The day has come: Activision has finally introduced Plan B. Plan B is much like Plan A, in that it also involves making an absolute crapton of money out of Call of Duty. This time, it's called Call of Duty Elite, and it's a social networking, clan-arranging, video-sharing, stat-analysing online service for COD multiplayer. Some aspects for it will be free; others will involve a paid subscription. The gaming world had a sharp intake of breath this morning, and you probably will too.
There's an *apparently* leaked YouTube trailer of Elite below, but as I believe the publications who Activision chose to show the service to are under some sort of embargo, you'd better hurry and watch it before it either gets pulled or just posted everywhere else anyway.
We weren't shown the service and thus have no embargo to worry about. Hooray!
Ok, so Activision are pulling uploads of the trailer at a rate of knots. Take two! If the above one's gone by the time you get it, another copy currently remains on Eurogamer.
So: "Basically going to change the way we play multiplayer", eh? Steam, Xbox Live and Bungie.Net will probably all have things to say about that. Looks like a pretty good service in terms of what CoD players are likely to want, especially stuff like video and map sharing, stat madness and forming clans and competing for unlocks, but that Big Huge Question is what's going to be free and what's going to paid for - and just how much are they going to ask for it?
Controversy, basically. And possibly highly profitable controversy.
Still, bonus points for the video including double rainbows and The Touch from the 80s Transformers movie. Arise, Rodimus Premium Pricing. Oh, and there's a very brief Modern Warfare 3 snippet at the end too.
Activision are apparently at pains to state that this is not a pay-to-play service, but a pay-for-something-else service. Are you interested, or are you immediately stricken with deep loathing?
Update: the Wall Street Journal reckons Elite will cost under $8 a month. Or "about three glasses of beer", as I like to think of it.