In rather surprising news, Activision has admitted that they “bungled up” the launch of their social service platform Call of Duty Elite. Keep in mind that Elite is sitting atop a very healthy seven million members at the time of this writing.
Speaking at the recently-concluded DICE 2012 Summit, Eric Hirshberg, CEO of publishing for Activision revealed a few things about Elite.
I hesitate to talk about Elite, because even though we’ve had some early success with the numbers, it’s far from time for us to be doing any victory laps on Elite
We had some technological stumbles at launch and that frustrated some of our fans. We’re still making that right. But if we only talk about the things that go as planned then we miss some of the most valuable dialogue that can come out of this
Hirshberg could very well be talking about the service’s initial launch. It was marred by people unable to log-in and other technical issues.
The CEO also comments on why they did a beta for Call of Duty Elite and their reasoning behind it.
With the launching of Elite we had a marketing Sophie’s Choice – Do we do the beta, which is the right thing to do from a development standpoint, or do we make the best possible first impression, which was probably the right thing to do from the marketing standpoint
“We chose to tell people right out of the gate that while the vast majority of features would be free, there would be a premium membership. A lot people thought we should have waited and show people what they get for the premium membership before talking about its existence. But we knew this question about whether it would be free would immediately be asked. We’d be put on the spot. We chose to be transparent and tell people our intentions from the beginning. The words ‘Call of Duty’ plus the word ‘subscription’ equals ‘unleash blogger hell’
Well, we all know how all this turned out. Let’s just say Activision managed to turn things around – and that’s putting things lightly.
Are you one of the paying members of Call of Duty Elite? What are your thoughts?