[Ed. note: While Elite will only offer certain features to subscribers, many parts of the service will be free to everyone. The article has been updated to reflect that.]
Beachhead Studios, the development house behind Call of Duty: Elite, revealed in a recent interview with Eurogamer that Activision will regard the service as a failure if fans don’t enthusiastically embrace the concept of premium accounts.
The Elite service, set to release alongside the new Call of Duty, will feature a more diverse set of features, more robust stat tracking, and new awards. Some features will require a monthly subscription, but players who don’t want to pay the fee will still be able to play online and access the majority of Elite’s new features, as outlined in the official FAQ.
Beachhead Studios rep Noah Heller went on to explain the core concept driving the service. “What we’re trying to do is make sure free guys get a huge taste of the game – they bought the game, they already paid – and then if you’re an uber fan it will be a slam dunk”.
From this comment, Activision and Beachhead appear to be deriving the basic structure of Elite from the free-to-play MMO model, which offers better services and more items for those who choose to pay for the game over those who do not. The primary difference, in this case, is that Modern Warfare 3 will not be a free to play game, as it still carries a $60 price tag. In essence, Activision will be asking everyone to pay, and then asking some folks to pay more.
Love it or hate it, it’ll be interesting to see how the Elite service fairs when it publically launches with Modern Warfare 3 this November. For more info on Modern Warfare 3 and a thorough overview of Elite, check out Zach’s eyes-on preview of the game from this year’s E3.