Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

If Modern Warfare 3's lack of zombies has you feeling down, don't fret. Activision is releasing yet another zombie-centric Call of Duty game for iOS tomorrow.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies is a follow-up to last year's Call of Duty: World at War Zombies app. The universal app will be available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, and will include the Kino der Toten map from the console game.

Like last year's iOS zombie game, Black Ops Zombies will add additional maps post-launch. The game also includes multiplayer support via wi-fi for up to four players. There's also voice chat, so you can hear the horrified screams of your co-op partners.

New to Black Ops Zombies is the unlockable Dead Ops Arcade mini-game--the same top-down shooter featured in the console game.

Dead Ops Arcade

According to Joystiq, Black Ops Zombies will be available tomorrow on the App Store for $6.99.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Call of Duty Elite was swamped when it launched alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this month, leaving most players unable to access the social service. It's still spotty, but publisher Activision has now said that it intends to have everything up and running by December 1.

"It was our fault that the service wasn't up and running the day [fans] put in their token or the day they bought it," Activision VP of production Daniel Suarez told G4TV.

Those who subscribed to the optional premium Elite service were offered a month of free service to cover the outage. Call of Duty: Elite developer Beachhead plans to "to have everything up and running by or before the 30-day mark," Suarez explained, before subscribers' freebie periods runs out.

"They kind of have to bear with us while we bring this all back up, but for us it's literally 'Give us those couple weeks, we're giving those to you for free and come December 1 the goal is that we'll have everything up and running.'"

Elite services have been coming online one by one, and this gradual approach will continue. This week will bring the launch of new competitions and subscriber-only "TV series" Friday Night Fights, and the mobile Elite should launch "at the end of November."

There's still no word on when Elite will come to PC. An official representative slipped up last week and said they couldn't "cannot guarantee if or when" it would hit PC, but it is still coming. The problem, Suarez says, is that the PC "isn't as secure" a platform as consoles, so there's greater risk of hacking.

"As we're doing competitions and more things specific to stats and generating those stats and creating leaderboards for people, we don't want to create a situation where the service itself becomes invalidated by people having crazy stats because they've been able to do something to the game."

Beachhead is working with MW3 developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games on possible solutions, Suarez said, but none has been finalized yet.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Let's say you love playing Call of Duty, but you hate your 0.1 K/D ratio, getting sniped and stabbed seconds of spawning. If only there were some way money could make you a better player. Activision is proposing just that, with the Call of Duty Elite service.

One of the pillars of Activision's new subscription service is "Improve," which is supposed to step your game up. "It's the ultimate strategy guide for Call of Duty," Beachhead's Jennifer Puno explains.

Include in the "Improve" section of Call of Duty Elite are guides on the weapons, equipment, perks, kill streaks, maps, and game modes of Black Ops and the upcoming Modern Warfare 3. There are also tutorial videos and detailed personalized stats. The "Maps 2.0" feature seems especially useful, as it lets you see maps in detail, with routes showing the best way to get to certain objectives, and tips on how to best utilize features built in to the environment.

"We can enable the great players in our community to really share their knowledge with people that are not as good," Chako Sonny explains in this video.

Finally! With Elite, you'll have a leg up on the competition... provided they don't also shell out $50/year for the subscription as well.

Shacknews - Jeff Mattas

For the first time in franchise history, two games under the Call of Duty banner--Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2--will be simultaneously allowing players to earn double the normal experience points this weekend. It's being billed as a celebration of the upcoming Modern Warfare 3's Prestige Shop, but it's safe to say that publisher Activision wouldn't be too upset if the move steals some thunder from a certain other rival war-based FPS that launched today.

In a video on the Modern Warfare 3 Facebook page, Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling explains that every time you prestige in MW3, you'll get a "prestige token" which can be used to unlock things like an extra custom class, or allow you to "choose one piece of gear from your custom class to keep unlocked from rank 1 of future prestiges."

As a side bonus--and one that ties directly into the coming double XP weekend--anyone who has prestiged in Modern Warfare, World at War, Modern Warfare 2, or Black Ops will receive associated day-one prestige tokens to spend in Modern Warfare 3 on launch day.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is due out for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on November 8.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Though Call of Duty Elite's closed beta test shut down at noon today, the stats are coming back early as a treat for the number-hungry.

Elite will relaunch on November 8 alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Publisher Activision and Elite developer Beachhead announced today that the Career section of the Call of Duty social hub will be open to all and sundry "later this week," letting you pore over your Call of Duty: Black Ops statistics to your heart's content.

Call of Duty Elite brings a variety of social-y features to the face-shooting series, including profiles, stats with heat maps, messaging, groups, clans, video and screenshot sharing, and more. There's also an option premium service, which offers perks such as early and free DLC access, fancy clan progression, and more storage space, for $50 a year.

Activision also stresses that beta testers will have their Elite activity carry over when the service launches.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

At long last, the very final DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops has a release date. Rezurrection will be available on PC and PS3 on September 22nd, after a period of timed exclusivity on the Xbox 360.

Rezurrection is comprised entirely of zombie levels. Four of the five maps included with the add-on were previously available in World at War and the Hardened Edition of Black Ops. However, the "Moon" map is brand-new for both PS3 and PC players.

In addition to the five maps, the $14.99 add-on includes a Zombies soundtrack and a Moon theme (for PS3). As usual, the release of Rezurrection will coincide with yet another double XP weekend, from September 23-25.

Shacknews - Xav de Matos

During an analyst call today, Activision revealed that Call of Duty: Black Ops has sold over 23 million units since launching only nine months ago, which is slightly less than its previous statements. In its last investors call on August 3 call, the publisher noted the game had already achieved 25 million units since launching nine months ago.

In comparison, during the August 3 call, Activision said Modern Warfare 2 had sold 22 million units.

The continued sales growth of the Call of Duty franchise can be attributed to the popularity of the franchise and the growing install base of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as outlined in a slide from Activision's investor presentation.

Call of Duty growth potential based on hardware sales

Activision also revealed that the latest entry in the Call of Duty series has sold over 18 million map packs. Each pack, priced at $15 per release, has brought in roughly 270 million dollars. The 18 million units of DLC sold equal to 7 million more than Modern Warfare 2's premium releases and 9 million more than Treyarch's previous entry in the series, World at War.

Call of Duty fever continues this year with this weekend's Call of Duty XP event in Los Angeles, as well as the November release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

If, for some reason, you thought that Call of Duty: Black Ops developer Treyarch would be taking a break from the annualized FPS franchise, think again. Recent job listings are searching for experienced programmers that have "an expert understanding of the Call of Duty game universe." The company is looking for an "expert on recent first person shooters and the trends of the genre."

Treyarch's first foray into the Call of Duty franchise was Call of Duty 3, which released in 2006. Since then, it's taken turns with Infinity Ward in producing additional games to the annualized franchise. Call of Duty: World at War released in 2008, and Call of Duty: Black Ops followed in 2010. Given the studio's track record, it's easy to anticipate that the next Call of Duty game from Treyarch will ship next year, in 2012.

There are currently no details on what Treyarch's next COD game will be. However, some speculate that the recent Rezurrection DLC may hold a clue. Sledgehammer Games was previously rumored to be working on a sci-fi Call of Duty game, before their focus switched to Modern Warfare 3. Treyarch recently released its own sci-fi take on the genre with the zombie "Moon" map. Combining fantasy weapons, low gravity, and zombies, it's clear that Treyarch is willing to take the series into unconventional territory.

(via OXM)

Shacknews - Steve Watts

If you haven't bought your pricey Call of Duty XP tickets, the free copy of the Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition apparently wasn't enough to convince you. Perhaps professional rapper and awkwardness inducer Kanye West will sweeten the pot? The company announced today that West will be headlining the COD XP concerts.

West will perform at 8 PM on Saturday, September 3 to bring the festivities to a close. Other planned activities include a $1 million tournament, an early look at Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer, a paintball recreation of MW2's 'Scrapyard' map, a run through 'The Pit' time trial, and developer panels. COD XP will take place September 2 and 3 in Los Angeles.

"We're pulling out all the stops," said CEO Eric Hirshberg in the press release. "We promised our attendees and fans around the world a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the first Call of Duty XP, so we're thrilled to have Kanye on board. Everything about XP will be as epic as the games themselves. Whether you're competing for one of the open slots in the $1 million tournament, playing Modern Warfare 3 for the first time, dodging paintballs in a spectacular life-size recreation of Modern Warfare 2's Scrapyard level or just mingling with developers and fellow gamers, Call of Duty XP is a celebration of one of the greatest games in the world. So what better way to top it off with one of the greatest artists in the world?"

Tickets are still on sale for the event, which is right around the corner. The $150 price point may dissuade some fans, especially since it takes place right after PAX Prime. But if you're in the LA area and looking to buy MW3 and Kanye West tickets anyway, it's not a bad deal.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Want another look at Black Ops' DLC "season finale"? Activision has released one more video for its upcoming Rezurrection DLC pack, this time focused exclusively on the new Moon level. The live action video reminds us that zombies are a great source for comedy--and zombies in space only add to the hilarity. You'll get to see the new sci-fi weapons in action, as well as some low-gravity gameplay.

In addition to the new Moon map, Rezurrection also includes four maps from World at War: "Nacht der Üntoten," "Verrückt," "Shi No Numa" and "Der Riese."

The Rezurrection Content Pack will be available first on Xbox Live on August 23, 2011.


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