It's official, Call of Duty Elite will be free for all "Black Ops II" players when the highly anticipated follow-up launches next month. Activision has also confirmed that all of the DLC will be available separately though gamers will have the opportunity to score a discount by purchasing a Season Pass.
"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."
As a free service for "Black Ops II" it looks like Call of Duty Elite is getting a bit of an upgrade in the form of some new and enhanced features:
Player HQ – Track Call of Duty: Black Ops II performance with rich game statistics, including enhanced match information such as heat maps and recent match data; track challenges and extensively modify your classes like never before using Treyarch’s new Pick 10 Create-a-Class system.
Clan HQ – Join an existing clan or start your own, invite friends and then take part in Call of Duty: Black Ops II clan competitions with cool digital prizing.
Zombies Support – For the millions of Zombies fans out there, now you can track your Zombies personal statistics and compare it to other players’ around the world.
Call of Duty Elite TV – Launching with tablet support with Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the new Call of Duty Elite TV will deliver a renewed community focus featuring developer tips and strategy programming, custom class overviews and more.
Social Sharing and Notifications – With Call of Duty Elite’s new notification system, you can stay updated with what is going on in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, as well as communicate directly with your clan.
Because the service is going to be free this time around, it means all players on Xbox 360 (yep, they're getting it first again) will have access to the various multiplayer and zombies content at the same time. The Season Pass will offer up all four of the planned map packs for 4000 Microsoft Points ($49.99), but players will have the option to buy each pack individually at 1200 Microsoft Points ($15). Pre-orders have already begun at Best Buy and Gamestop locations.