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Why the Xbox 360 gets Call of Duty DLC before all other platforms

Amongst the Call of Duty community there is confusion and frustration about Modern Warfare 3 DLC map packs and why the Xbox 360 community receives the content a month before everyone else.

With the addition of the Elite service, people are more confused now than ever since the service said that you will get DLC before everyone else. The fact is that with an Elite subscription you’ll get DLC before everyone else on your platform but Xbox 360 users will still get it first.

Dan Amrich over at Activision has posted on his blog to clear up the confusion amongst the community.

Basically back in 2010, the year Modern Warfare 2 was released, Activison and Microsoft entered a business deal to release DLC on the Xbox 360 earlier than other platforms. (A contract which ends at the end of 2012) It was a great deal for Xbox 360 users and Microsoft as it would make their platform the best place to play Call of Duty.

Undoubtedly they paid a small fortune for the privellage to do so, yet Activision still agreed to go ahead with the deal back then and hence has pushed the PS3 and PC community behind.

Somewhere along the way, people convinced themselves that an Elite subscription would trump the 2010 DLC exclusivity deal that was created before Elite existed — that by paying for Elite, they were somehow invalidating a contract between Activision and Microsoft. It doesn’t make any sense, but it is what people started to think.

He brought attention to the Elite FAQ page which quotes:Similar to Map Packs, X360 Premium members will receive their Content before PS3 Premium members. All Call of Duty ELITE Premium members will receive a steady stream of content released monthly for 9 months through the Content season, and they will also receive their Content before non-premium members on their console.”

Exclusivity isn’t uncommon in the games industry though, games such as Haze (PS3) and Gears of War (Xbox 360) were completely exclusive to their respective platform, a much larger exclusivity deal than releasing content at different dates.

We should look on the bright side though that we all are going to get the content eventually one way or another. The platform which has it worst of all though is the PC community which doesn’t even have access to an Elite service so they’ll be getting the DLC Map Packs last of all.

Dan also mentioned in the comments: “I understand that people are frustrated; I’m not denying it. I sympathize, because I have also been a consumer on the outside of an exclusive deal, and I know how it feels. But again…I have accepted it as part of business. Also, this is a temporary situation. I would hope — but not expect, just hope — for some greater perspective. “

Who knows what the future holds for exclusivity deals in Call of Duty though, Microsoft and Activision may enter another business deal as soon as the current one ends again. What would be interesting though is if Sony or Steam were to make a similar offer to get content exclusive before all other platforms! That would shake things up a little!

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No PC version of Call of Duty: Elite in sight. Is the PC Community being push aside?

The Call of Duty: Elite twitter feed taunted users this morning with the following: “For those hungry for a PC version of ELITE, here’s an official update on its availability“, first impressions of reading something like that make your think that the service may be nearing the PC community which has been left out of the whole Elite system. The lack of the Elite system for the PC was a massive blow for the community since they were being denied features which the console platforms were getting all for exactly the same price.

Let’s look at the Activision support page that users were linked to in the promisingly sounding twitter post:We’ve been working closely with Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games to customize a Call of Duty ELITE membership offering for the PC. Since the PC is an open platform, it’s difficult to provide the secure data and statistics necessary for the premium tier of Call of Duty ELITE. Because of this, there will not be an Call of Duty ELITE premium offering on the PC in the near future, but we are continuing to work towards a free Call of Duty ELITE offering and will continue to update the community with more information post launch. As we stated previously, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 will support dedicated servers for our PC community, and we will also continue to provide PC gamers the option to purchase downloadable content on the PC as we always have. We are working hard to provide our PC fans the best Call of Duty experience they have had to date.”

It’s fair to say that is a sizeable slap to the PC community right there, “will not be an Call of Duty ELITE premium offering on the PC in the near future” especially after the twitter post raised all our hopes. The reason they give for it not coming and they are finding it difficult is the fact the PC is an open platform and it’s difficult to secure data… The fact that the game has been integrated with Steam works 100% makes it perfect for the Elite service if you ask me! A small glimpse of hope arises on the idea of the free Elite service but this will not engage with the community at all compared to what the premium services are getting. It’s a pretty poor show at the end of the post when they seem to get themselves out of hot water and explain some good things about the PC such as dedicated servers and the ability to purchase DLC. They can spin it how they want, at the end of the day the PC community is being left out, if they really wanted to capture the community and bring the Elite service to it they could. It seems their priorities though are releasing the mobile applications of Elite for existing memebers and DLC.

We are working hard to provide our PC fans the best Call of Duty experience they have had to date.” PC gamers, would you agree with this? Is Modern Warfare 3 the best Call of Duty experience you’ve had to date?

PC users do have one feature which is not present in other versions of the game though, with the ability to connect to dedicated Modern Warfare 3 servers to play online. It’s a fact that playing on a dedicated server is faster for all players involved and makes the whole game much more reliable and smoother, the only downside is that someone has to be hosting it and it is expensive. So you’d think the addition of this would bring balance to the community? Wrong! All dedicated servers on the PC are unranked, meaning you cannot increase any of your stats and scores! Since ranking up and improving your score is one of the biggest parts of Modern Warfare 3 the inability to allow the PC users to do this smoothly on dedicated servers is a massive blow and almost makes the whole dedicated option redundant.

It seems the PC community has been largely pushed aside in Modern Warfare 3, they are being denied the Elite service which some would say is an integral part of Call of Duty now because it brings it all together as well as other features which are causing uproar amongst the community. Features such as the inability to change your FOV (Field of View) have caused many problems, making the game unplayable for some. Alongside that are the dedicated servers which could have brought peace in the PC community because of its advantages, unfortunately the restriction to unranked only makes it redundant.

It’s time Activision had a long hard think about where they are going with the PC versions of the Call of Duty games, the PC community is not happy and they want to be able to play the game properly and enjoy it. Laggy non-dedicated servers, lack of Elite service and more scupper some user’s chances of enjoying the game. The platform that made Call of Duty what a massive brand today is being neglected and pushed aside for the more popular console platforms, it’s time Activision remembered this and power of the PC community, afterall they should be the ones to know.