Services such as Call of Duty: Elite will become a "necessity" for all mainstream games in the not-too distant future, according to Activision's digital vice president, Jamie Berger.
Berger told MCV that while Elite is currently considered to be a optional extra for consumers, we aren't far from the day when a supporting social network, stat-tracking, and content delivery service will be a vital part of maintaining and attracting a large audience.
"We believe that a 24/7, year-round services strategy that broadens the game experience beyond just playing is going to be a necessity," he explained.
"Right now, it's an option, but in three to five years, it won't be. To support a diverse player base, you will have to have a services and ongoing content strategy. I don't see how games are going to manage without that.
"Elite is about Call of Duty being bigger than ever five years from now and laying the groundwork for that."
EA's launching their own service known as Battlelog for their upcoming shooter Battlefield 3, although it's free of cost to all players - unlike Activision's Elite, which features a premium tier with a monthly subscription fee.
Call of Duty: Elite will be releasing alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on November 2 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.