On the 20th of March 2012 the first Map Pack for Modern Warfare 3 will be released on the Xbox 360. The first Map Pack contains the first 6 content drops that ELITE users get meaning the first Map Pack has 6 new pieces of content to add to the game.
All Xbox 360 players will be able to purchase the Map Pack on the 20th.
When users signed up for Call of Duty: ELITE they were told that if they became a Premium member with ELITE they would get DLC content before anyone else. At least this is the impression that all the premium members got when they paid $50 for the service.
Of course when the first Drop for ELITE members came around it was being released for Xbox 360 ELITE Premium members a month before PlayStation 3 ELITE Premium members. This due to a deal between Activision and Microsoft but that’s another story, more information on that here: http://www.callofdutymappacks.com/news/why-the-xbox-360-gets-call-of-duty-dlc-before-all-other-platforms/ Basically the deal says that for Modern Warfare 3, Xbox 360 members will get any paid DLC content 1 month before any other platform.
Most of us have come to terms with the deal, especially since Black Ops. With the addition of the ELITE Premium membership and the Drops the whole DLC system has become very confusing.
The current release schedule to date can be found below, take a careful look at it.
Xbox 360 DLC Release Schedule
PlayStation 3 DLC Release Schedule
|Drops 1 & 2: 24th January 2012||Drops 1 & 2: 28th February 2012|
|Drop 3: 21st February 2012||Drop 3: 29th March 2012|
|Drops 4 & 5 & 6: 13th March 2012||Drops 4 & 5 & 6: Due in April|
|Content Collection 1: 20th March 2012||Content Collection 1: Due in April|
As it currently stands, the Xbox 360 will be 2 DLC drops ahead of the PlayStation 3 once the 4th, 5th and 6th Drops are released on the 13th. Which is pretty frustrating for PlayStation 3 users since the Microsoft Activision agreement states that the Xbox 360 should be one piece of DLC ahead of the PlayStation 3. This means that Activision has decided for a reason unknown to us all that the Xbox 360 should now be two pieces of DLC ahead of the PlayStation 3!
It gets worse for PlayStation 3 ELITE Premium users though. Not only will Xbox 360 ELITE Premium members members be two pieces of DLC ahead but so will standard 360 players who haven’t subscribe to the $50 service. Again this is not what was agreed upon in the contract between Microsoft and Activision so why have Activision decided that Xbox 360 players are more important than any other platform, even without a contract.
When the deal between the two software giants was signed at the release of Modern Warfare 2 the Call of Duty communities were separated. Xbox players were now getting DLC before the PS3 & PC.
It was the same case with the Call of Duty: Black Ops. Then Call of Duty: ELITE was announced just before the release of Modern Warfare 3 and the confusion begins. Those who sign up for the Premium ELITE service are now superior to normal players on your platform.
PlayStation3 & PC< Xbox 360 < PlayStation 3 ELITE < Xbox 360 ELITE.
If only things were like how they used to be back in the days of Modern Warfare when all platforms were treated as equals before contracts were introduced to manage the release dates of DLC for different platforms.
Looking on the bright side though, at least the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can have access to the ELITE service. The Wii and PC community have been completely shrugged off the ELITE service, especially the Wii which won’t be getting access to any DLC content what so ever.
One word sums up Activision’s agreement with Microsoft and the whole paid for ELITE system: Greed. FourZeroTwo (The Creative Strategist on Modern Warfare 3) said himself : “I feel like we are in a f*cking era where everyone is so focused on subscriber numbers and all that stuff that we need to get back to what I feel like we did so much better in the old days of just plain good will, like stuff like the LAN patch, yeah it is lower priority but let’s get it out the f*cking door. Let’s just do it.” Read the full post with Robert Bowling here: http://www.callofdutymappacks.com/news/robert-bowling-on-classic-maps-for-mw3-keep-classic-maps-outside-of-the-dlc-model/
Modern Warfare 3 took the record for the biggest entertainment launch ever this year yet there are other games out there with 10 times less sales of Modern Warfare 3 whose developers happily put out free DLC for their customers. When your own developers are saying stuff like that, things need to change.
Thankfully, the contract between Activision and Microsoft ends before 2013. I look forward to what the next Call of Duty will hold for the franchise (possibly Black Ops 2!) and whether the three major platforms (PS3, 360, PC) will all be treated as equals again, when all DLC is released at the same time and services such as ELITE are available for everyone.
What do you think with the current system and how would you change it?