Jamie Berger, VP of Digital at Activision, talks about the growth of Call of Duty Elite
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide pure-play online...
Call of Duty Elite certainly had its share of stumbles out of the gate last year (as noted by Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg) but the company has gone on to provide a fairly successful social service (over 1.5 million paying subscribers) for fans of the blockbuster franchise. According to Jamie Berger, VP of Digital at Activision, Elite-like services are becoming a necessary component of big games.
"I do believe services like this are going to become a necessity for real franchises that are going to be day in and day out. The world is changing, consumer behavior is changing. Social networks and the always-on connectivity of any device are changing the ways people behave," Berger told GamesIndustry International. "They want to stay engaged with things in ways that couldn't even happen five years ago. I think as a game publisher and developer you have to get ahead of that."
He continued, "You have to be able to engage your consumers wherever they want to engage with you in lots of different and unique ways. You have to provide them social experiences that add to the game."
Indeed, competitors have been watching Elite closely, and it's certainly possible that Activision rival EA could look to create a similar service for a top property like Battlefield in the future.
"When we're talking two years from now... we're going to look at Elite and go 'wow, that has no resemblance to what it was at launch'"
EA COO Peter Moore told us back in February, "Call of Duty Elite... the numbers Activision have talked about, they've done a great job. It's incumbent upon us, whether we do that or do something one step ahead, I think the digital strategy that we're executing against right now - a billion dollars on a trailing 12-month basis - shows that we're doing some good things as well."
Berger, of course, wasn't about to comment on what Activision's competitors might do, but for Elite, he believes the Beachhead studio is only getting warmed up. Berger fully expects the service to continuously evolve and improve, similar to Xbox Live.
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