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Activision learning about Chinese gamers with Call of Duty Online; open beta for China coming end of this year



Activision’s big push, officially, into Chinese market is with Call of Duty Online. Call of Duty, thanks to piracy, is in high demand across China. Activision saw this opportunity and is working with China’s publisher, Tencent, to bring Call of Duty Online exclusively to China. 

“If you look at other [Western game companies], they’ve tried to come into the Chinese market and it’s been difficult,” Daniel Suarez, the vice president of production for the Call of Duty franchise, said during a presentation at E3. “I think they’re under the assumption, ‘I’m going to take my game, I’ll bring it over, and people will engage with it because the graphics are good,’ and everything else.”

“Call of Duty is a known and established brand in China — through piracy, it’s become this well established and known franchise. So I think Tencent sees that opportunity and they have wanted to partner with us.”

Activision plans to make the Call of Duty Online beta open by the end of this year, but has to make sure it get’s every aspect right. The game has been in closed beta, in two different sessions, with a third session set to start this summer.

Raven Software has taken over as the Lead Developer on this title. Call of Duty Online for China started off with assets from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, MW2, and Black Ops to get the frame-rate in the game right. As development progresses on, Raven plans to add features and assets from MW3, Ghosts, and even Advanced Warfare. But, bringing a new title to China means that Activision really has to understand Chinese gamers. For one, Chinese gamers don’t have ADS in current titles. Their most popular game right now is called Crossfire, which has no ADS.

“One of our biggest takeaways [from research] is that Call of Duty is hard,” Raffel said. “CoD players in the west, we’re used to looking down sights, we’re used to going prone and jumping and doing all these things at the same time. They do none of those things, and the things that they do do, they do one at a time. So they aren’t multitasking.”

“They see our epic killstreaks and go, “Wow, this is kind of a daunting experience, I don’t know that I’m going to be able to do all these things,'” Suarez said. “Being able to train them, and have them understand how they’re able to do these things is critically important.

“They don’t ADS [aim down sights] in Crossfire,” he continued. “So for us, it’s training them to understand that this will give them more accuracy. It’ll give them a better experience.”

The culture and foundation of how Chinese gamers play is fundamentally different and requires understanding across the development teams to implement. 

“In video games [in the west], you see the shiny coin, you see the blinky box, you know you need to go collect it,” Suarez explained. “But when we started toing tests in China, this is not what they did. We have game modes, like ‘Kill Confirmed’ where you go around collecting dogtags, and either capture the kill for your team or deny the kill for the other. In China, they actively avoid these things. Thye’re like, ‘No, I don’t want to get that.’ These practices are just not inherent to their knowledge of how they play they games.

“So we need to take more time to explain that,” Suarez said. “We need to adapt our game to that culture.”

Call of Duty Online for China is exclusive to China; it’s a free-to-play Call of Duty title, but Activision is using micro transactions with customization and other options to make a profit from it. 

SOURCE: Polygon 



Activision merges Vicarious Visions into Blizzard Entertainment

Activision owned Vicarious Visions will now be part of Blizzard Entertainment division.



Activision has announced that one of their wholly owned studios, Vicarious Visions, will no longer be part of the Activision Publishing division.

The company has revealed that Vicarious Visions will be fully merged into Blizzard Entertainment division of the company effective immediately.

Vicarious Visions has worked on many titles and projects for Activision, including Skylanders, Destiny franchise, supported development of select Call of Duty games, and more. Most recently, the studio developed and released remasters of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2. The studio was listed as a support developer of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

In a statement to GamesIndustry, Blizzard says the studio becomes a “natural fit” after working on several Blizzard projects behind the scenes for the last several years.

“After collaborating with Vicarious Visions for some time and developing a great relationship, Blizzard realized there was an opportunity for [Vicarious Visions] to provide long-term support,” a representative explained to us.

It’s not truly clear how long Vicarious has been supporting Blizzard projects.

Vicarious Visions’ studio head Jen Oneal has been promoted to be Executive VP of Development at Blizzard Entertainment as part of the merger. She will report directly to Blizzard President J. Allen Barrack. All 200 Vicarious Vision employees will be part of Blizzard and work on Blizzard projects.

Her role is being replaced by Simon Ebejer, who was previously the Chief Operating Officer of the studio. It’s not clear what projects within Blizzard they are working on. Blizzard has multiple projects in the works, including Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, and more.

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Call of Duty: Warzone

Clever Warzone tricks lets you land without a parachute

A few players have discovered a fun little trick in Call of Duty Warzone that allows them to touch down on Verdansk without a parachute.



How to land without a parachute in Warzone

There is a useful trick that you can use in a Call of Duty: Warzone match to break your fall while in mid-air. This will allow you to land safely in Verdansk without worrying about deploying your parachute. 

Call of Duty: Warzone will pit you against a ton of other players in a highly competitive Battle Royale match. The instant you land in Verdansk, you’ll have to find ways to get ahead of your enemies through different weapons or gear, scoring killstreaks, and even making use of glitches.

Players have discovered many different maneuvers in the game since its release in March 2020. These grant you an advantage over your opponent, including one that has you take out enemies by firing in mid-air.

This will have you deploy your parachute when you’re near the ground, and is a great way to score kills in mid-air. Now a neat new trick has been discovered that removes the need for a parachute altogether.

Parachutes in Warzone

How to land in Warzone without a parachute

This trick was pointed out by Reddit user Thexer0, who posted a clip of them dropping into Verdansk in the Call of Duty: Warzone subreddit. Here they showed that you are able to land on different surfaces without deploying your parachute.

Al you need to do is try hitting certain edges and surfaces in mid-air to break the fall before landing on your feet. In the clip, the player used a Satellite dish for this purpose, and slid off the curved edge before taking out their weapon.

While this trick is useful, it’s not guaranteed to work unless you’re precise with your landing. If you don’t hit the right type of surface, then you’ll find yourself in a world of hurt. The player pointed this out and mentioned that you should try this “at your own risk.”

That said, this trick is absolutely worth trying out. Other players also commented on the thread about their own attempts at this neat little exploit, and many of them reported that it worked out successfully for them.

One Reddit user said “You can do it as well with some of the telephone/electrical towers,” and another mentioned “It works on stones and stuff too. You gotta land on the edges, something around 45 degrees.”

Parachutes are a vital component in Warzone matches, so you should definitely go for this trick. All it takes to succeed in pulling it off is some practice, along with a ton of patience. You can learn some more helpful tricks in our Warzone tips and tricks guide.

Image Credits: Activision

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Treyarch dev Tony Flame’s Twitter account hacked



On this Christmas morning, Treyarch’s Lead Designer, Tony Flame, has had his Twitter hacked.

A user hacked Tony Flame’s Twitter account in the early morning hours of December 25, and has gone on a posting rampage, including posting racial slurs and more across the account. The hacker is @wixyV3.

We’re not going to showcase posts here with any racial slurs. The Twitter account has been locked by Twitter for the amount of slurs the hackers have posted, per images sent around in Discord servers.

One of the hacked tweets that has gone viral is about SBMM, asking Activision to remove it from his “game” he “worked hard to make.”

The account still remains hacked at this hour, but it does appear that tweets are being blocked from posting at this time. Twitter locked the account due to the content being posted.

Tony Flame’s account is not verified on the platform.

Flame has been active in posting since Black Ops Cold War’s alpha launched back in September. He’s been posting updates and thoughts around what the team is doing in terms of balancing and content updates.

The last tweet from Flame himself was a Merry Christmas post on the night of December 24.

Activision has not stated anything yet on this hack.

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