Call Of Duty Elite: A Bridge Too Far?

The Call of Duty franchise has sold 56 million console units in the U.S. alone, generated over $4 billion in revenue and saw the latest entry of Call of Duty: Black Ops top $1 billion in revenue in under two months. With all of that revenue and the brand going strong, Activision risks alienating their fan-base with their newly announced subscription service Call of Duty Elite.

“The Call of Duty brand is definitely strong enough to give Activision some room to experiment with an add-on subscription model,” said Jeremy Miller, an analyst with DFC Intelligence. “Activision is walking a very tight line between satisfying hard-core online shooter players, the pick-up-and-play crowd, and investors.”

“From Activision’s perspective, they’re looking at the percentage of Xbox Live hours derived from Call of Duty play, and they’re asking, ‘Why is Microsoft getting $60 a year based on our content ‘” said Michael Cai, VP-research at Interpret. “Activision also wants a way to keep players engaged until the next game comes out. They could offer discounts for new Call of Duty games if you’re a subscriber, for instance.”

The teaser announcement by Activision has fueled gamer rage over its feature and price vagueness, though more details are expected at E3. “By not releasing enough information, Activision has upset consumers who all just hear the term ‘paid subscription service,'” said Paul Tassi, editor in chief of online mag Unreality. “I don’t understand why they decided to release inadequate info now.”

While the complete details could help sooth hurt feelings, it’s still a balancing act providing the right amount of services for the subscription fee. “Many fear that the next step after a ‘premium service’ like this would be charging monthly for online play, a la World of Warcraft. The company ‘swears’ they’ll never do that, but never say never in this industry. If a step that drastic was taken, then yes, I could easily see many jumping ship,” said Tassi. “If it doesn’t affect core game-play, it’s viewed as a dick move vs. a deal-breaker, and I wouldn’t imagine it will significantly impact sales.”



Bono Launches Activist App

Bono has launched a new iPhone app to support his ONE foundation. It’s designed to help those that download it to organize against poverty and stay with them wherever they go.

“I don t want slacktivists, I want true activists,” said Bono when he ordered up the app.

“The app is designed so users can sign petitions, communicate with lawmakers and promote causes, with goals of reaching some of ONE’s 2.5 million members and growing their base. From the simplest standpoint it s activism in your pocket,” says CEO Jon Kamen.

The developer created the app for very little money and hopes that AT&T, Verizon, Apple and Google would help them get the app out to other platforms. “We really did it essentially for nothing in the big picture,” says Kamen. “There should be no excuse that these companies don t want to get behind alleviating poverty.”

Source: AdWeek

Ngmoco Recruiting Mobage Developers

Ngmoco has announced that their Sandbox platform is now available to developers. This will grant developers access to the ngCore engine to create high-quality titles for Mobage, which provides developers with a shared currency for their titles, a virtual goods bank system, a payment API, and analytic tools.

The Mobage launch is right around the corner and we re giving developers the tools to be ready, said Simon Jeffery, Chief Publishing Officer, Ngmoco. The combination of the ngCore engine and Mobage platform will empower developers to quickly and easily innovate, delivering compelling social and mobile games to market faster than ever before.


Sony Responds To Lawmaker Criticism Over PSN

Sony has had to endure the criticism of its consumers for the PSN outage, but the more worrisome criticism for the company has come from U.S. representatives. Sony Network Entertainment International president Tim Schaaff argued that the company needed to learn more about the extent of the intrusion before telling customers.

“If we’d responded earlier it would have been irresponsible,” Schaaff said, dismissing speculation of lax security software on its servers. “It was quite a remarkable attack.

Consumers have a right to know when their personal information has been compromised and companies have a responsibility to promptly alert them,” said Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R., Calif.), who chairs the subcommittee panel that held the hearing.

Source: Morningstar

Uncharted 3 Discovers Treasure For Collectors And Pre-Orders

Sony today unveiled the details to the Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Collector’s Edition. The package will come in a Traveling Chest replica which will contain the Steelbook case version of the game, a replica of Drake’s belt buckle and necklace with ring and a statue of Nathan Drake from Sideshow Collectibles.

The various pre-order bonuses will also be unveiled, and they will come in the form of early access to multiplayer Weapon Mods, Boosters and Medal Kickbacks. GameStop buyers will receive the Creepy Crawler Kickback, Best Buy will give out the Regeneration Booster, will grant you Bomb Kickback, and Clip Size Mods for the Para- 9 and G-MAL and Walmart will have the Callout Weapon Mod; other retailers will have a voucher code for an exclusive Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception PSN Avatar and PS3 XMB Theme.


Saints Row Rim Job For Enrique Trinidad

THQ has announced that winner of the Win A Rim Job promotion. Enrique Trinidad of Henderson, Nevada will have his 1998 Honda Civic EX turned into a Saints Row custom job, compete with a tricked out trunk with a flat screen and Xbox 360 console, by ZD Motorsports.

THQ will also play host to a Saints Row-themed car wash along with free parking throughout the course of the E3 conference, read a release by the company. The Saints Row-themed free parking lot is located across from the Staples Center on Figueroa St., and will be open one and half hours prior to the show opening June 7-9. With more than 500 available spaces, the Saint Row parking lot will also display customized cars and will feature VIP valet parking and car washes to the first 50 cars that arrive, with a viewing area for spectators to check out the car customization process from start to finish.


Duke Nukem Forever Pre-Orders Still Good At GameStop

Duke Nukem Forever has been in development in one form or another since 1997, and people have put down a lot of pre-orders for the game over the years. Despite the fact that GameStop purges its system of old pre-order records every few years, they have announced that they’ll honor any old pre-order a customer may have, assuming they have the receipt.

“With a long-anticipated release like Duke Nukem Forever, we encourage customers who pre-ordered more than a year ago to verify their reservation with their local store prior to launch,” said GameStop in a statement. “Provided the customer has a receipt, we will honor even those pre-orders taken long ago.”

Source: IGN