Wedbush Securities has called Call of Duty: Elite, Activision’s new free and premium service, a “no brainer” for consumers.
Speaking in an industry note, the firm feels $50 a year for the premium service will be “very popular” with Call of Duty fans and has the potential to pull in $50 million in revenue for the firm during 2012, with an operating margin of 60 percent.
“We expect that at least 1 million will sign up for the premium Elite membership by year end,” said the note. “The Call of Duty network effect may be amplified by premium Elite, such that if a gamer’s friend purchases premium Elite and gets access to premium maps, the gamer may feel compelled to purchase premium Elite in order to compete as early and as often as possible.”
The firm believes 3 million users will sign up for the service by the end of 2012, and 5 million will have registered by the end of 2013. It also expects the service to remain the same price for at least two years before being increased, and even expects Activision to eventually open an online store in the long term.
Despite EA’s Battlelog being a free service for Battlefield 3 players, Wedbush expects players to pay for Elite due to not only the planned monthly DLC, but the eventual savings of $10 a year. Elite members will receive 20 DLC updates over the course of the year, as opposed to four DLC packs, each released on a quarterly basis.
Going back to Battlelog, Wedbush also said in the note it expects EA to eventually charge a yearly subscription for Battlelog, similar to what is being charged for Elite.
Elite is expected to launch alongside Modern Warfare 3 in November, and those who purchase the Hardened Edition of the game will receive the first year of the service free.