Case Study: Call of Duty Elite

4 Posted by - January 22, 2013 - Case Studies, Community Platforms, Featured On Homepage


My Feeds

In fact, the only real segment of Call of Duty Elite that allows any player-to-player communication at all is the “Feed” section, located in the upper-middle portion of the homepage. This area serves as the core social hub of Call of Duty Elite, as this is where players must go if they want to send messages to other users or share screenshots and videos.
Much like on other social networks, players can see what their friends are up to, and they can talk with them about their latest exploits in the game. Unfortunately, this section exists as an isolated, segmented part of Call of Duty Elite. If a player chooses not to click on the Feed, they will have no way to socialize with other players. This is the only real segment of Call of Duty Elite that supports direct community interaction, which seems a missed opportunity on Activision Blizzard’s part, given that the service is meant in part to drive community engagement across the board.

It’s especially odd that other segments of Call of Duty Elite don’t interact with the Feed itself. The Career page, for instance, lets players compare themselves with others, but there’s no easy way to post this data or refer to it on the Feed. Traditional social networks often include “share” buttons that make it easy to broadcast information to others, but Call of Duty Elite requires users to access one particular area of the site if they want to share things with the rest of the world.

If Activision Blizzard want to turn Call of Duty Elite into a more successful community platform, it might want to consider making some tweaks to this Feed section. If users could post to the Feed from other areas of the site, they’d likely be far more inclined to share information with other players, thereby increasing their engagement with Call of Duty Elite as a whole.  Players tend to engage further with a game when it hosts a community they care about, and if Call of Duty Elite made its community easier to interact with, players might be more likely to stick around.

As it stands, however, Call of Duty Elite’s Feed section is a bit of an outlier, as it’s one of the few communications-driven tools on a service that focuses primarily on the individual.

Custom Classes

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at one of Call of Duty Elite’s more personal tools: the Custom Classes section. This page, as the name implies, allows players to edit and customize their character classes and weapon loadouts via the Call of Duty Elite website or app.
This page gives players the opportunity to tweak and interact with their Black Ops II multiplayer settings no matter where they are. Players interested in getting the most out of their virtual characters will want to spend some time getting their weapon selections just right, and Call of Duty Elite lets them do this on the fly.

From a community-building standpoint, this feature is great for keeping the game in players’ minds. By letting them tweak their characters on the go, they’ll be more likely to engage deeply with the game, as their weapon loadouts and stats are always just a few clicks away.

Like in the Career page, however, Call of Duty Elite’s Custom Classes page is very sparse when it comes to social functionality. Players can alter their own in-game settings, but they have no way to share their custom loadouts with their friends or other players. Players can check out, and even copy another user’s loadout by locating their profile via the leaderboards or the search tool, but it’s all a one way street; the other user is little more than a spreadsheet for others to reference.

Like many of the other segments of Call of Duty Elite, this page helps drive engagement on an individual level. It lets players access the game no matter where they are, but it does not give them many tools to actually participate in an online community.


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