Modern Warfare 3 was the top-selling game of 2011 which could leave the publisher, Activision, and developer, Infinity Ward, with gleaming smiles and a pay out worth resting on. Or they could put together one of the most ambitious downloadable content plans seen in this current generation of gaming. They've decided to go with the latter.
In 2012, MW3 will see a downloadable content release every month up until September, right on time for the next Call of Duty release. At least if we're to believe their announcement which states, "The Call of Duty: MW3 content season kicks off this month first on Xbox LIVE delivering a variety of brand new content every month over the next 9 months for Call of Duty ELITE premium members."
Along with their overall plan they announced the first DLC "drop", with two maps: Liberation & Piazza. For Call of Duty ELITE premium members, the content will be available January 24th, with no release date announced for anyone else. Also, Xbox 360 owners will receive the DLC before anyone else due to Activision and Microsoft's exclusivity deal. Which of course will leave many fans on the PS3 and PC extremely happy (Feel free to grumble in the comments below. As a PC gamer, I'm with you)
For those who are wondering about their "ELITE" program, it's Call of Duty's subscription service which allows fans to track lifetime stats across various titles, along with other social functions. Premium members who pay a $50/year fee are privy to a long list of other features, one of those including early access to DLC.
The MW3 season of content is being spearheaded by three development groups under the Activision flag: Infinity Ward, Raven Software (one of my all time favorite devs for Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy), and Beachhead Studio. If you understand the concept of video game development, you know that bringing in three companies for a project is huge. It's extremely difficult to get a project off the ground with even one developer, let alone three working in tandem.
It will be interesting to see if they can keep their promise regarding monthly content across a nine month span of time. One of the staples of video game development is delays, which can plague even the greatest of developers. So promising content on a monthly basis is a big order to fill.
Here's the announcement trailer for their "Content Season 2012 Kick-Off". Enjoy.