Ancillary services like Call of Duty: Elite and Battlefield 3's Battlelog will be "a necessity" for all mainstream games in the not-too-distant future, according to Activision's digital VP.
Jamie Berger told MCV that a supporting social network/stat-tracking/content delivery platform is increasingly a vital part of attracting and maintaing a large audience.
"We believe that a 24/7, year-round services strategy that broadens the game experience beyond just playing is going to be a necessity," he explained.
"Right now, it's an option, but in three to five years, it won't be. To support a diverse player base, you will have to have a services and ongoing content strategy. I don't see how games are going to manage without that.
"Elite is about Call of Duty being bigger than ever five years from now and laying the groundwork for that."
The Call of Duty Elite service is due to launch alongside Modern Warfare 3 in November.