Call of Duty: Ghosts to get second-screen multiplayer features
Companion app to add new multiplayer features; developer wary of not giving players an unfair advantage.
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The additional functionality is being built by Activision's sister team, Beachhead Studio, and while Rubin did not discuss specifics, he did confirm that the development team is wary of keeping the playing field level to avoid giving those who can afford a second-screen device an unfair advantage on the battlefield.
"We actually have a whole department--a whole studio, basically--wrapped around the idea of second screen. Our Beachhead group is doing a lot of work there. But a lot of it ties into multiplayer, and I can’t talk too much about it now," he said.
While Activision’s Elite platform originally launched as a paid service, before later becoming free, Rubin confirmed that Call of Duty players will not need to pay for an application to integrate their mobile experience with their home console; nor will it be monetised.
“It’s free. And this is where you have to be smart on your design: You can’t make it required, and it can’t confer a massive advantage,” Rubin said. “There’s some balancing that needs to be done. You don’t want it so the guy with an iPad has an advantage over other players in multiplayer just because he has the money to buy an iPad.
"But it will definitely be free, and it will be a companion. It won’t be a revenue generator. It will be used to enhance the experience, but not offer any advantages,” he said.
The executive also confirmed that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game will look near identical, are being developed in-house by the same Infinity Ward team, and that players who opt not to purchase Microsoft and Sony's new systems won’t be left behind, saying, "the current-gen version is getting some graphical boosts and engine improvements, too."
Call of Duty: Ghosts will be available on November 5 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PS4, and PC. Activision recently confirmed that fans who pre-order the game will receive a bonus multiplayer map, Free Fall, which takes place on a collapsing skyscraper.