Another try at mobile gaming might just help Call Of Duty on its way back to the top.
King, the studio perhaps best known for the Candy Crush brand of mobile games, is collaborating with Activision to make a Call Of Duty mobile game.
King is owned by Activision Blizzard, with the studio being acquired back in early 2016.
The intent is to expand King’s portfolio across other platforms, but to also use the studio’s talent to bring established Activision Blizzard brands to mobile.
A recruitment page lists multiple opportunities to help create the Call Of Duty title.
“The team is adapting one of the most iconic game franchises of all-time — Call of Duty — to become a mobile experience,” the listing reads. “This is a rare and exciting opportunity. Our challenge as a team is to create a Call of Duty experience on mobile that will strive to transform the best console experience fans know and love, while also breaking new ground for mobile and redefining the genre.
“Our approach and ambition is to be fresh, social, and highly accessible, while providing a very authentic game experience. The team will prototype extensively, have the freedom to think outside the box, and be encouraged to stretch their expertise in ways to create surprising results.”
There have already been a handful of Call of Duty mobile and portable games, with mixed results.
The likes of Call of Duty: Strike Team, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, Call of Duty: Heroes, and Call of Duty World at War: Zombies have all come to mobile platforms, but they’ve struggled to replicate the defining experience offered on consoles.
It may be an opportunity to change the way the franchise is perceived by mobile gamers, perhaps by building a strategy, turn-based game.
The shift to mobile comes as Call of Duty looks to make a move in Hollywood.
Black Ops and Modern Warfare will inspire an intertwined blockbuster movie franchise for Call Of Duty, which Activision Blizzard hopes will rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A recent feature in The Guardian details the company’s active push to create and establish a Call Of Duty movie franchise.
Activision Blizzard Studios is led by former Disney executive Nick van Dyk and renowned Hollywood producer Stacey Sher, whose credits include a string of Tarantino films, starting with her executive producer credit in 1994’s Pulp Fiction.
Sher says the team behind the perceived movie franchise has plotted out a story across many years, and it could start as early as 2018.
We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going,” Sher began. “There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”
That suggests a cross-over ala The Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There are also plans to bring Call of Duty ‘back to its roots’, perceivably back to the WW2 era.
Activision said in February that it was making changes to win back its fanbase. A slide shown during a recent investors presentation suggested the publisher was taking Call Of Duty, “back to its roots”.
That could only mean World War II, which was the setting of the first three Call Of Duty games.
New leaked images suggested that could very well be the case.
Earlier this year, the publisher praised the quality of both Infinite Warfare and its bundled-in Modern Warfare Remastered, but also it admitted the 2017 entry “wasn’t the success” it had hoped it would be.
“Sales underperformed our expectations, and it’s clear that for a portion of our audience, the space setting just didn’t resonate,” Activision chief operating officer, Thomas Tippl, said during Activision’s Q4 2016 earnings summary. “We had a passionate experienced studio deeply committed to this direction, and despite the risks we saw, we believe it is important to consider the passions of our game teams in deciding what content to create.
“While [Infinite Warfare] wasn’t the success we planned,” Tipple continued, “it allows us to protect a core tenets of our culture … empowering our talented teams to have the chance to pursue opportunities that they are passionate about.”