For the first time ever, Call Of Duty fans have a choice over how they buy their DLC maps. You can get them in much the same way as before – buying them in intermittently released packs (or Collections, as they’re now officially known) – or you can pay for the whole lot at once by buying Call Of Duty: Elite Premium membership, which carries a number of advantages.
Millions of Call Of Duty players have already signed up for Elite Premium, and millions of others never will. If you’re one of those sitting undecided in the middle though, then this article is for you.
Here are some clear answers to some simple questions…
Is Elite Premium better value?
If you want all of the DLC then yes, definitely. There are to be a total of 24 ‘Drops’. Each drop is a multiplayer map, a Spec Ops mission or some mysterious third content type currently only known as ‘Classified’. Collection 1, released this week for 1200 Points (£10.28 or $15), contains the 6 Drops released to Elite Premium members so far. This means that all 24 Drops will cost a total of 4800 Points (£41.12 or $60). A year’s Premium membership to Elite costs £34.99 or $50 so you can get all the DLC for £6.13 or $10 cheaper by signing up.
Do I want all of the DLC?
This is the question on which your decision should hinge, and ultimately only you can answer it. We can tell you that every Drop released so far has been really good, better than most of what you get on the disc. But we can also tell you that if we were Activision, we would want the best map and mission designs finished and released early in the DLC campaign, so there’s no guarantee the quality bar will remain as high. It might. But there’s no guarantee, and for that reason, Elite Premium is a bit of a gamble.
Will I always have to wait longer for Collection packs?
Yes. One of the benefits of Premium membership is that you get the DLC first. If you wait for the Collection packs you’ll be waiting at least a couple of weeks longer – more like a couple of months for some content.
How good are the other Premium membership benefits?
If the value of the rest of Premium’s benefits is what’s likely to sway your decision, then we would say don’t go Premium. It’s not really all that great. At least not yet. If you’re a really hardcore Call Of Duty fan then you could get quite a lot out of it, but if you were that hardcore you wouldn’t be on the fence now, would you?
What should I do if I don’t like being made to make this choice at all?
You can say so, directing your comments at the official Call Of Duty Twitter and Facebook pages. But the messages that will be heard clearest are in the language of money. If you feel like you’re being forced to make a choice between taking a gamble on unknown content and paying more than you should have to, then the very best way to show Activision that you don’t like these options is to choose neither.
Finally, if you hadn’t have got Premium membership for free, would you have bought it?
I honestly don’t know for sure. I think it’s a pretty good value deal, considering how much DLC you get for your money, but I don’t know that I’d really want that much additional content at all. There’s already a new COD game every year – do I really need more stuff for one I’ve already got every month?
I think I probably would have bought it, but I guess for me, that would have been the only way to find out for sure if it was worth it. Whether I’d be renewing it come the end of the year… now, that’s the real question. And one that, as a freeloader, I can’t answer.