developing and maintaining Call of Duty Elite.
You can find out more info about Call of Duty Elite in the trailer below which has six minutes of footage showing off how the service works with Call of Duty Black Ops. Oh, and there's a tiny bit of new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 footage at the end.