Activision announces Call of Duty Elite, a social network gaming experience [video]

Activision on Tuesday announced Call of Duty Elite, a new social network-style experience that will allow Call of Duty players to interact with one another in an entirely different way. The social network has three pillars: connect, compete, and improve. “Connect” will allow users to compete against friends, join groups, find players with similar interests, and enter tournaments. Activision will provide both web and mobile interfaces for managing your Call of Duty information from multiple devices. “Compete” will allow players to enter events and competitions with other players that have similar abilities, and Activision promises real world and in-game prizes. “Improve,” will provide users with a strategy guide to help them bump their gaming skills by following their performance and ongoing statistics. “The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer,” Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg, said. “That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community. Whether it’s allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before.” Most features will be free, although a premium package will also be available. The service will enter public beta with Call of Duty: Black Ops this summer and will launch on November 8th with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Hit the jump for the full release and a demo video.

Call of Duty® Elite Will Unite and Ignite Gaming’s Largest Online Community

Activision’s New Service Will Offer 30 Million Call of Duty Players Innovative Ways to Connect, Compete and ImproveWill Launch With This Year’s Most Anticipated Release Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 on November 8, 2011

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The world’s most passionate online gaming community can now connect, compete and improve their Call of Duty® multiplayer experience through Activision’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) innovative new online service, Call of Duty Elite.

Developed from the ground up by Activision’s new Beachhead studio, Call of Duty Elite offers cutting-edge features that significantly enhance the franchises’ multiplayer experience and deliver a new level of social engagement that will unite more than 30 million players worldwide.  Additionally, the service will offer exclusive, high-production value, original entertainment programming designed exclusively for the Call of Duty community.

“The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer. That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Whether it’s allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before. Elite will also allow players of every level to improve their game with an intuitive suite of tools, and compete in tournaments for both real and virtual prizes.”

Call of Duty Elite will include several industry-first innovations, and is designed to reset the bar for what players can expect from a multiplayer experience for this year’s most anticipated game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  Elite will offer two-way communication between the service and the game, so that the choices and decisions that players make in Elite through the mobile and web interfaces will affect their in-game experience.  The service will be fully integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and will launch alongside the game on November 8, 2011.

Call of Duty Elite’s features and services engage the community in three key ways:

  • Connect: Call of Duty Elite gives players unprecedented control over their multiplayer experience, transforming it into a true social network. Players can compete against friends, players of similar skill levels and players with similar interests, join groups, join clans, and play in organized tournaments. They can also track the performance, progress and activity of their entire network, both in the game itself, as well as through mobile and web interfaces.  Elite will be an “always on” way for players to connect with the Call of Duty community.
  • Compete: Call of Duty Elite establishes the most exciting, competitive environment in a multiplayer game.  Players will have available a constant stream of events and competitions, tiered to group them with those with similar abilities. Both in-game and real-world prizes will be rewarded to all skill levels.
  • Improve: Call of Duty Elite is like having a personal online coach. It provides players with a dynamic strategy guide that tracks their statistics and performances down to the most minute details.  It can show gamers how they stack up against their friends or others in the community. Tools and information are provided so players can learn and up their game.

Carrying forward to future Call of Duty games, Elite will chronicle a player’s gameplay history in a cohesive career record, keeping track of every kill, every game and progress.

Call of Duty Elite has been tailored for Call of Duty’s diverse base of players — hardcore gamers, casual weekend warriors and even beginners — and additional features will be revealed when we premiere Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer later this summer,” added Hirshberg.  ”Over 7 million gamers play Call of Duty online each day logging hundreds of hours of multiplayer per player per year.  Of course, the out of the box Call of Duty multiplayer experience that gamers have come to love and expect will continue as is.  However, for those players looking for more, Call of Duty Elite will supercharge their experience.”

Many key features of Call of Duty Elite will be available to Call of Duty players free of charge.  Additionally, for players who want to up their game, Call of Duty Elite will offer a premium membership with a wide range of state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market.

The service will be accessible on a number of platforms — via web browsers, mobile devices, through game consoles and within the game interface itself — so that players can connect with Call of Duty Elite whenever and wherever they want.

Call of Duty Elite will launch this fall with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, to test the scale of the service, Activision will hold a public beta this summer for Elite with Call of Duty®: Black Ops.  For more information, go to www.callofduty.com.