Call of Duty Elite brings social media layer to COD multiplayer

Call of Duty Elite, a new social media service from Activision, will launch in November, at the same time as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Call of Duty Elite will add a social media layer to the popular Activision franchise. Here, a screenshot from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Call of Duty players have plenty to be happy about these days – the amazing success of Modern Warfare 2, the even more amazing success of Black Ops, and the fall 2011 arrival of Modern Warfare 3, the latest shooter in the storied Activision franchise. But here's a little more icing on the cake, anyway: Pretty soon, Call of Duty players will have their own social media/subscription service called Call of Duty Elite.

Elite, which was first confirmed by the Wall Street Journal – the platform is expected to get a full airing at the E3 conference – is expected to go live at around the same time as Modern Warfare 3 hits the shelves. (In November, in other words.) The thing is a little bit Facebook, a little bit multiplayer gaming lobby: Users will be able to track scores across platforms, compare stats, and join groups or "clans" comprised of like-minded gamers.

"Groups are largely open and can be based on anything," reports Mashable, which got an early look at Elite. "Like eating lobster? You can join or create a 'Lobster' group. Like playing with machine guns? There’s a group for that. Same with 'Yankees' or 'Los Angeles.' Groups operate similar to fan pages on Facebook. Users can track and compare themselves to these mini-communities of players. Users can join a total of 64 groups."

Activision is offering users a chance to sign up for a Beta version of Elite, which works with Black Ops.

So how much will Elite cost? Writing on Twitter, Robert Bowling, an employee of Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward, says the service will be mostly free, with users forking over some cash for "TBD" functionalities. "COD ELITE is free, for all players, some paid aspects TBD," Bowling tweeted. "Absolutely NO fee to play #MW3 multiplayer." Fair enough.

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