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CoD: Elite to pull $50M in revenue and 3 million subs by end of 2012, says analyst

Tuesday, 6th September 2011 15:20 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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.

Thanks, Gamasutra.

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7 Comments

  1. G1GAHURTZ

    I think that’s a huge underestimate.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. AHA-Lambda

    @1 – me too. I couldn’t have cared less bout elite before and i’m signing up for that DLC.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. G1GAHURTZ

    The thing is that the justification that they make for their estimate is how many people bought the map packs for BO.

    For whatever reason, they seem to have completely ignored the rest of the stuff that you get with Elite Premium, which is a bit strange.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. nofear360

    @1: I actually think it’s a good estimate.

    By the end of 2010, Black Ops sold 20 million units across all platforms, give or take a million. We also know 18 million map packs have been sold by September 2011. Suppose these 18 million map packs were sold only to the players willing to buy all four – that would mean only 4,5 million CoD players who be needed to reach that 18 million figure, considering, again, that they would buy all four map packs. But it took 10 months to reach 18 million units sold and Wedbush here gave an estimate for only the first two months.

    Having said that, 1 million paid subscribers (in other words, players who want to get all the DLC) by the year’s end seems pretty much on spot, I’d say.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. TheBlackHole

    I can’t believe people are going to pay for rudimentary stat updates and video features.

    Bungie have been doing this since the launch of Halo 3, for FREE at Bungie.net

    Nothing new here to justify the cost.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Fin

    @5

    It’s not stats, you get them for free (and I think they’re more comprehensive than Bungie.net).

    The cost of Elite gets you allDLC for the next year – 20 “pieces”, so presumably four map packs. People who’re going to buy all the map packs anyway’ll probably save money buying an Elite sub.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    Arguably it is just another way to monetize on something that has always been free of charge, just like an Online Pass or similar landgrab, but you do still get the basic workings for free. The premium just offers DLC at no extra charge, and stuff like professionally made clips based on the CoDverse.

    Why you’d want to pay for that, I dunno, but some people can’t get enough I guess.

    #7 3 years ago

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