Connect with us

Activision

A Call of Duty game set in ancient Rome was in development years ago, cancelled after initial prototypes – UPDATE

Published

on

UPDATE 2: Activision has issued the following statement regarding this:

“The game concept was proposed by a former employee while working at the studio, but was not seriously considered nor requested to move to prototype.”


UPDATE – July 7: GamesRadar has updated their story to state that, following Activision’s rejection of the pitch, members of the team that were developing it left and pitched the idea again to Ubisoft just as “Roman Wars.”


Original Story:

A new article from GamesRadar states that at one point eight years ago, a Call of Duty game set in ancient Rome was in development at one of Activision’s studios, called Call of Duty: Roman Wars.

The game featured “battle elephants trampling soldiers, a playable Julius Caesar and first-person sword combat,” and initially, Activision liked the idea of this game. Eight years ago, Call of Duty was selling incredibly well, and anything attached to that brand could do well in the market.

In 2008, Activision was pitching ideas to studios about expanding the Call of Duty universe because of the success of the franchise. This idea was called ‘Call of Duty: Roman Wars,’ a game which featured the story following Tenth Legion. GamesRadar spoke with some sources — who are being referred to as ‘Polemus’ to hide their real identity. The title was in development at Vicarious Visions, a studio that Activision has owned since 2005. That studio now is the lead on the kids game Skylanders, which is now a billion dollar franchise.

At the time, Vicarious Visions was working on Marvel: Ultimate Alliances 2, but they started prototyping a Call of Duty game set in ancient Rome.

“We were asked to do some Call of Duty prototypes, so we had a whole team working on a new prototype we called the Fireteam,” explains Polemus. “It was basically a new Call of Duty but with an overhead Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 camera.”

“Anything that we put out that had Call of Duty [on], whatever we were sticking out, was selling really well, so [Activision] gave some studios an opportunity to test their their capabilities on the franchise, and whoever had the winning idea would get to take on the IP.”

Vicarious Visions team thought that bringing the Call of Duty engine to such a game would really improve it for the future. The game’s story followed Julius Caesar’s Tenth Legion (his special forces), and one of the levels they had prototyped was based off of the Battle of Alesia.

“I really thought an ancient warfare game would do well, re-skinned with the Call of Duty engine,” says Polemus. “Basically we were following Julius Caesar’s Tenth Legion – his special forces during those times – and we were doing a one level prototype based on the Battle of Alesia. So we built the one mission based on that. We had everything from riding horses, to riding an elephant, to working with catapults. All done in the Unreal Engine for rapid prototyping”.

Call of Duty: Roman Wars had both third-person perspectives, and first-person perspectives that players could play in. The game featured a straightforward combat system, lead by shields and swords. “The real work for the combat system went into just a shield-sword, block and parry which worked really well; it was a fun mechanic.” They also had plans for bows, spears, and even the ability to throw sand in the enemies’ face.

The demo that Vicarious Visions had to show Activision started off with horse riding section and a speech delivered by Julius Caesar. The objective of that mission was to take down the archers. In this game, the ‘tank’ was basically elephants.

“You drive it [and] if there’s any enemies it can trample them for you. Beside that you get a better perspective and you have some protection because it had its own little booth-seat that protected you and you could duck under.”

There was also parts of the demo which showed off the first-person perspective and a different setting. The team’s goal was to have the full game contain variety of characters and perspectives to show off the Roman century.

“You were going to fight against the Germans and the Germanic Tribes and really stay true to the history of Julius’ conquests during the Gallic Wars,” they explain. “You were going to jump around from officers to low grunts to Caesar and get a little variety of all of those little battles, so you’d play an archer here, you’d play a cavalry over in this phase. And it was going to stay true to the Call of Duty franchise in that jumping around, playing those different characters and getting a whole feel of the overall battle during those times”.

This prototype was sent up to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, and it was initially well received by the executives. There was, however, a lot of uncertainties of releasing this game with the Call of Duty branding on it.

“I at the time was being sort of… I was being stiff in that area,” they admit. “I was huge on Call of Duty myself so I was like ‘I really want to keep it on the Call of Duty level.’ And they said, ‘that’s not going to fly with Activision – they’re already looking at a different version and they don’t want to oversaturate the market.’”

Roman Wars, thus, was cancelled. If the game did come to life, as GameRadar points out, there would have been a market for it on the Xbox One too, as seen with the popular Ryse game that launched with the Xbox One console.

“It would’ve started aligning with the Xbox One depending on the roll out and how long the production would have been. And, strangely enough, a launch title for the Xbox One was Ryse – the Roman war game, which is crazy! When we saw that we were just like ‘See! We knew!’ You had Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, you had all the future stuff – especially with Halo and all those more futuristic-style shooters – they weren’t sure if it was going to resonate as strongly, but then a launch title actually was a freaking ancient Roman warfare game. I think if Call of Duty did that, and they did it with the mechanics we were working with and that engine? That launch title would have been a lot bigger and a lot more well received”.

The feature image shows a prototpye of the game on Xbox 360, but had this game been released, it would have also been on PS3 and PC because of Activision’s multi-platform policy, GameRadar confirmed.

There’s also a video with actual footage from the prototype from GamesRadar:

SOURCE: GamesRadar via @COD_Online

Activision

Activision apologize for using artist’s design in now canceled Vanguard & Warzone skin

Activision have scrapped an unreleased Warzone and Vanguard skin after using an artist’s work without permission.

Published

on

Vanguard and Warzone Season 4 Reloaded skins

Activision admitted to the major misstep of using an artist’s work without permission. The original art was to feature in an upcoming Vanguard and Warzone skin that has since been axed.

Major content drops like new seasons or midseason updates deliver weapons, maps, and changes to Call of Duty games, but they also tend to bring brand-new skins to enjoy. Vanguard and Warzone have seen some noteworthy skins that certainly got players talking.

After all, who could forget the Armored Titan, or Godzilla and King Kong skins? At the start of Season 4 Reloaded, players also received a new Terminator crossover. However, teasers for Season 4 Reloaded also hinted at a mysterious wolf-like skin.

After the wolf skin was teased in an official Call of Duty blog post, it was later inexplicably removed and replaced from the very same post. It turns out, Activision used content that did not belong to them in order to create the aforementioned skin.

When the wolf skin was first teased, it certainly generated a ton of buzz, or rather raised a ton of eyebrows. The anthropomorphic Operator definitely sticks out in a WWII-era Call of Duty game. Nonetheless, fans were excited at the prospect of running around as a wolf in Warzone.

Unfortunately, that idea won’t come to fruition as Activision have confirmed that they completely removed the skin from their planned content drop for Season 4 Reloaded.

It seems Activision overstepping bounds is the reason behind the skin’s cancelation.

An artist claimed that the wolf skin, also known as Samoyed skin, was stolen without their permission. In a strange turn of events, Activision has issued an apology, seemingly confirming the artist’s claims.

In a statement, Activision admitted that they “regrettably erred in our process and have removed this imagery from the game,” apologizing for the misstep.

While fans may be disappointed to lose their chance at slaying in a furry wolf skin, most would agree that if the artist’s claims are legitimate, the greater injustice was corrected as nobody should have their work stolen without credit.


For more, check out how CoD players are thrilled with the rumored change to Modern Warfare 2’s movement.

Image Credit: Activision

Continue Reading

Activision

Activision Blizzard rake in $1.2 billion despite Warzone & Vanguard bringing lowest player count in years

Although 2022 has seen CoD with its lowest player count in years, Activision Blizzard still raked in $1.2 billion from microtransactions.

Published

on

T-1000 skin in Vanguard and Warzone

Although Q1 and Q2 2022 saw Activision have its lowest monthly player count since 2019, the publisher upped its Call of Duty microtransaction revenue in the second quarter, helping to rake in over $1.2 billion.

Activision Blizzard held their quarterly earnings call on August 1, and it was a mixed bag for the Call of Duty franchise.

Alongside teasing that there will be a premium CoD game in 2023, Activision revealed they have seen the lowest monthly player count since 2019 but their in-game cosmetics have been selling well, seeing a notable quarterly revenue increase.

In their earnings call, Activision Blizzard revealed that they raked in $1.2 billion from microtransactions during Q2 2022, which they said was a solid increase from Q1.

Call of Duty’s microtransactions have only got more ambitious as time goes on, bringing Godzilla and King Kong-themed Operator skins back with Season 3, and officially licensed Terminator skins live in Season 4 Reloaded.

“Call of Duty net bookings on console and PC grew sequentially in the second quarter, following gameplay improvements and seasonal content across Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone that were well-received by players,” stated Activision Blizzard in their earnings call.

They also confirmed that “Net bookings for Call of Duty Mobile were consistent with the first quarter.”

However, “Activision’s second quarter segment revenue and operating income declined year-over-year, reflecting lower engagement for the Call of Duty franchise, but grew versus the first quarter.”

Despite microtransactions faring so well, Q2 2022 saw Activision’s monthly player count drop below 100 million for the first time since 2019. Back in June 2021, there were 127 million monthly active users across consoles, PC, and mobile, but this dropped to only 94 million in June 2022.

There’s no knowing what has caused this, but there are more players back at work and school, and Warzone’s devs candidly admitted that they “f**ked stuff up” with Caldera’s launch. Plus, players have been vocal in that they didn’t want another WW2 game, and have been slamming the devs over the lack of new Vanguard content.

However, Activision will be expecting a steep rise in player count and revenue when both Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 release later this year.

Image Credit: Activision

Continue Reading

Activision

Activision report hints at new Call of Duty title in 2023

An Activision Blizzard Q2 2022 earnings press release hints at the release of a brand-new Call of Duty title in 2023.

Published

on

Call of Duty logo 2023

A previous report indicated that there wouldn’t be a Call of Duty game released in 2023 after development delays persisted. It seems these rumors may not come to fruition as an Activision report suggests there will be a premium Call of Duty title released in 2023.

Thanks to a Bloomberg report, Call of Duty fans already accepted that in 2023, they wouldn’t be getting a new CoD title for the first time in almost 20 years. While excitement for Modern Warfare 2 is high at the moment, most players were wary of a two-year game cycle.

Luckily, an August 1 report from Activision indicates that the franchise may very well receive a brand-new title in 2023.

Activision Blizzard’s Q2 2022 press release in which the company reveals their earnings for the period in question had some shocking bits of information to reveal. For starters, it seems like Vanguard and Warzone managed to increase in-game revenue in Q2.

Despite this increase, the company still produced lower year-over-year numbers than expected. There’s no telling how these poor numbers may have influenced decisions about future Call of Duty titles but it’s safe to say that Activision have lots in store when it comes to Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.

In addition, to an exciting slate of 2022 releases, the report also hints at a new premium Call of Duty title in 2023.

Although nothing has been confirmed as of yet, the wording found in the report is certainly suggestive of a 2023 release.

As Activision detailed their plans for the future of the franchise they revealed that they would be, “continuing development of new premium content planned for 2023 and beyond.”

Players were quick to suggest that the premium 2023 content in question could be Modern Warfare 2 DLC or a standalone Zombies experience.

However, this is likely not the case as CharlieIntel explained: “Activision refers to the yearly CoD release as ‘premium’ as it’s paid. So definitely implying something more than just new content is coming next year.”

Stay tuned for more information concerning the possibility of a new Call of Duty title in 2023. For the time being, you can check out how to get Modern Warfare 2 beta codes by watching CDL Champs 2022.

Continue Reading