In an unprecedented move, Activision Blizzard Inc. is attempting to find out how much scratch gamers are willing to pony up for the next installment of their wildly popular Call of Duty series.  After purchasing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, diehard fans can elect to subscribe to an online service called Call of Duty Elite.  For the extra monthly fee—rumored to be less than the price of a $7.99 Netflix subscription—players will receive extra content, such as map packs, and access to special analytical reports to improve their game.  These reports will allow you to review your performance in online matches, including the ability to determine which weapons have caused the most wanton destruction.

Subscription fees for games have mostly been relegated to MMOs, which provide new content every few months to sustain the player-base.  While it is rare to see a shooter attempt to adopt this model, if there’s a franchise that can do it, this one is it.  Call of Duty: Black Ops was the best-selling game last year and raked in over one billion dollars in the first six weeks!  But are gamers willing to pay a monthly fee for extra features?  Fortunately, the subscription fee isn’t required to play online matches, so it is truly optional, but if this winds up proving lucrative for Activision expect to see more publishers following suit.  [via Wall Street Journal]


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