To no surprise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 broke more sales records on day one and during its first week of release. What is a surprise is that despite knowing that this would be the case and forecasting sales accordingly, the Call of Duty Elite service suffered from a failed launch, functionally speaking.
The Beachhead Studios service simply did not work. Its status up until now has been continually set as “intermittent” as many gamers try to sign up and login to no avail, and for those who purchased the premium membership or bought the hardened edition of the game, they may not have been able to claim their founder status by the original deadline (now extended). Despite these issue and the service not working as planned, Activision is proudly announcing that they’ve received over 4 million sign-ups with over 1 million players purchasing the premium membership.
The most shocking fact is that they reached this milestone in just six days, destroying the launch numbers from subscription services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Sirius XM and Xbox LIVE, which all took a year to reach this number. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick elaborates on the popularity of the service as its launch:
“The audience response to Call of Duty Elite’s premium service has been beyond our expectations, and we want to thank Call of Duty players around the world for their unprecedented enthusiasm. The number of gamers who have registered for Call of Duty Elite further illustrates how this service is poised to redefine social gaming and set a new bar for interactive entertainment.”
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg explains that the service is now up and running, reiterating that Founders will get the extra 30 days free to make up for the first few weeks of service instability.
“The demand for Call of Duty Elite at launch was so overwhelming, that for the first several days, the service did not perform up to our or our fans standards. I want to personally thank our fans for their patience. Our teams have been working around the clock to get the service scaled up to meet demand. I’m very pleased to announce today that the service is now performing stably and anyone who wants to try Call of Duty Elite is now able to do so. Due to the scaling challenges we encountered at launch, we are giving all Call of Duty Elite premium Founder members an additional 30 days of the service free of charge.”
No matter what Activision does here with Call of Duty, they’re winning big and we’re not sure if this is good considering that Call of Duty Elite hasn’t proven itself yet and Modern Warfare 3 has taken the most flak from vocal gamers out of the last few annualized releases for being “more of the same.”
Because of the Call of Duty Elite issues, Activision has extended the eligibility of acquiring “Founder Status” for the service to the end of this month and have stated that the service will be up and running 100% on December 1st, a week short of a month after the release of Modern Warfare 3. For those who subscribed to the premium membership, they’ll be getting a month added to their subscriptions.
So, the service should be up and running for the holiday season but for its first month when some gamers will be playing it the most, it wasn’t there and that’s quite a disappointment, especially considering how many other games a lot of us are trying to make time for. Read our Modern Warfare 3 review to see if it’s something you should seek out.
Call of Duty: Elite is available now on the PS3 and Xbox 360 and should come to PC at some point in the future.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.