Activision has announced the introduction of a new service that will act as a companion to the next Call of Duty game. Call of Duty Elite will provide players with exclusive maps and content, assuming they are willing to pay a monthly fee. The company has yet to decide how much to charge for the service, but executives are aiming for a lower price point than services such as Netflix.
The system will have elements of social networking included, which will be part of a smaller set of features offered for free. According to the Wall Street Journal, users will be able to meet up and play games against each other based on their likes, dislikes, and other attributes. Similar to Halo's online features, players can also analyse previous matches to work out what their best strategies were, such as which weapons were most effective.
Call of Duty Elite will be a risky move for Activision. While PS3 and PC users can play online for free, Xbox 360 owners have to fork out around £40 per year. Asking those users to pay an extra monthly fee on top of their current subscription could provoke a serious backlash. On the other hand, the series has its fair share of dedicated fans, who may see the extra features as a bonus worth paying for. If the service takes off, it could set a dangerous precedent for other franchises eager to keep their users hooked in.