Activision announces that Call of Duty Elite features will be free in Black Ops II

With only a short while before Call of Duty: Black Ops II releases (on November 13, 29 days away for the few of you not counting), Activision has made a big announcement. “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.”

The Call of Duty Elite feature, introduced in Modern Warfare 3, was a paid subscription for players. All of these Elite features will be free for everyone who plays Black Ops II. These features include in depth player tracking that shows match information such as heat maps, recent match data, and challenge progress. Clan HQ is also included as a platform for teams to be made to compete for digital prizes. Zombies support also exists, as does a new social networking system. The final feature is Elite TV, a tablet supported community focus that shows developer tips on how to become better at the game. The Elite perk of early downloadable map access is gone, but in its wake Activision is offering a Season Pass that will give access to the 4 upcoming map packs at a discounted price. 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 a 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.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops II launches everywhere on November 13, 2012, on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. The title is also expected to be released in North America on November 18, 2012, for the new Wii U game system. You had better hurry with your preorders though, GameStop president Tony Bartel has said, “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.”