The Call of Duty series is consistently one of the biggest-selling videogame franchises on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming platforms, a position it has earned through the immense popularity of its online multiplayer modes.
Beginning with the most recent installment Modern Warfare 3, publisher Activision announced that it would be offering a separate, deep stat-tracking system to enable players to analyze their own performance and band together with like-minded players through a variety of community features — all without having to fire the game up on their gaming platform of choice.
That service was Call of Duty Elite, and it got off to something of a shaky start because Activision and Elite developer Beachhead Studios underestimated demand by a considerable degree. The service was mostly unusable at the game’s launch, with many users unable to sign in or even sign up at all in some cases. The game was still sending everyone’s player data to the servers, however — some people simply weren’t able to log in and see it.
The original plan for Elite was to launch iOS and Android apps shortly after the web-based service, but the instability of the service meant that the mobile apps were delayed indefinitely until they provided a more reliable experience.
Today, the official iOS app has finally launched, with an Android version to follow next week, despite the fact that the service is still undergoing some teething troubles — there’s still no compatibility with the PC version of Modern Warfare 3, for example.
The service’s various woes haven’t stopped a large number of players signing up for the service’s premium subscription, however — within a week of Modern Warfare 3’s release last November, over a million players had taken out a premium subscription, though this may have been at least in part due to a year’s membership being included with some of the game’s special editions. At present, players must sign up for the service on the Call of Duty Elite website and, optionally, pay for the premium subscription if they desire. There’s no facility to do this from within the app at this time.
The current version of the Elite app allows players to check their stats and those of other players; examine “after action reports” to review performance in recent multiplayer matches; edit character customization on the go and push it directly to the game; and track challenge progress. This is a subset of Elite’s full feature list, but Beachhead told popular gaming site Joystiq that they would be gradually rolling out features as they were perfected rather than risking some of them not operating at peak performance on launch.
Speaking with MacRumors about the future of the app, Chacko Sonny from the developer noted that they “view this [iteration] as the foundation. We want to hear from the community: how do they use this? What parts do they like? What parts aren’t as useful? We want to drive additional development going forward from people who play the game every single day. That’s going to help us deliver a better set of iterated features going forward, and for the forthcoming tablet version as well.”
You’ll be able to track Call of Duty Elite’s progress through the App Store charts using our traffic tracking application AppData.