With the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops II less than 40 days away, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that all of its Call of Duty Elite service features for Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be free when the blockbuster game hits worldwide on November 13. With Call of Duty Elite free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, both new and veteran Call of Duty Elite members alike will be able to enjoy the full range of Call of Duty Elite’s robust service and features integrated into the highly-anticipated new game in development by award-winning studio Treyarch.
"We’ve learned a lot in our first year of Call of Duty Elite, and we’re very proud that we over delivered on our commitment of playable content to our premium members," said Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg. "What we have realized is that several of the Call of Duty Elite services which are currently only available to our premium members for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are things that would further unite, engage and delight our player community. So we are going to make them free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II."
Supporting Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Activision will be selling four epic new Downloadable Content (DLC) Map Packs both ‘ la carte and through the introduction of the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Season Pass. Coming to the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network first, the four Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Map Packs will deliver a variety of new Multiplayer and Zombies playable content and are expected to be available in 2013. The Season Pass will deliver all four Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Map Packs at a discounted suggested retail price of 4000 Microsoft Points ($49.99 on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360 (discount based on four DLC Map Packs at a suggested retail price of 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) each). Season Pass pre-orders are now available at select retail outlets, including GameStop. Season Pass and DLC Map Packs may not be available on all gaming platforms. Pricing and release dates may vary by platform. All Call of Duty Elite features and availability are subject to change. Further details regarding the 2013 calendar of Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Map Packs will be made available at a later date.
Hirshberg continued, "For Call of Duty: Black Ops II, DLC Map Packs will be a separate offering from Call of Duty Elite. The Season Pass will be a great way to acquire all four Map Packs at a discount, but if our fans would rather take it one Map Pack at a time, then we’ll offer each pack ‘ la carte for anyone who wants it. What we aren’t doing is requiring a paid membership to access the great player services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II and we’re thrilled to offer all of Elite’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II features to players for free."
Today’s news of Call of Duty Elite’s free integration with Call of Duty: Black Ops II follows the recent reveal of several new multiplayer features that are in the works by Treyarch, including an all-new ‘Pick Ten Create-a-Class’ system, an added emphasis on eSports featuring CODcasting, and an all-new Score Streaks system. GameStop president Tony Bartel says, "Consumer anticipation for Call of Duty: Black Ops II is tremendous. We are seeing the highest pre-orders in history. With its current pace, this Call of Duty is on track to break records and is likely to be our biggest game launch of all time."