Activision on Call of Duty: "You can't change the rules too much"

Infinity Ward producer Mark Rubin says shooter franchise would lose its appeal if it were to drastically change its formula.


The Call of Duty series would lose its appeal if it were to significantly change its gameplay formula, according to Infinity Ward producer Mark Rubin. Speaking with Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Rubin said the same can be said for major sports.

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"You watch sports every year, but if you changed the rules dramatically of a sport every year who would watch that? I don't think you would have as many people watching the sport," Rubin said. "Like if soccer/football were all the sudden to switch from 'OK you can't use your feet, you have to use your hands' Who'd watch that really?"

Rubin said he has no problem with the idea of a franchise evolving its gameplay over time, but this is not in the cards for Activision and Call of Duty, he said.

"You can’t change the rules too much, you have to sort of live within the boundaries that you created for yourself," Rubin said. "Other games can do that. They can do and go try out other new features and that's totally cool because as a gamer I like to play a lot of games. So I'll go out and play that open-ended open-world type game and I love it."

Overall, Rubin said the Call of Duty series will "stay with what we have perfected," that being cinematic and immersive experiences. "We are going to stick with that," he said.

Sledgehammer Games was at one point working on a third-person Call of Duty game, though this title was later "probably" canceled, as the developer moved on the Modern Warfare 3.

Call of Duty: Ghosts launches this holiday season for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Wii U. Activision will show off the game's multiplayer mode for the first time on August 14.

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Avatar image for savagejoe444

To all the people disagreeing with the article, let me ask you something.

Imagine a new BF game, but it was unrealistic, fast-paced, and had no use for teamwork, would you still call it 'Battlefield"? No right.

If a new CoD game had different gameplay, then its not CoD. Simple as that.

Look at what happened to Halo.

Avatar image for blee575


Also look at what happened to other franchises that changed too much, like Resident Evil or Final Fantasy. Of course sequels must offer new experiences, but if they drastically change the game's formula they should be released under a different name. Otherwise you'll end up paying 60 bucks for a horror game and receive an action shooter.

That's worse than being lazy. That's deceiving your customers.

Avatar image for Dredcrumb9

I got hardcore into FPS because of the single player modes in Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on the N64. Sadly, no FPS campaign has been as good since besides half-life 2. COD team could learn a lot form perfect dark and Goldeneye. Make a COD where you can explore levels, trip alarms, open/close doors, give players choice between using stealth or guns blazing approach. Make it like GOLDENEYE!

Avatar image for griffy2013

It's a fallacy really. The reason people started to get hardcore into fps in the first place was because of a half-life mod called counter-strike. It was so different that it lured in thousands of gamers in no time and eventually millions. They will hurt themselves in the end if they don't start innovating upon game play instead of graphics mostly.

Avatar image for bennehftw

Lol basically: Hey we like making money, and this way makes us money. We won't risk losing money by possibly making the game better. We're just going to keep making money, by making money doing the same thing we always do.

Avatar image for Beedrus

Dog Drones....

Avatar image for Beedrus

Moove Fish get outta the way get outta the way

Avatar image for tionmedon

more open world and longer than 6 hrs would be nice..

Avatar image for Dredcrumb9

@tionmedon it doesn't even have to be open world, just make it more open! Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on the N64 had open levels you could run around and have a blast in, you could trip alarms and have gaurds running in, open/close doors, shoot out cameras, explore the level, etc. All these COD games force you on a narrow path, you can't even open and close doors in a cod game.

Avatar image for savagejoe444

Pretty much what Madden, Mario, NCAA, Halo, and Assassin's Creed, have been doing (and I still question why the haters ignore those games for doing it).

Avatar image for savagejoe444

@arkhamcity54 You are like the thousandth person to say that. No one cares that you people hate CoD anymore.

Avatar image for KimCheeWarriorX

i hope they dont force you to use the dog in multiplayer :/

Avatar image for GERMANY21

@KimCheeWarriorX already In Cod Blackops2 multiplayer they add a feature for a dog group !

Avatar image for hrst1

The game is hard to play with a controller.

Avatar image for wrestlingdude

And Infinity Ward claimed that "COD Ghost's Engine" was "Next-Gen"...My ass. I'm done hoping that their would be "INNOVATION" with a sequel. And NO, a German Shepard dog is not innovation. Quite cheesy if you ask me. I would have gone nuts if they added destructible environments in Multiplayer, but no, I guess that would change the game too much...take a hike Infinity Ward.

Avatar image for Hurvl

"you have to sort of live within the boundaries that you created for yourself" According to some (okay, a lot of people, including entitled, smartass and/or arrogant gamers) would say that the self-created boundaries for CoD are rrrrreeeaaalllyyy small, like the maps in CoD :P.

Avatar image for epichotcheese

I fucking hate CoD but I kept buying them anyway because everyone I know plays them.......

Avatar image for Hurvl

@epichotcheese Peer pressure is a bitch. In CoD's case, you could even say peer-to-peer pressure.

I have no friends and don't like multiplayer, so I can happily play any singleplayer games I want.

Avatar image for KuchikiSentou

We stay with what we have perfected.

Truer words never spoken.

Avatar image for hXcShock

Really? Because it's the lack of change in the formula that gives the game no appeal in my eyes. Can't wait to watch this franchise sink.

Avatar image for Enforcer246

@hXcShock As long as bullied geeks exist, this franchise will continue to thrive.

Avatar image for frylock1987
frylock1987 doesn't hurt to change your gameplay and engine up every once in a while....Atleast Battlefield does that on a daily basis.

Avatar image for Master_Bassist

There is no reasonable way to compare a video game franchise to a fucking sport. Particularly a franchise that practically comes out with a new game every year. It disgusts me that anyone would continue to buy these games when the people behind them obviously don't give two shits. Why release a new one at all, if it's like football? There aren't brand new leagues that the professional athletes play in on an annual basis. And if it's "perfected," then there shouldn't be any need to release another CoD game ever. You can't improve on perfection.

Avatar image for slipknotmaggot1

@Master_Bassist there are drafts every year aren't there?! new team mates come all the time, people switch teams. it doesn't matter, it was a good example i think. as for Activision releasing a new one every year, with two companies making the game, it takes 2 years to make a game. so its not like they are just spitting it out in less than 9 months. i never played COD until World at War, and played the rest up til now. I won't buy anymore from Sledghammer because they really aren't doing anything new. Treyarch did great with World at War and Black Ops 1/2. i'll stick with them as they seem to be the only ones doing new and better things in COD. cause going from Vietnam to cold war, to future was is a lot better than making 3 (soon to be 4) of the same Modern Warfare games...

Avatar image for dannyboy100

So its perfect, it can't be improved, so they don't want to try. Arrogance like that will eventually sink the franchise.

Avatar image for MenaceSG

I think what's actually more sad than this idiot basically telling people "We're not changing our system, tough luck kiddies", is that CoD honestly doesn't even feel like a war game anymore. It just feels like a random, party type shooter game where you get the options to have "fun" with all their new little gadgets. The engagements don't feel like a war game, or even how Modern Warfare used to feel. One thing I've alway said CoD needed was destructible environments. Raining a mortar strike on a building with nothing happening to it, is kinda lame. You don't even have to change up the system THAT much. But allow some new stuff for f***s sake, it is literally rehashing a used formula that came out years ago.

Avatar image for tony93666

"if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

they're making sooooooooooo much money with CoD now, they'd be crazy TO change it.

Avatar image for GnugnaGnagna

Bullshit, What he meant was: "I am scared shitless of losing money"

Avatar image for ShakyMonkey

Aaaaand that's why CoD sucks

Avatar image for darkeyez81

@ShakyMonkey As long as it makes money, they will not care if it sucks.

Avatar image for Crouteru

I thought that revolutionary fish AI was a great change to the formula! Implementing gameplay physics from as far back as 1996? Genius!

Avatar image for blackothh

In other words, they have no clue what their doing, other then, oh this worked, do it again and again.

I cant wait for this series to fall off the planet

Avatar image for garrybubba

So a new game engine built from the ground up, destructible enviroments and alike would change the game so much it would be like playing football with your hands....

Avatar image for Karl_Hummer

Obviously Activision doesn't know the definition of insanity...

Avatar image for liandrikonflict

I just put in MW3 yesterday and a fucking guy is running around invisible and invincible...this was on a Ground War public match...this was not a glitch...the game is hacked...just as bad as MW2...

Avatar image for 19James89

@liandrikonflict I get the sense that IW and Treyarch just abandon those servers when the next installment of COD comes out and leaves the servers to their own devices.

Avatar image for wolff36

get rid of quick scoping... what are your questions.

Avatar image for kagento

A declaration of intention... All that talk about making the game next-gen has fallen off the roof. People that want another CoD will get precisely that, same engine an' all.

Avatar image for FELOFLOW

they don´t have th change their formula. They have to make a NEW GRAPHICS ENGINE, i´m a PC gamer and i only has COD modern warfare 1 =COD 4 because that was the pinnacle of the COD series right now, when they make all new, but now every year i have a game that look like a game of 8 years ago.

now i have BF3 or MEDAL OF HONOR WAR FIGHTER or CRYSIS 2 (i dont buy the 3 and will never buy a crysis because is FULL OF HACKERS IN PC)

Avatar image for trivolution

Black Ops 2 change the formula and it was good (but not that big and the magic isn't there anymore). Borderlands improved the formula of shooters and it was great, but Bioshock Infinite was the best.

Avatar image for FULGOREY2K

its flat out telling gamers that you will get the same shit just with pretty graphics

Avatar image for JJB03

Basically he's outwardly saying that they are afraid to try anything new in fear of people not liking it and wanting the same old stuff instead, this is fair enough I suppose the game can only evolve so much from the very first MW as this was a major jump in how COD played from its past games, but how about you stop making COD. Thats right just end the franchise here and create a new projects with more potential for original content and gameplay ideas, you've beaten this horse till its a finely mixed paste, create something new, it will sell as you have a massive reputation of making a string of good games in the past that broke selling records.

Avatar image for kagento

@JJB03 Ye, well... I'd like to see the faces of the board and stockholders after proposing that, "Are you fucking nuts??!! Who cares about creativity!?" XD

Avatar image for OHGFawx

New maps, charge $60, they will buy it.

Avatar image for IevildirkI

their solution to everything is re-skin

Avatar image for tightwad34

In other words, the sheep will remain sheep and we love that.

Avatar image for Shadow4020

I just don't care anymore; I haven't been excited for CoD for a long time.

Avatar image for kingisaactheiv

At least improve the graphics!

Avatar image for savagejoe444

@kingisaactheiv They did.

Avatar image for twinchicken

im sick n tired on a fps games..eversince im a call of duty fan..but now love strategic shooter such as socom 4..