Q&A: We speak to Call of Duty Mobile GM Matt Lewis about the one-year anniversary of Call of Duty Mobile and what's next for the game.
After some smaller releases like Call of Duty Heroes, Activision made a big push to make Call of Duty Mobile the definitive Call of Duty experience on mobile--and it seems to have worked. Released in October 2019, the game has been a huge success, driven in part by its ever-expanding lineup of content.
The game, which is developed by TiMi Studios in China, has reached more than 300 million downloads worldwide and has expanded its content significantly. The game launched with 11 multiplayer maps, and it now has 23; it had one multiplayer mode at release, and now has 27. Some of the other first-year stats include the battle royale map increasing in size by about 50%, while there are now a whopping 182 playable characters in the game.
GameSpot recently had the chance to speak with Call of Duty Mobile GM Matt Lewis about the first year of Call of Duty Mobile. In the interview, Lewis spoke about the game's first-year achievements, how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted development, what's being done to combat cheaters, and lots more. Lewis did not, however, confirm any plans to bring back Zombies, a fan-favorite mode that was removed earlier this year.
You can check out the full interview below. Call of Duty Mobile is currently available on Android and iOS as a free-to-play game supported by microtransactions. For more, check out everything new in the Anniversary update, which is the biggest in the game's history.
Call of Duty Mobile has seemingly been a very successful release for Activision across a number of metrics. Now that you're about a year out from release, can you reflect on the first year and what you've learned and accomplished?
The Call of Duty: Mobile team has accomplished just an incredible amount in the last 12 months. Our goal from the start has been simple: make an authentic and AAA-quality Call of Duty game that plays great on a phone. Over the last year we've stayed true to this vision as we moved from one part of the game to the next making things better and better. We spent a lot of energy improving the feel of playing a single match. We've been obsessing over the game’s technical performance and general availability. Perhaps more than anything we've been determined to up the quality and volume of content updates we give to players.
The CoD fanbase is known for being outspoken and opinionated about the direction of the series. Can you speak about what kind of feedback you've received from the community for CoD: Mobile, and how you've gone about responding to their feedback?
The CoD fanbase is known for being outspoken about the direction of the series, and we love that. When you mess up, you hear about it, and when you get it right, they let you know too. Fair trade! Rather than run from this we embrace it. Each week we actively source feedback across a few different forums and sites both to share info on upcoming updates and to get feedback on stuff we recently did. These sessions are critical for us – if you’re a player reading this now, keep talking to us!
"The CoD fanbase is known for being outspoken about the direction of the series, and we love that. When you mess up, you hear about it, and when you get it right, they let you know too." -- Matt Lewis, Call of Duty Mobile GM.
With Black Ops Cold War releasing soon, do you have plans for cross-promotion or integration with that game in any capacity?
We do have plans for some rewarding cross game experiences, one of which has already launched. Mobile players who played the Black Ops Cold War Beta on the same Activision account got a free Adler operator skin in Mobile.
How has the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic impacted the development of Call of Duty: Mobile, and what have you learned about your teams and processes in the process?
COVID-19 has proven a quite challenging obstacle to making Call of Duty: Mobile. At the end of the day games are a creative endeavor, and it’s hard to be creative in isolation--you need people to bound ideas off of and to inspire you. This is hard on Zoom! But our teams are amazing and it’s inspiring to go to work every day.
Is there an update you can provide regarding the Zombies mode for CoD Mobile and when it may be re-introduced?
We don’t have an update for Zombies now, but Zombies isn’t something we’ve forgotten about. Recently our focus has been on making sure Multiplayer feels world class, and then on improving our Battle Royale mode, first by adding the Alcatraz map from Black Ops 4 and then by polishing and building up our original Isolated map.
How are you approaching the instances of cheating/hacking/exploits in CoD: Mobile. Can you talk about your efforts to combat negative behavior?
Call of Duty: Mobile uses proprietary technology to identify and proactively ban hackers before they ruin others’ experiences. We don't want to go into detail around how but we take fair play very seriously.
What can you tell us about what's coming up next for CoD: Mobile in the future?
We are so excited with where Call of Duty: Mobile is right now, and over the next months we plan on making the game even better. That means new maps and modes, new characters and weapons, and new features to take social, competitive gameplay to some totally new places.