Why Call of Duty Elite Could Be a Terrible Idea

For the past few weeks, I’ve been getting emails from Call of Duty, advertising their latest creation: Call of Duty Elite. After a quick skim, I realized they were asking for a subscription to a new service they created for their games that helps people “connect, compete and improve.”

There are lots of benefits to the subscription (which is $50 a year) including a website filled with stats and player videos, early views of map layouts, improved gun attachments, and even a “Level Calculator” which tells you how long you’ll need to play to reach the next level. Also, Call of Duty will be releasing 20 maps over the span of 9 months for Modern Warfare 3, and Elite members will not have to pay any extra for them.

Whose more likely to pay for the subscription: someone who plays 2 hours a night or someone who plays only on weekends? And who is more likely to be better at the game? Yes, these are huge assumptions but I think they are reasonable ones.

So from a Call of Duty addict’s perspective, I’m sure this program seems like an amazing idea. Even if you aren’t sitting in front of your TV playing the game, there are mobile apps and internet sites for Elite members that would still fulfill that desire to COD it up. But the problem is for the rest of the players: the casual fans who play for fun, those who don’t want to pay extra money after spending $70 on the game.

Those who don’t subscribe are going to be at a severe disadvantage. They won’t know maps when they get released, while the players on the other team will know the map inside and out. Elite also connects members with the same skill level and encourages the formation of clans. Also, the Elite members will have potentially better attachments (Modern Warfare 3 has not released a complete list of gun attachments and perks) and have a leg up on the non-Elite.

Add these all together and here’s a potential situation: I fire up my Playstation, absolutely jacked up to play the new map packs. I get into a Team Deathmatch and see that I’m taking on a clan while I’m with a bunch of random guys. This could happen in any Call of Duty game before but here’s where it gets different: the match begins and I have no idea where to go. I turn a corner and I die right away because someone is camping there, knowing someone will have to turn that corner. The camper has already seen the maps and learned the layouts. The rest of my team is in the same boat, totally new to the map, while the clan is hanging out, potentially camping the spawns, with their tricked out guns.

See how this could be frustrating? Call of Duty is a difficult game as it is. Why put those who are already skilled at the game at an advantage?

Agree/Disagree? Sound off below.

Wall Street Journal also did a video explaining the features of Elite.

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