June 7, 2011 by Vinnie Leduc
MediaStinger’s exclusive session with Activision at the end of Day 1 of E3 started with a special presentation on Call of Duty: Elite that revealed some additional details on the recently announced subscription service. Hosted by Beachhead’s Noah Heller and Treyarch’s Jay Puryear, the behind-closed-doors presentation emphasized Elite‘s features, especially the ones focused on social networking.
Like on Facebook, gamers will be able to tag others in user-created theater videos and screenshots. Players will also be able to link their Elite accounts to their Facebook accounts to potentially discover other closet Call of Duty players, even those on different systems. You can also create or join a group with similar interests using a hashtag followed by, say for example, “Lakers” or “Heat”. Nah, screw the Heat.
Heller stated that Elite wants to take “Call of Duty outside of Call of Duty” and went on to describe Beachhead’s vision to allow players to manage and make new loadouts on their iPhones, Androids, and iPads (but not on your clunky Wii U controller/console/thingamabob). These would then be readily available for gamers the next time they log on to play Call of Duty.
Of course, Elite will offer advanced matchmaking and stat-tracking that you can use to compare yourself to other gamers you meet. Puryear, who’s maxed out on Black Ops at Prestige 15 Level 50 with over 600+ hours of online gameplay, comically demonstrated these Elite features by showing how superior his career bests are compared to Heller’s.
In addition to offering weapons video guides and positional heat maps, Elite will also hold various tournaments that players can enlist in. Most of them will be competitive deathmatches or statistical challenges, but some will be screenshot contests, such as “best flamethrower kill”. Possible prizes mentioned include t-shirts, jackets, belts, and even iPads.
What’s free and what’s not is still nebulous, but specific pricing for Call of Duty: Elite should be out in a couple of months. What we do know is that the invite-only beta starts on July 14, so go to http://www.callofduty.com/elite to register.