9 reasons a Call of Duty Elite Premium subscription is actually worth the money

Early content access, monthly content drops, expert strategies, exclusive TV and more

When it was first announced, Call of Duty Elite was the source of more than a little controversy, as the internet erupted in an indignant rage over Activision’s supposed greed in launching a premium subscription service for Call of Duty content. Today, however, we finally learned the details of Elite – specifically, that it’s much more than a stingy new way to charge for DLC. In fact, if anything, Elite seems more than a little generous.

THE PRICE $49.99

We were briefed on the details of Call of Duty Elite’s free features a while back, which were impressive indeed. The only thing we knew about the controversial Premium subscription, however, was that it would include all annually released DLC for FREE. Non-subscribers may still purchase it separately (first on Xbox 360), but it’s cheaper through an Elite subscription. Doing the math, past Call of Duty DLC comes out to $60 a year, so Elite Premium is essentially a steeply discounted Season Pass that comes with a ridiculous amount of extra content and exclusive features.


Elite subscribers will apparently get certain premium features first and more often. What’s currently unclear is how this affects PlayStation users, although if Activision were smart, it would/could/should allow Elite subscribers on PSN to skirt the Call of Duty timed-exclusivity agreement with Microsoft and play parts of DLC map packs earlier.


It looks as if Elite users will receive early access to portions of DLC map backs before they’re released on XBL and PSN proper. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


New gameplay modes will be part of the monthly supply drops. Now that Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer is every bit as customizable as Halo, we expect this to be heavily influenced by the Call of Duty community.


We already knew that Elite would hold regular tournaments for real world trophies, ranging from t-shirts and patches, to iPads and Jeeps, as part of its free service, so we’re not entirely clear what this means to Premium subscribers. If we had to guess, we’d expect more frequent competitions with better prizes.


Customizing the people you play with is part of Elite’s free service, and your personal matchmaking can be based on the loosest possible criteria you choose. Wanna play with your college friends, crochet group or fellow Yankees fans. It’s easy. However, only with the Premium sub can you level up you entire clan together as a unit. TEAM!


Elite free allows players to upload up to thirty seconds of HD video to your YouTube channel and automagically tag players within that match. If you’re bad at math that’s FOUR MINUTES, which is significantly more appealing if you’re hoping to upload more than just humiliating kills and nutshot bloopers.


Call of Duty is the most played multiplayer game in the world, but obviously, some people are better than the others. Here, real Call of Duty pros will walk you through the stats and strategy to help you make sense of the heat maps and perks.


Two regular shows were announced for Call of Duty Elite Premium subscribers. The first is from Top Gun and Blade Runner brothers, Ridley and Tony Scott, and will see real-life rivals settling scores online over Call of Duty in a program called Friday Night Fights. The second show comes from Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, and will naturally take a more comedic focus. George and Michael Bluth will grief players by regularly showcasing kills, highlights and other silliness occurring over Modern Warfare 3.

That’s the rundown we got, and it’s certainly far more than we expected for that price. Better still, the Hardened Edition of Modern Warfare 3 will contain a free Call of Duty Elite “Founder” subscription in every Collector’s Edition. In case you need further proof that Activision is feeling uncharacteristically giving, everyone who purchased a ticket to this weekend’s Call of Duty XP convention this weekend will receive the Hardened Edition at no cost, with all proceeds going to charity. It’s not too late to get your ass down here…

Sep 2, 2011




After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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