Activision has talked about its Call of Duty Elite online service, which it believes will become mandatory for practically any large videogame franchises because players want to feel connected with others through social features.
Call of Duty Elite may have been met with mixed feelings when it was first announced last year and its actual launch, alongside that of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, wasn’t the most fortunate, as the rush of users took down its systems for quite a long time.
Even so, the online service offered by Activision for Call of Duty fans is very successful, with over 1.5 million paying subscribers across the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 franchises.
According to Jamie Berger, the vice president of digital at Activision, this success proves that many videogame franchises can profit from implementing similar services and features into their own development strategy.
"I do believe services like this are going to become a necessity for real franchises that are going to be day in and day out. The world is changing, consumer behavior is changing. Social networks and the always-on connectivity of any device are changing the ways people behave," Berger told GamesIndustry. "They want to stay engaged with things in ways that couldn't even happen five years ago. I think as a game publisher and developer you have to get ahead of that."
Players want to engage with others while they’re playing a game so adding an Elite-like feature will certainly get them more invested in the experience, according to Berger.
"You have to be able to engage your consumers wherever they want to engage with you in lots of different and unique ways. You have to provide them social experiences that add to the game."
Quite a few other companies, chief among which being Electronic Arts, have expressed their interest in offering Elite-like services for their own properties.
EA even went so far as to promise that online universes for each of its major properties will be made in the future.