Call of Duty Elite launched last fall to coincide with the rollout of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, the fastest-selling entertainment product of all time. Elite is the online counterpart to MW3, offering stats tracking, in-game competitions, game strategies and more. The service had some rough moments at launch, but most parts of Elite are up and running now.
Chacko Sonny, head of Beachhead Studio -- the Activision Blizzard division in charge of Elite -- explained that the app includes four main components, mirroring most of the major features from the Elite website:
- Career Summary: A "back of the baseball card" assessment of the players stats, and a way to look up other players cards and statistics
- Recent Matches: "Fantasy football analysis" of recent games played
- Challenges: Track challenges in-game (achievements for performing certain tasks or leveling up a gun) and allows players to find the quickest ways to level up and have that information by their side while playing.
- Custom Classes: Perhaps the most useful feature, gives the player the ability to make any changes to custom classes and push those changes to the game. Sonny noted this was the most common way that beta testers used the app.
Sonny told MacRumors that with Elite available on three very different platforms -- console, the web, and now the iPhone -- the difference in form factor between the interfaces was important: "it's smaller from an interface standpoint. We didn't want to shoehorn the website or console experience onto a smartphone." Beachhead's designers made sure the Elite app felt native to the iPhone.
Further, Sonny emphasized that the Elite iPhone app is a 1.0 release and that the service will progress both on the console, the web, and the mobile apps.
We view this as the foundation. We want to hear from the community: how do they use this? What parts do they like? What parts aren't as useful? We want to drive additional development going forward from people who play the game every single day. That's going to help us deliver a better set of iterated features going forward, and for the forthcoming tablet version as well.
The app will be free, and will be available to all Call of Duty Elite users -- there is a premium Elite membership available that includes free downloadable content and some other goodies, but that doesn't affect the mobile app -- though there is no sign-up from the app itself. Users must enroll via the website or the Elite app on either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 first. The Call of Duty Elite app only works when connected to the Internet via 3G or Wi-Fi.