'Activision did not want Modern Warfare' - Infinity Ward

Call of Duty CCO Vince Zampella says publisher pushed for best-selling shooter franchise to remain in WWII period, PC-only.

Reporting on its April-June fiscal quarter in August, Activision said that revenues for the period surpassed $1 billion. The figure was bolstered in no small part by the unstoppable juggernaut that is Infinity Ward's acclaimed Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which the publisher said has sold 14 million units worldwide since its release in November 2007 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, DS, and PC. (A Wii edition, titled Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare: Reflex, is due next month.)

This? Risky? Nah.

Considering Call of Duty 4's phenomenal success, it may come as a shock that Activision initially opposed Infinity Ward's decision to abandon World War II for a more contemporary setting. What's more, the publisher wasn't overly keen on bringing the developer's wares to consoles, either.

"Activision…did not want Modern Warfare," Infinity Ward chief creative officer Vince Zampella told Britain-based Official PlayStation Magazine in an interview, relayed by UK gaming site CVG. "They thought working on a modern game was risky and [thought], 'Oh my god you can't do that, it's crazy!' They were doing market research to show us we were wrong the whole time."

Call of Duty project lead Jason West went on to note, "We had to fight for everything. They wanted it to be World War II. Again."

In fact, Zampella said that Infinity Ward was ready to leave the WWII setting after the original Call of Duty, which received glowing reviews upon its release for the PC in 2003. Notably, Activision announced that it had acquired the Encino, California-based developer for an undisclosed sum one day after the original COD shipped in October of that year.

"With Call of Duty 2, we were dead set against it being World War II," Zampella said. "But Activision really wanted it, the compromise sort of being that we'd get some dev kits for consoles in exchange for doing a World War II game. We always wanted to be on consoles and Activision saw us as more of a PC developer."

Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on November 10, and according to Activision, as of August the game was already the most preordered title in the publisher's history. For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

599 comments
TheRealUser101
TheRealUser101

Modern Warfare 3 is currently in development by Infinity Ward with assisted development from Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software. All in all, Modern Warfare 3 needs 3 development teams to get the job done; including all the MW3 weapons, perks, etc.

blasko229
blasko229

Call of Duty: Civil War Call of Duty: French American War Call of Duty: Escape from Grand Canyon See? Plenty of options.

codezer0
codezer0

@SoF-Rambo Uh, No, it wasn't. W@W was stupid, and giving the A.I. unlimited grenades was but an epitome of what fail W@W was. Just like Hurricane Katrina came to show what a flawed and incompetent system FEMA had in place (apologies to those from the New Orleans area). Back to the game at hand, though... I'm ultimately disappointed with MW2. Particularly with everything that had been removed for the PC version in particular, but even on the base level (since I managed to play and finish the campaign on the 360), was just how flawed a lot of things were. I certainly don't remember previous Call of Duty games (and even the first Modern Warfare) having THAT many plot holes, and making your character run through parts where you die a bajillion times only to then be killed as part of the story mechanic bothered me in MW2 a lot more than the first. Either way, given the amazing success of the first and no doubt MW2, I think Activision will at least understand that they need to allow these genre spin-offs to happen, if we are to find new and exciting things to get into.

m1rock
m1rock

I personally enjoy playing WWII game far more then any of the modern games out there. That being said, I understand allot of people are tired of WWII, and that it has been overdone, so modern warfare was really the most logical selection to keep the franchise fresh. But I was really happy with World at War, and I wish they could have added an expansion to it, maybe a battle of Iwo Jima campaign or something.

Oneal14
Oneal14

I think we should all boycott Activision till they let iw make them the only ones to have the cod license didn't iw just make y'all a billion dollars and counting cod mw2 by iw will be the only cod I will play

SoF-Rambo
SoF-Rambo

@codezer0 Dude, seriously, World at War was an awesome game. Did you even do any research on this game? There is more of a focus on the Russian Campaign then the american one, but whatever. I think World at War was more for the all the people that wanted a little more gore instead of the more Disney-Friendly-Type games that 1 and 2 were. That's really both Modern Warfare's only fault. The game should have really been rated T, as there was nothing more than one scene of absolute blood & gore, and you didn't even get a chance to see it for long.

rob_few
rob_few

Maybe they want to focus on WW2 games as they glamorize and romanticize war to the public where as a current war conditions would allow game makers to question the validity of wars instead of advertising.

granderizer
granderizer

I think what developers should do is go onto the street and ask people what they think is good for a game but Infinity War are awesome

gamer082009
gamer082009

I tend to listen to the devs more. I think they're closer to the actual gamer like most of us here.

legsanc
legsanc

And once again all gamers has surprised Activision and proved that guys from Infinity Ward understand gamers better than market researchers :))))

remixbaby44
remixbaby44

who else thinks that cod 7 will be more stealth oriented because of the lack of fighting in the cold war

AceOfSpades801
AceOfSpades801

Fortunately for all of us IW decided to keep pushing for their vision for the direction of their development. I've played CoD 1 and a little of CoD 2 and enjoyed them. I'll eventually get to CoD 5 but have thoroughly enjoyed CoD 4 and MW2. Thanks to Activision for supporting a great developer and thanks to IW for being awesome!

huskerman34
huskerman34

waw was a real good game. I think they should add vehicle battle in campaign and multiplayer modes. IT would be cool flying a p 51 mustang , german luftwafer, and a japanese zero.

xXxXsnipaXxXx
xXxXsnipaXxXx

Good job Infinity Ward. Going against the rules to make 2 of the top 10 FPS games of all time. Personally, after the ENORMOUS success of Call Of Duty 4, I would've given Infinity Ward the main job for the CoD series, but WaW was good, not GREAT, but good, so if Treyarch can make a bigger, better CoD 7, then I think Infinity Ward has some competition, because Mw3 (if it's going to come out), is probably going to release in 2011. If I was the CEO of Infinity Ward, I would start working on Mw3 NOW, so you get 2 years to make an awesome game. Thats my 2 cents.

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

Modern warfare would be better than world at war if it had bullet wounds and dismemberment. Modern guns are more fun but not if you cant blow holes in people. F**** infinity ward for keeping carnage out of modern warfare 2....i guess ill have to wait for call of duty 7

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

WaW was brutal in a good way. DOnt care what anyone says. It never gets old blowing a n00bs legs off with a shotgun.

OB-47
OB-47

Activision said this BEFORE it release. But still, Activision is a bit selfish

ttamdude
ttamdude

Keep in mind that activision opposed the modern warfare concept before it's launch. Some of you folks seem to think they opposed it after and even now. 14 million copies sold is enough to bring anyone over to your side.

just-me-fun
just-me-fun

abandon activision i want cod on my ps3

JOKER677
JOKER677

wow how can you deny good reviews and sales of modern warfare? dummies at activision

dafinchi
dafinchi

@smizz 16 While his "ineptitude" may astound you, CoD 7 is taking place in the Cold War. Don't know how it'll work, but we'll see /shrug

Rev8691
Rev8691

there is definitely something wrong with activision....

HotNikkels
HotNikkels

world war 2 is getting old, modern warfare was better than waw in every way except for the fact that the levels were too small. its boring playing with old guns and single shot rifles, the modern weapons are so much cooler

smizz_16
smizz_16

@ JulioFN: Your ineptitude astounds me, how can you have a game based on the Cold War? There was no fighting, just a huge standoff

sivasiba2
sivasiba2

WWII game were fun long ago but now after all the MOH games Commandos the previous CODs now that's enough..I swear I only played COD4 becoz they changed the setting...And I played OD5 despite it being in that era beoz I loved 4 too much...I even heard that the new COD would be In the cold war era...perhaps Vietnam...Good move...

livevil01
livevil01

thanks infinity god bless more power!!! many more COD to come please

Jerry_15
Jerry_15

This game is going to be great

JulioFN
JulioFN

I think we shouldn't stick too much to modern warfare. I think the themes should vary a little. Vietnam, WW2, WW1, MW, Cold War and others. Modern Warfare 2 will kick some asses!

triple_punse
triple_punse

ww2 has been done way too much. stick to modern warfare, christ. wtf is wrong with activision

14monkey
14monkey

activision i mean wow that is just retarded cod4 is a great game but it was new the only down side to making modern warfare that it ended medal of honor

codezer0
codezer0

I don't know if Activision will ever read this, but in the outside chance they do, I will summarize it as quickly as I can. I too thought Call of Duty was all about World War 2. I also thought that's all it was ever going to be about. I didn't realize just how SICK and TIRED I was of the World War 2 setting... until I played CoD4. To this day, I regret having ever had to give up that game. Modern Warfare was to the Call of Duty franchise what broadband was to the brick&mortar music industry. It rocked my proverbial world, and in a good way. And I do NOT want to go back. So much so, I have refused to even download a DEMO of W@W because I didn't want to go back to tired, old WW2. I did not want to have even more thinly-veiled jingo-ism about "oh our amurrikun soljers aer sooo gr8". I actually adored Capt. Price and his handlebar mustache because it was so awesome to see a kick-ass guy *not* from United States for a change be able to fix things even as our "good ol' boys" manage to screw the proverbial pooch. Long live Modern Warfare... WW2-era Call of Duty is dead to me. And you won't see any of my dollars again if you force IW to "gb2/WW2/".

itachi100
itachi100

What a load of idiots. The world is LONG tired of Futuristic and WWII shooters.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Shows how much publishers know about developing or the game industry in general. Also shows how much they interfere.

Captain_Campion
Captain_Campion

The problem is accountants. Seriously. And business majors. They screw up the movie industry with crap like this (taking good scripts and turning them into cliche' junk) and apparently they do it in the game business, too. They know numbers and financial statements so they think they know plot lines and story settings. Let the creative people do their job and just sit back and count the money, morons.

Dramacide
Dramacide

It just shows how these corporate stiff are stuck in there ways, they totally milked ww2 wit the first three games anyway and still didnt wanna go modern.. i for one am a console gamer who was coverted to cod on the strength on cod4 modern warfare and i have bought cod5 waw on the strength of that imagine that they would still be missing out on all those sales if they insisted on keeping there head up their ass it just goes to show that market research isn everything and a strong idea can change the whole industry.

glassfish8
glassfish8

the fact that they say modern warfare games are too risky is the part that realy has me stumped other franchises have seemed to manage so why is Activision causing such a fuss if they make it back to ww2 i will never buy another call of duty game i thought activision had more brains then this but they are obviously a big self centerd buissness that are trying to protect their own ass at the expence of all us fans at the moment what Activision have tell me they dont give a f*** about us and for that they should be ashamed. thanks Guys Glassfish :)

adv_tr00per
adv_tr00per

i agree on the PC only part, but i think modern warfare was a good idea.

Anarky86
Anarky86

Wow... Those are the visonaries who bought Blizzard??? Morons who can't see a genre has been done way too much, has CoD 5 been that much more successful than CoD 4?? Quite the opposite... Activision should focus on their Guitar Hero franchise and let it's studios THINK for new ideas... I mean seriously after the X-Box and PS3 succes of Modern Warfare... Really I'm just speechless... Or not, MORONS! :)

glassfish8
glassfish8

actavision if you make this franchise ww2 again you are taking it to hell and why the f*** would a company want to destroy their master peice i hope they have a sirious think about this because if they do go back to world war 2 the the call of duty name is officialy f***ed. ww2 is played out there is no more to play. long live infinity ward!! die Activision!!

glassfish8
glassfish8

i dont understand why they say modern warfare games are too risky how are they any more risky then WWII. is it becasue of political views? Racism? i dont know but whoever suggest go back to world war 2 should be shot!!!!

Jerry_Sully
Jerry_Sully

Seeing how Modern Warfare has pretty much become a phenomenon, why the hell wouldn't Activision want to continue the success? And having the second one a PC exclusive would've just been dumb on their part. Hope the campaign's gonna be as epic as the first.

gr8drummer
gr8drummer

YoJim8obaJoe, thats the dumbest think ive ever heard. not really but pretty darn close.

gr8drummer
gr8drummer

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Gamma_Fit
Gamma_Fit

This has a GREAT chance to be GAME OF THE YEAR!!!!!

CurvedSword
CurvedSword

@ YoJim8obaJoe ok yes i also dont see the super attraction of cod but dont go callin it a 'noob friendly FPS game and thats it,like a introduction to the genre sort of game like halo' coz last time i checked halo wasnt really really really harder than cod or any thing