When Activision revealed Call of Duty Elite last year, the plan was met with widespread criticism. One blogger named Neils Hansen even went as far as to call the service "a douche move" on behalf of Activision, leading a protest against the service amidst claims that it would now charge for services that were previously free.
“We had a summer of criticism,” Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said, speaking at the DICE Summit game conference in Las Vegas.
The criticism didn't stop gamers sighing up in droves.
Seven million people have signed up to Elite, while 1.5 million are paying the yearly subscription fee. That, by all accounts, is a success no matter how you look at it.
Despite the sign-up success, the service had issues. “This is not a victory lap and we had technology stumbles,” Hirshberg said.
Hirshberg argued that while people buy games as a product, they are actually deciding to “buy into brands,” which led to the creation of Elite and the eventual breaking away from the idea that a product sold for $60, and that's it. No more services, no more content.
When Activision finally revealed the pricing structure and features of the service, Hansen agreed to eat his own words and subscribe.
The success of the service from a business standpoint has allowed Activision to expand its creative thinking with Elite and hopefully improve a service that is still experiencing its fair share of issues.
One thing's for sure: despite such aggressive initial criticism, Elite's pricing structure provides undeniable value for Call of Duty gamers. And what of the service's new tagline? "Call of Duty Elite. It's not a douche move," Hirshberg joked.
Do you use Elite? What have your experiences with the service been like so far?
Source: Venture Beat