More than 1 million pay for Call of Duty Elite

$49.99 service has over four million registered users despite online problems

More than one million players paid for the new Call of Duty Elite service in six days of launch, according to Activision.

Launched on November 8, more than four million players have registered for the service, despite overwhelming demand which has crippled online servers and support.

Premium memberships for the service cost $49.99 and allow players access to all features such as downloadable content, maps, competitions and virtual items.

"The demand for Call of Duty Elite at launch was so overwhelming, that for the first several days, the service did not perform up to our or our fans standards," commented Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "I want to personally thank our fans for their patience.

"Our teams have been working around the clock to get the service scaled up to meet demand. I'm very pleased to announce today that the service is now performing stably and anyone who wants to try Call of Duty Elite is now able to do so.

"Due to the scaling challenges we encountered at launch, we are giving all Call of Duty Elite premium Founder members an additional 30 days of the service free of charge."

Activision noted that while Elite hit one million paid members in six days, comparable premium subscription services from Netflix and Xbox Live took approximately one year to reach a similar milestone.

More than 80,000 Call of Duty Elite clans have been created and over 100,000 user-generated videos have been uploaded to the service, which is seeing three million daily logins.

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Latest comments (12)

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 8 years ago
For me, as a PC user, it is already mindblowing how Microsoft can charge 50 a year for multiplayer as a feature. To think Activision could stack another service on top of that goes to show how weird the market has become, with people ready to spend more than $150 for a game on the one side and rampant piracy on the other.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 8 years ago
I would have to be playing CoD all year round and play little else to consider spending money on a service like Elite. I'm totally shocked at how many people have subscribed.
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fools. money. skewed economics. recession. fanboys. populism. choose your pic :)
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Mike Wells Writer 8 years ago
The fact is that there are plenty of players (and I know a few personally) who WILL play CoD all year (they did for MW2; they did for Black Ops). For them, the cost of the game even with Elite on top (and don't forget that includes the DLC they will most likely have bought anyway) represents far, far better value than most other games on the market that will only last them a month.
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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments8 years ago
Didn't someone work out that if you were going to get the DLC anyway, elite worked out cheaper?
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Hugo Trepanier Game Designer, Behaviour Interactive8 years ago
@Neil, I think that's Elite's main incentive, getting the DLC for cheaper. I've never bought a single CoD DLC, not counting the first expansion on PC (it was a retail game at the time, remember those boxed expansion packs?) It's probably a good deal for fanboys (no offense) who play this game all year long. Personally I'd rather try different games and experiences, but if you're not going to spend your gaming time elsewhere then why not?

We're seeing similar strategies in other titles with season passes, as seen in L.A. Noire and Gears of Wars 3 for example. It's basically the developer's way of ensuring they'll keep their player's money with an upfront subscription while the product is still hot. They know some people won't even bother downloading the last few episodes or map packs, but they'll already have their money by then.
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Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart8 years ago
Mike Wells :"For them, the cost of the game even with Elite on top (and don't forget that includes the DLC they will most likely have bought anyway) represents far, far better value than most other games on the market that will only last them a month. "

And there you have it folks. ATVI gets an earful for producing a CoD every year but that's what people want to play. It's not like the other publishers are doing anything original to entice those players away. Yeah yeah Skyrim etc but they come round every 5 years. And once they finish Skyrim it's back to CoD.
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Josh Freeman Studying Computer Science, University of Huddersfield8 years ago
If you get elite with the game, then yes it works out cheaper.

My Hardened cost me 60, the game alone was 40, so thats 20 for Elite, thus 20 for 3-4 map packs (lasts 9 months they say but due to issues maybe doesnt include first month).

3 Map Packs a lone would be 24 so already saved a whopping 4 lol but maybe another added on top thats 12 saved!

Plus I get the whole service and double EXP and tournament and all the other goodies. The main reason I use it is screenshots and videos. Plus its good to change my class setup while im at work so I aint farting around with it at home =D
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Bernard Parker Studying game design, Full Sail University8 years ago
Leader board chasers, Hardcore clans...if its worth it to them I say go for it! No worst than paying monthly for a MMO IMO.
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Brett Rector Producer, LucasArts8 years ago
To add, players are paying less than $5 / month for the service. That's the price of one beer at a bar or a foo-foo coffee. Yes, Activision has pointed this out in numerous responses to the pay service, i.e. that the actual monthly fee / breakdown amounts to some chump-change, but it's true. Now if the service cost $50 / month that would be ridiculous.
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So this is the new model: pay $50 for the "basic" CoD, or $100 for the "complete" CoD (i.e. all the DLC, i.e. the entire game). Of the basic $50, Activision would get $20-$25 at most - so this makes a big difference for them, even if the numbers are small (i.e. 1m vrs 20m).

IMO, a one-off $50 isn't that big a deal - its no recurring cost like XBox Live.
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Daniel Fernandez Studying Computer Science with Games Technology, City University London8 years ago
The drug that is Call of Duty.
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