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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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