Activision unveils 'Call of Duty Elite' subscription service

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Late last year rumors emerged suggesting that Activision might implement a subscription model for Call of Duty online multiplayer. Although the company was quick to tell customers it would "never, ever charge" for multiplayer, it didn't outright deny the possibility of a premium service tier for extra content and features not found on the retail game disc. And that's just what the company has revealed today, under the moniker Call of Duty Elite.

Launching in beta this summer, the new service will work with the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, as well as future installments of the combat-simulation game. Activision says it hasn't yet figured out how much to charge for the service, but it has been suggested the price will be below $7.99. Players will get to access a sample set of features for free, such as the ability to join interest groups and team up with like-minded players for online battles, while those who pay the monthly fee get additional features including access to map packs and other perks.

Besides the usual leaderboards and other statistics, Call of Duty Elite will also provide users with tools to analyze their performance within the game, keeping track of which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies, or showing a blueprint of a level with heat map information about where they killed and got killed. Additionally, users will be able to log into the service on Apple's iOS portable devices and Activision says that an Android app is on the way.

The company will likely continue offering map packs and other digital content for one-time charges, but as rumored months ago, the move will give Activision Blizzard an additional way to capitalize on its millions of Call of Duty players. More details are expected to emerge next week at E3.

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