Activision has just announced that all of Call of Duty Elite’s premium features will be made available for free to Black Ops II players when the game launches on November 13th.
Activision Publishing’s CEO Eric Hirshberg made the announcement in a press release, saying:
“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. 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.”
With the full range of Call of Duty Elite’s stat tracking, and clan/loadout management tools now available to the masses, the premium side of the service will basically consist of a Season Pass for Black Ops II‘s DLC. The CoD faithful will be able to purchase the Season Pass of all four 2013 DLC Map Packs at a MSRP of 4000 Microsoft Bucks ($49.99), a $10 discount off the regular price of 1200 MS Points ($15) per Map Pack.
Making Call of Duty Elite completely free for Black Ops II is an interesting move for Activision to make, considering they might lose some paying subscribers who were in it mainly for the premium services.
My guess is that this is a response to the success of Battlefield 3 Premium, and Activision’s attempt to further differentiate their flagship IP from EA’s shooter. Regardless if that is the case or not, I doubt many gamers will complain about the change.