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Speaking at the DMW Games conference in Los Angeles, Estanislao said, “We’re definitely looking to reach out to our core audience and engage them beyond their TV or PC and then give them new experiences around Call of Duty that are unique for that device.
“Going forward for us, how do we really take that Call of Duty experience, what is the essence of it? These kinds of grandiose, immerse experiences–how do we move that to mobile or tablet?
“From a development perspective, we’re investing a lot more in understanding how to marry that together with how customers expect to play on those devices.”
He added that it’s taken Activision longer to capitalise in the mobile space as the company’s DNA means it can’t be as flexible – whatever that means – and added that the company currently has, “dedicated internal studios to work on it, and folks from outside the industry that we’re bringing in.”
So, how could the full Call of Duty exist on tablets or mobile? Should it be left alone given that it wirks well with either a mouse and keyboard or twin-stick controller? Let us know below.
Unlike other publishers, Activision has been lagging behind in selling content for mobile phones and tablets. For example, the publisher has only released a handful Call of Duty games on the App Store, all watered-down ports of the console games’ zombies mode. The ports were merely “okay,” Activision Blizzard senior director of global digital and mobile sales Jon Estanislao said. But, he promised that going forward, the company will be focused on avoiding ports, and making original experiences.
“Going forward for us, how do we really take that Call of Duty experience, what is the essence of it? These kinds of grandiose, immerse experiences–how do we move that to mobile or tablet? From a development perspective, we’re investing a lot more in understanding how to marry that together with how customers expect to play on those devices,” he said.
Speaking at DMW Games in Los Angeles, Estanislao says that future Call of Duty experiences on mobile will “evolve” the way customers interact with the brand, offering new ways of utilizing Call of Duty Elite, for example. “We’re definitely looking to reach out to our core audience and engage them beyond their TV or PC and then give them new experiences around Call of Duty that are unique for that device,” he said.
Given the amount of money that’s in mobile gaming nowadays, it’s surprising to see Activision so slow to capitalize on it. However, Estanislao says that the publisher’s size can get in the way of being agile. “Sometimes it takes a bit longer for large companies like ourselves because our DNA isn’t necessarily that flexible,” he said. “But I think we’re at that stage, we have dedicated internal studios to work on it, and folks from outside the industry that we’re bringing in.”
One user, Paul, complained: “Incomplete install, feel free to actually test your software before you release it to the public.” Paul then proceeded to award the game one star.
Another user, Stephen, echoed Paul‘s disgruntled sentiment, stating: “Installed and then won’t download the additional files no matter what. Would like a fix asap or money back.”
No more room in hell
The game itself, which won a Silver Award on iOS, is all about shooting legions of the reanimated dead, either on your own or with the help of up to three other human beings over a local wi-fi network.
Featuring three maps – Kino Der Toten, Ascension, and Call of the Dead – for you to sink your teeth into, as well as the slightly odd Deap-Ops Arcade (which turns the game into a top-down shooter), Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies contains enough content for even the most ardent undead slayer.
You can grab the game from the Google Play Store for £4.99 / $6.99 by clicking here, although bear in mind that it might not work.
Mobile gaming has changed dramatically in the last few years with the advancement in smartphone technology, which has seen some big title games making the move from home consoles to the various mobile platforms, and now it seems that Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies is going to be released on Android.
The Call of Duty franchise is arguably the biggest platform in the gaming world, and as Recombu are reporting this has seen a number of spin offs on multiple platforms. Users of the iOS platform have already been able to enjoy Black Ops Zombies since the end of last year, but now it seems users of Android will soon be able to take on the undead.
It looks as if the game is about to arrive on the Android platform after the games instruction manual was spotted, which also revealed details about the game modes, secret extras, and multiplayer features.
Just like the version on the iOS platform the game will allow for both single player and multiplayer modes, and players will also have the option of going online to play their friends on Android devices anywhere. It doesn’t seem though that there will be any cross platform options so you won’t be able to play your iOS friends.
Along with the classic Call of Duty Zombie experience with unlockable areas, secret weapons, and power-ups, there could also be a Dead Ops Arcade feature. This will have fifty levels of top down 3D third person gaming fun, but at the moment there is no official information on the game launching, or support for attachable gamepads. Hopefully though the game should be available in the coming weeks.
Will you get Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies on your Android device?
The first game from Activision’s new Leeds, UK mobile studio is a revamp of classic owned IP Pitfall, not Call of Duty, the firm has told MCV.
Activision has swiftly moved to put the record straight after reports late last week claimed it was working on a UK-made Call of Duty for smartphones.
But this afternoon Activision’s Martyn Brown, the Team 17 co-founder tapped up to build the new studio, told MCV:
“In setting up there has been a lot of interest given the publisher we are working with. In the third week of may we revealed we had the studio, and yes it is based in Leeds, and we have hired some key talent in the form of Mark Washbrook and Mark Lloyd [formerly of Rockstar Games].
“The first game we are making is in fact Pitfall, which is 30 years old this year.”
Pitfall is a symbolic choice for the new UK studio – the 1982 original was Activision’s first major release, coded by co-founder David Crane. Ports appeared on many 8-bit systems and Activision has remade the title a number of times for later formats.
Pitfall for smartphones is a fresh take, said Brown.
“We’ve been working on Pitfall since earlier in the year when we set up and it has been really good to revisit that and bring it to a modern audience.”
More details on the game, Brown said, will be revealed in due course as the team puts the finishing touches to the title.
Brown said that Pitfall is ultimately just one of a raft of Activision IPs it has the chance to introduce to the fast-growing audience for smartphone games.
He explained: “Being able to call upon a wide portfolio of properties is really good for us and we are looking forward to finally showing it to more people.”
Activision Leeds has become the latest studio to join the Call of Duty family, according to UK games industry expert Andy Payne.
Talking to VideoGamer yesterday, Payne, who is the chairman of trade body UKIE, revealed that the new Leeds studio will be heading up development on all Call of Duty “handheld games” going forward.
“Activision are like a machine,” said Payne. “I have to be careful what I say about these guys because I know them so well and they’ll cane me.
“But Activision are a machine. They’re very good, and you know what, what people don’t realise with Activision is, the two studios working on the Call of Duty franchise are collaborative studios. That’s unheard of. All the assets are reusable, so they’re not wasting time.
“If we were modelling this [points to VideoGamer’s interview set-up], we’d have to build this, build that, takes time, right? Costs money. The two studios are saying, ‘I need a tank, pull it off from the library’. And those assets are also going to be starting to be used by the mobile team, which is going to be based in Leeds.”
Activision Leeds was established in November 2011, but it wasn’t known what the studio was working on beyond the “development of projects based on Activision’s brands.”
The studio will be developing “all handheld versions, iOS versions of Call of Duty” going forward, Payne revealed, but he wouldn’t confirm whether or not that extended to the Vita game Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified.
“They [Activision] kind of always wanted to get the Rockstar team,” he continued, referring to the Rockstar Leeds team behind portable games Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Vice City Stories and Chinatown Wars.
“They wanted some of the Rockstar guys, yeah. Well it’s smart, because Britain’s pretty ahead in mobile programming. We’re pretty good at it. Yet again, we’re good at it but we don’t talk about it too much because we’re British.”
Previous Call of Duty mobile games, including Call of Duty: World at War Zombies and Black Ops Zombies, were developed by the London-based Ideaworks Game Studio.
Activision may have got its wish, though: according to a GamesIndustry report, two ex-Rockstar bosses are also working with Activision Leeds.
Multiple studios are known to have joined the Call of Duty family in recent months. Last month it was revealed that Guitar Hero developer Neversoft was developing a new Call of Duty.
Activision declined to comment when contacted by VideoGamer.