All Call of Duty Elite services for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will be free, Activision has announced. Previously, a premium Elite subscription offered an extra tier of services and guaranteed early access to downloadable map packs. This time around, it appears that early access to DLC is no longer available, though Xbox 360 players will be able to purchase a season pass for $50. The season pass will include access to four map packs throughout 2013. With each map pack normally priced at $15, season pass holders will save a total of $10.
No season pass has been announced for PS3, Wii U or PC and, in fact, the press release notes that "season pass and DLC map packs may not be available on all gaming platforms." It seems unlikely that Activision would neglect to offer such lucrative DLC on every possible platform, though the language is worth noting.
The decision to make Elite free is an interesting one, especially given how (very) successful the program has been. After debuting to 6.5 million units sold, Modern Warfare 3 moved over 600,000 Elite subscriptions in a single week. Then again, given that the season pass will sell for the same $50 price, the difference may be negligible. Also, apart from a few extra perks, the premium version of Elite was essentially a season pass to begin with, so not much has changed.
Update: We asked Activision to clarify the statement regarding the DLC on other platforms. The publisher noted that it is "working with Nintendo" to bring both the DLC and the season pass to the Wii U version of Black Ops 2. It made no mention of the PS3 and PC versions though, again, we doubt Activision would ignored two major platforms.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC to be Sold Separately via the
Discounted Season Pass Bundle or a la carte as Individual Map Packs
Call of Duty Elite Service Set to Unite Fans with New Features - Player and Clan HQ,
Zombies Leaderboards, All-New Call of Duty Elite TV and More
Santa Monica, CA - October 15, 2012 - With the launch of Call of Duty®: Black Ops II less than 40 days away, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that all of its Call of Duty® Elite service features for Call of Duty®: Black Ops II will be free when the blockbuster game hits worldwide on November 13. With Call of Duty Elite free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, both new and veteran Call of Duty Elite members alike will be able to enjoy the full range of Call of Duty Elite's robust service and features integrated into the highly-anticipated new game in development by award-winning studio Treyarch.
"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 realized 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."
Supporting Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Activision will be selling four epic new Downloadable Content (DLC) Map Packs both á la carte and through the introduction of the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Season Pass. Coming to the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network first, the four Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Map Packs will deliver a variety of new Multiplayer and Zombies playable content and are expected to be available in 2013. The Season Pass will deliver all four Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Map Packs at a discounted suggested retail price of 4000 Microsoft Points* ($49.99 on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360® (discount based on four DLC Map Packs at a suggested retail price of 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) each). Season Pass pre-orders are now available at select retail outlets, including GameStop. Season Pass and DLC Map Packs may not be available on all gaming platforms. Pricing and release dates may vary by platform. All Call of Duty Elite features and availability are subject to change. Further details regarding the 2013 calendar of Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Map Packs will be made available at a later date.
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."
As a free service for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the Call of Duty Elite platform will continue to evolve as the definitive Call of Duty headquarters, with the inclusion of new and enhanced features such as:
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 launches worldwide on November 13, 2012, on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC. The title is also expected to be released in North America on November 18, 2012, for the new Wii U™ game system from Nintendo. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is rated "M" (Mature - Blood and Gore, Intense Violence Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs - content suitable for persons ages 18 and older) by the ESRB. More information on Call of Duty: Black Ops II can be found at http://www.callofduty.com/blackops2 or on www.facebook.com/codblackops. Fans can also follow @Treyarch on Twitter.
Existing Call of Duty Elite premium members will continue to enjoy the Call of Duty Elite Premium membership features for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 through the end of their current subscription period. More information on Call of Duty Elite can be found at http://www.callofduty.com/elite or @Callofduty on Twitter. Call of Duty Elite is developed by Beachhead Studio.
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activision.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the expected release date of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
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