Call of Duty Online – Interview with Activision

Call of Duty Online is currently still the topic of the gaming industry after its official reveal yesterday. Although only for the China region, the English media and fans are nonetheless weighing in on the game’s announcement.

China media website, 17173.com, managed to grab an interview with Mr Dannie Suarez, Vice President of Production at Activision Blizzard. Some of the answers are also from Mr Dong, Producer for Call of Duty Online from Tencent.

 

Q: In terms of graphical violence, is this area of content in Call of Duty suitable for the China market? How do you this as a potential problem.

A: First, Activision Blizzard will strictly follow the guidelines set by the China authorities and follow the necessary legal obligations. Call of Duty is not just about violence if players have a go at it. Imagine the scene when you pull your friend out of a pile of waste amidst a rain of bullets, or your friend grabbing your hands just before he was about to fall off a cliff.

Also, when you are piloting a warplane and cover your friends as they run for cover from pursuing enemies on the ground. What I am visioning here is a kind of responsibility, letting more teens having a stronger sense of responsibility. I feel this is the core essence for Call of Duty.

Q: There are currently a group of China players connecting to the overseas servers to play other versions of Call of Duty. How are you going to persuade them to join this new online game?

A: Call of Duty Online is a game which gathers all the best content from previous games in the franchise and landing in China. When gamers see the amount of stunning content, they will definitely be playing it.

You will be wanting to play with friends and people in your social circle. Playing Call of Duty Online will no doubt build on and expand social circles as well.

In this area, Tencent is showing us how communities in China communicate with each other, building an even bigger community. This further convinced us to bring Call of Duty Online to China.

Q: Call of Duty games have seen different scenarios in its single-player versions, such as World War II, Modern Warfare and even futuristic warfare. Which storyline and background is Call of Duty being built on?

A: Call of Duty Online is built based on Modern Warfare’s perspective, hence players will see certain characters from Modern Warfare appearing.

Q: Call of Duty Online is an American-styled shooter game. Are efforts being put in to fully localize the game? Is there a chance Asian armies will be added, such as China’s?

A: I will like to clarify that the previous Call of Duty games so far and Call of Duty Online are totally different products. Call of Duty Online is developed specifically for the China market, hence there will be new Asian influence in terms of game elements, for example new characters. However, due to government guidelines, we are not able to include the Chinese army in the game.

Call of Duty Online screenshot

Q: Is Call of Duty Online being built on an older engine?

A: Call of Duty Online is the gathering of all the best features and modes found in all previous game sin the franchise so far, and we have just opened a new studio in Shanghai to oversee the game’s design, technology, development and so on.

While new content will be made for Call of Duty Online, the team from North America will take part in the QA process to make sure everything is of the highest standards.

Q: When will Call of Duty Online launch?

A: Tencent and Activison Blizzard have been working together for the past 2 years on this game. Both team members are always communicating with each other, and that aided in the game’s development.

We will not be rushing the game out, and will be focusing on its quality first. A small group of players will be invited to try the game out to make sure it is up to par.

Q: How are the current hardware requirements for Call of Duty like?

A: I believe this is something of major concern for the gamers. Currently, we are looking at Nvidia 9500 as the base for development. With this card, China gamers will enjoy a good 60 FPS.

Q: How is the workload dispensation like for the 3 studios working on Call of Duty Online?

A: It is hard to give a certain percentage, and I can only say it is a cooperative effort between the studios in Canada, North America and China. The North American team is focused more on game design, content and technology, while the Canada studio is working on servers and networking. Content localization and editing will take place in the China studio.

Q: While Call of Duty Online is the latest game in the franchise, will new content from future single-player versions of Call of Duty be added?

A: We will always be thinking of what the China players want. The answer to your question will be found after we hold discussions with Tencent. We understand the importance of getting regular feedback from the gamers as well to churn out new content.

Call of Duty Online screenshot

While details are still scarce about the China-exclusive game, 2 game modes have been confirmed for the game. First off, there is the Campaign Mode.

Players will begin as a new member of Task Force 141, taking on various missions around the world and at the same time eliminate various threats. Second, there is the Multiplayer Mode. Nothing is known except the ability for players to customize their own unique soldier to control.

Call of Duty Online screenshot