Why Kotick Isn’t Thinking ’bout MW3 v BF3

Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard, Inc., the publishers of Call of Duty and the upcoming MW3 isn’t thinking about competition between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. But why? Also, the deadliest golf course in the history of golf courses, Annihilation tips, Kotick also explains that Elite is a result of player input and the developers talk about XP.

Kotick ain’t Thinking ’bout Competition

From what I’ve said above, you might’ve thought ‘he should be thinking about it’ or ‘is he really a CEO’. But he actually is one. When he was asked what it was like to be at competition with EA explained why in this statement to The Guardian:

To be honest with you, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about our competition.

There were rumours saying that he was denied by EA for seeing BF3 behind closed doors.

There is really not much to this, but you can still see the full article here.

The Deadliest Golf Course… In the History of Golf Courses!

The Golf Course, the main feature in the recently-released map of Hazard in the Annihilation Content Pack along with its second main feature, the gopher.

The Gopher’s Emerging!

The Course!

Annihilation Map Pack Tips

So how do you play better on Annihilation? Follow these tips, and easter eggs to help you out. LINK’D.

Kotick: “Elite is a Result of Player Input”

We all know Call of Duty Elite, right? RIGHT? If you don’t know what Elite is, then go to the search box or go through the tags tab (both on the sidebar) and look for it.

Meanwhile, Bobby Kotick explained that the new Call of Duty Elite service was a direct result of customer feedback. In his recent interview with The Guardian, he was so… unfocused (can’t find the right word to say it) that it received such negative feedback ( 😡 to negative feedback! ):

We started out with a desire to give back to our players; we wanted to add capabilities that were the direct result of research conducted with our audience. We have tens of millions of players, and we went out to our audience and we solicited their thoughts and opinions on what would make the game – on a free basis – more fun to play.

He then explained that Elite will still feature epic services even if you don’t take the monthly subscription:

So the bulk of what we’ve done is to create a free service that offers a whole host of new, interesting and well-differentiated capabilities that will get our audience really enthusiastic and excited about playing.

Kotick claims the new service is helping the audience get what they want.

We have very articulate audiences – they’re able to prioritize what’s important; they’re able to give us clarity on features that they think will be useful. So from that perspective, what we’re delivering is the direct result of player input – and a lot of it.

There were also a certain number of things that our players wanted to see, with the recognition that those particular services would be costly for us to develop. And we spent a lot of time talking about what’s a fair way to charge for what are premium services. In that regard too we got great audience feedback. So (Elite was based on) very well-informed research that goes deeper and is more extensive than anything we’ve done before. I think the combination of offerings is very well aligned with the interests of our communities.

Elite comes with an astonishing amount of research never before seen from Activision. So what do I say? Good job.

You can view the full post here.

Developers talk about CoD XP

The current developers of Call of Duty (including Treyarch) talk about the latest CoD convention: Call of Duty Experience.

Every year, we reveal multiplayer, and I’d rather do it in a way that’s insanely awesome than not. While logisitcally it’s a huge deal because we’re shipping a massive game, it’s a big reward for the team to put it out in a way like this that’s never been done before.

E3 was great because we got to get out there and show the game for the first time, but it was very interview-heavy […] the awesome thing about Call of Duty XP is that this is a hands-on event. This is your first chance to get an  opportunity to let the game speak for itself.  That’s where Call of Duty shines — when you get it in your hand and you get into your groove and start playing.

Robert Bowling
Creative Strategist, Infinity Ward

We go to the focus tests all the time, and they’re 8 to 12 people. I’m always dying to ask them tons of questions, but they’re only 8 to 12 people. To have 6000 people there who can give you input, give you feedback, help you make the game better, that’s something we all look forward to. Any developer wants to have this kind of opportunity.

Glen Schofield
CEO, Sledgehammer Games

Certainly we have the beta, at which point we’ll have millions of people getting their hands on the stuff that we’ve been working on up until this point. But for Call of Duty XP, it’s the first chance for us to show stuff as it ties directly to Modern Warfare 3. We’re really excited about getting to show you guys some of the cool features that we talked about a lot in the past — stuff like pushing to class, seeing all these features on multiple platforms — mobile, console, things like that. I think it’s going to be a great way for people, having already seen what’s in the beta, then get a bigger picture of what Elite is going to be like with Modern Warfare 3.

Elite will be one of the ways people will be able to qualify for that big [$1 million] tournament. In addition to that, here will be contests on the floor — individual tournaments on an ad-hoc basis, so people can get there, play the
modes that they like to their heart’s content. We’re trying to figure out lots of ways to make it such that people will be engaged in competition around Call of Duty.

Chacko Sonny
Studio Head, Beachhead Studios

You would think that after six months or longer, we would have answered every possible question from every possible fan that ever came about at any point in time — and we still haven’t. As a fan event, which the Call of Duty Experience is, [the developer panels and Q&A] is going to be personally my favorite part, because we can get right with the people and answer some of those really challenging and really difficult questions.

It’s awesome that Activision and the studios can stand in front of all these fans and put ourselves out there. That’s a major improvement over how things used to be. It comes with all sides — upsides and downsides — and it’s something we’re going to learn and get better at. But it’s absolutely the way to go.

David Vonderhaar
Game Design Director, Treyarch

Read the full post here.


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