Roman Call of Duty Game Was Never Seriously Considered, Activision Says [UPDATE]

According to Activision, Call of Duty: Roman Wars wasn't as close to being a game as we originally thought.


[UPDATE] An Activision spokesperson has released a statement to GameSpot on the supposed "lost" Call of Duty game. You can read it in full below.

"The game concept was proposed by a former employee while working at the studio, but was not seriously considered nor requested to move to prototype.”

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: GS News Update: "Lost" Call of Duty Game Was Reportedly Set in Ancient Rome

Original story: Battlefield 1 may take players back to 1918, but there was once a Call of Duty game in development that would take players much further back. Call of Duty: Roman Wars was set in Ancient Rome and featured first-person sword combat, GamesRadar reports.

A demo for the lost Call of Duty game apparently impressed Activision and was even seen by CEO Bobby Kotick. However, GamesRadar reports that "a mixture of studio stubbornness and fears of over-saturating the brand" killed the Roman Wars' chances at life. You can see footage of the game in the video below.

GamesRadar's source, who chose to go by Polemus, says Skylanders developer Vicarious Visions created the prototype, which was eventually turned into "Roman Wars" by members who left the team. It was pitched to Ubisoft, which explains the company flags in the gameplay footage above.

Apparently, Roman Wars was born out of a test to see what Activision's studios could create with the Call of Duty name. Roman Wars was built from the foundation of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 and utilized both first and third-person perspectives. The first-person view was apparently similar to 2005's Condemned: Criminal Origins, while the third-person was "very Gears of War-style."

Polemus told GamesRadar that you'd play as several different characters from a lowly grunt to Julius Caesar himself. It would have strived towards accuracy with its battles, keeping close to Caesar's real-life conquests.

Although Roman Wars never saw the light of day, other ancient war games have. Crytek's Roman action game Ryse released on Xbox One in 2013, which Polemus says made them feel validated in their push for the ancient warfare title.

You can read more about the inner workings on Call of Duty: Roman Wars over on GamesRadar.

Despite Polemus' validation, Ryse received a low score of 4 in GameSpot's review. Critic Mark Walton concluded, "Ryse is all sizzle and no steak, a stunning visage paired with a vapid personality. Everything from the leveling system that's so painfully easy to complete (and so devoid of any impact on the game that it might as well not be there), to the story that does little to flesh out its lead characters beyond puerile notions of revenge is a testament to how little Ryse can back up its gorgeous visuals with anything more than a shallow set of fisticuffs."

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 145 comments about this story