Beachhead and Activision agree: one of Call of Duty Elite’s aims is to make the deeper aspects of the franchise accessible beyond the hardcore crowd.
“[Elite has] components that are easy to get into beyond just more traditional hardcore things like intense competition or really, really deep stats,” Beachhead studio head Chacko Sonny told MCV.
“The Groups feature, for example, is a very low-friction, easily accessible way of finding other people who you could potentially play with. That’s consistently cited as the single biggest reason why people come back to Call of Duty – to play with friends.
“The Improve section is another great area where we think we can get that crowd with fewer hours of playtime more into the game and not only be a better player, but also have a better understanding of what that community is doing.”
Jamie Berger, Activision’s VP of digital, said gaming isn’t like sports, with friendly competition at all levels of skill as well as coaching and support for beginner players.
“Gaming has never built that kind of infrastructure. We’ve never embraced that broad community and said that everyone should have an opportunity to compete and join clans – not just the core gamers,” he said.
“We already have a mass audience, so all we need to do is build something that’s right for the full spectrum.”
Sonny commented that Call of Duty’s userbase extends outside the hardcore demographic, who were presumably just born knowing how to play since none of this stuff existed before now.
“I think the idea that most Call of Duty players are 16 to 35-year-old males might have been true a few years ago, but when you think that we have 30 million players worldwide, the reality of the diversity within the Call of Duty community is astounding,” he said.
Call of Duty Elite will launch with Modern Warfare 3 in November. The beta begins on July 14 and has attracted 2 million sign ups.