(CBS) - Call of Duty XP left fans of the franchise buzzing Labor Day weekend. A convention, which was hosted in Los Angeles, featured the premiere of a Modern Warfare-themed Xbox 360, a performance by Kanye West and the announcement of Call of Duty Elite.
The announcement of Elite has left the the Call of Duty (CoD) community with mixed feelings about the high price of online content.
The subscription-based feature is like a social network that acts as a hub for multiplayer games, including tons of downloadable content (DLC).
Members will be able to track their performance in the game, connect with Facebook friends and create clans. Gamers will be able to access and sync information from consoles with smartphones, tablets and the web.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 DLC will have new releases for nine months and 20 pieces of new content. All DLC is for keeps, even after your membership expires.
It all sounds amazing, but it doesn't come cheap. A one-year subscription will cost $50 on top of the $60 it costs to purchase the game. However, all of its features are worth the money for dedicated players. After all, it's about the cost of a latte a month.
Don't worry if you don't want to shell out the big bucks. There are free features. All CoD fans will be able to create profiles, classes and clans. Activision offers a full list of features on the CoD website. Will it be enough for true fans?
Ars Technica's Ben Kuchera argues that "you may not have to pay for Elite to play Modern Warfare 3, but you're quickly going to become a second-class citizen if you don't." Point taken. Elite does introduce a caste system of sorts into the CoD world that may not jive with all gamers.
Even with all the naysayers, we doubt $50 annually will stop hardcore CoD fans from getting their hands on new DLC.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a first-person shooting game that depicts the U.S. under attack from the Russian Federation. Elite will be available with the release of Modern Warfare 3 on November 11.