Today Activision announced that all of the Call of Duty Elite services will be free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The Elite service launched last year with two tiers. While both tiers received stat tracking and social options, one of the biggest draws of the paid premium subscription was its monthly map updates.
Of course, there’s always a trade off. Instead of giving the premium Elite members early access to DLC, Activision is offering players the opportunity to purchase a season pass.
So why the sudden change? Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg said it’s because Activision ”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.”
The new season pass will be available to Xbox 360 players for $50 and it includes four new DLC map packs to be released throughout 2013. The map packs will also be available separately for $15 each, so season pass holders will save $10. Activision’s press release only mentions Xbox 360, and it specifically states, “Season Pass and DLC Map Packs may not be available on all gaming platforms.” Strange wording, but it seems unlikely that the publisher would keep lucrative DLC off the PS3, PC, and Wii U.
According to a statement made to Joystiq, Activision is “‘working with Nintendo’ to bring both the DLC and the season pass to the Wii U version of Black Ops II.”