Infinity Ward had to fight to be able to make Call of Duty 4 a modern FPS, say members of the studio’s top brass: publisher Activision wanted another World War II game.
Let’s file this under “dodging a bullet,” for the moment: Infinity Ward has revealed that its publisher, Activision, tried desperately to dissuade them from making a “modern warfare” game. In the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine, studio boss Vince Zampella said that the team had wanted to make a modern combat game since the second Call of Duty:
“With Call of Duty 2, we were dead set against it being World War 2,” said Zampella, “but Activision really wanted it, the compromise sort of being that we’d get some dev kits for consoles in exchange for doing a World War 2 game … [we] always wanted to be on consoles and Activision saw us as more of a PC developer.”
The reason for this, of course, was that Activision wasn’t convinced that a modern combat FPS would sell well at all. “They thought working on a modern game was risky and [thought], ‘oh my god you can’t do that, it’s crazy!’ They were doing market research to show us we were wrong the whole time,” Zampella explained.
Of course, we know how that story ended up. CoD4 went on to be one of the most popular games of all time, selling 14 million copies and topping review charts across the board, with a hugely anticipated sequel a little over a month away. The gamble paid off for both Activision and Infinity ward – but it almost never happened at all.
Guess everybody should be a little bit thankful for that bit of luck.