While technically, Activision Blizzard is the core developer for Call of Duty Online (only for China now), publisher Tencent Games will have a huge say as well, given the rumors of how the former was paid a record, undisclosed amount of money for the deal. Seeing that consoles are banned in China, how will the local gamers react to the game? What localizations will there be? Chinese gaming website, 17173.com, held an interview with the game’s China producer, Mr Dong.
Q: Which are some of the features which you think made Call of Duty a success? How many of these will be found in Call of Duty Online?
A: Call of Duty’s scenario missions, game modes, realistic shooting, character skills and kills rewards are some, and will all be in Call of Duty Online. The online version is developed to allow China players to enjoy what made Call of Duty unique and its classic gameplay. Other than having brand new scenario missions, the folks at Activision Blizzard will be optimizing the game further as well.
Q: What changes will there be in the scenario storyline?
A: Call of Duty Online’s storyline takes place in the middle of Modern Warfare 1 and 2, a timeline where players have yet to experience. Many familiar faces, characters and NPCs will be included, aiding and guiding players through different quests. Of course, players may party up to clear these scenarios as well. As players complete missions together, new weapons and equipment are unlocked. As players level up, new scenario missions will be made available.
Q: How is the exact Free-to-Play business model for Call of Duty Online like?
A: We have yet to nail down the exact model, but whichever we choose, we can promise that the game’s balance will not be in jeopardy. I can divulge that most of the basic weapons in the game can be bought permanently using in-game currency. Balance is of the essence, we will make sure players who pay and those who do not will still find the game fun.
Q: From the trailer, gamers were saying that graphics for Call of Duty Online were poorer compared to the console versions. Is it true that the game graphics are being toned down for the China gamers?
A: No, the graphics are still the same and not being toned down. Players of the franchise will know that Call of Duty will still provide the best visuals even on an older machine. Call of Duty Online’s system requirements are currently geared towards that of Modern Warfare 2’s. For multiplayer, the FPS will not be under 60 if Call of Duty Online is running on a GeForce 9500GT 256MB system with a 1024*768 display. Of course, players will also get to manually choose which graphical settings will be best for their systems.
Q: What are some of the new features which can be found in Call of Duty Online?
A: As with most MMOs, Call of Duty Online will have an alliance system, a squad system etc to fulfill the social requirements. We also enhanced the PvP match finder system, making it easier for players to locate and join the appropriate game or team. More new features will be announced over time.
Q: I understand that Call of Duty Online is primarily developed by Activision Shanghai. How is the team now?
A: Call of Duty is Activision Blizzard’s most important franchise, and the staff in the Shanghai office are mostly overseas talent relocated from overseas. All of them have many years of experience in game development and working on the franchise.
Q: How true will Call of Duty Online stay to the previous games?
A: We are not intending to make major changes to the existing features or in-game mechanics. The core systems will still be similar to that found in the console versions. Sounds and music wise, we will be recycling those from previous Call of Duty games, with narrations remaining in English and adding only Chinese subtitles.
Q: What words will you shout out to the Call of Duty veterans and new players about Call of Duty Online?
A: For the Call of Duty veterans, this online version not only stays true to the previous games, but is also making many innovations and optimizations. The charm of the console franchise will not be gone just because of the game going fully online on a different platform. For gamers new to this franchise, Call of Duty Online is an excellent FPS not to be missed.