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Activision Blizzard Inc. plans to launch an online service called Call of Duty Elite this fall that will work with the next major edition of the game, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” and future installments of the hyper-realistic combat-simulation game.

In a move industry executives describe as a first, Activision plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for the service, which will provide extra content that isn’t offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give players new “Call of Duty” levels to play.

Activision executives said they haven’t yet figured out how much to charge for the service, but they expect the cost to be less than fees for comparable online-entertainment services, such as a $7.99-a-month Netflix Inc.

  • Portions of the service will be free – basic multiplayer, social networking and clan aspects.
  • Paid for services include player and weapon statistics and analysis.

Bobby Kotick, Activisions CEO is not worried by a player backlash, confirming that basic multiplayer would still be free. He also added:

Call of Duty Elite, and the customer-service operation that will be needed to support it, wouldn’t be possible if the service was free. This is an enormous investment.

More information is expected to be released at the upcoming E3 trade show in Los Angeles.
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Source:  Wall Street Journal

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