Black Ops II players get free Call of Duty Elite services

Call of Duty Elite will become positively common with the release of Black Ops II. Activision today announced the premium service's stat-tracking and community features will be free for all players of Black Ops II, though its DLC map packs will still require a separate purchase.

The Elite service formerly cost $50 on top of Modern Warfare 3, bundled as a premium community and content service. When Black Ops II launches on November 13, Elite's stats-laden Player HQ, clan HQ, tips-and-tricks centric Call of Duty Elite TV, and other offerings will be available to all players without charge.

The four planned map packs will still cost a pretty penny, with a season pass set for $50 or each set of new multiplayer and zombies scenarios available a la carte for $15. Compared to the old Elite which included both social services and map packs for $50, these new stages are much costlier (though in the end we ultimately get the same bang for our redistributed buck).

The map packs will land first on Xbox Live, and Activision pointed out the DLC may not appear on all consoles. While PC and PlayStation 3 are likely a safe bet, the new maps showing up on Wii U after its day-one November 18 launch may be less certain.

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.