'Call of Duty' videogame sequel eagerly awaited

Nov 04, 2013 by Glenn Chapman
A man plays video games next to a sign advertising the videogame "Call of Duty" in Taipei on November 5, 2013

A keenly-awaited sequel to the blockbuster "Call of Duty" videogame franchise is expected to rally armies of zealous players and rack up dizzying sales when it is unleashed on Tuesday.

"Call of Duty: Ghosts" promises devotees of the decade-old franchise new thrills and takes advantage of hot trends in extending console play online and to smartphones and tablet computers.

"The 'Call of Duty' franchise is a perennial favorite because it delivers Hollywood-grade pyrotechnics, online multi-play and the kind of re-playability guaranteed to keep people coming back for months on end," said TekSavvy global videogame analyst Scott Steinberg.

The last version of the military shooter game rocketed to the billion-dollar mark just 15 days after its release last year and "Call of Duty" players have logged some 25 billion hours of online play overall, according to Activision.

"'Call of Duty: Ghosts' continues the tradition of unrivaled game play and innovation that has made 'Call of Duty' one of the most engaging entertainment experiences in the world played by more than 100 million fans," said Activision Publishing chief executive Eric Hirshberg.

The sequel plays out in a virtual United States devastated by a satellite weapons system turned against it by an enemy.

"The United States is the underdog, we've been invaded," Activision vice president of production Daniel Suarez said in an interview.

"The player is a survivor joining with the military to defend against invaders from the south."

Activision made it a priority to provide a gripping storyline along with compelling that takes players into space and under water, according to Suarez.

"Infinity Ward set the gold standard for first-person action for a generation, and they're going to do it again with 'Call of Duty: Ghosts,'" Hirshberg said.

California-based Activision Publishing, which is owned by Activision Blizzard, will release "Ghosts" for play on PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii U and personal computers powered by Windows operating systems.

Versions of the game will later be available to use on PS4 or Xbox One.

Activision has worked closely with Sony and Microsoft "since day one" to make sure "Ghosts" takes advantage of what the new hardware has to offer, according to Suarez.

"When you look back at 2005 when the original Xbox 360 launched, 'Call of Duty' was the must-have title," Suarez said.

"We want to be the must-have title of this new generation; our game looks amazing on next-generation systems."

Later this month, Sony and Microsoft will release their new videogame consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively.

"We saw the console transition as the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter for 'Call of Duty,'" said Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin.

Videogame makers are in the tricky position of having to wow fans using PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 consoles as well as create versions that capitalize on new capabilities in next-generation hardware.

"It is kind of a weird holiday season," Steinberg said.

"Game publishers face a tough challenge," he continued. "When you pull people off to make games for the PS4 and Xbox One, it means resources have been diverted from focusing on the current generation."

A new "Call of Duty" app will let players use smartphones or tablets to tweak in-game characters or squads, schedule team matches, and share accomplishments using social networks Facebook and Twitter.

"Ghosts" features include letting players essentially create their own characters and gear "load-outs" to the extent that entire squads of customized soldiers can been marshaled.

Online options include cooperative play or pitting squads against one another. Real-life squad mates can trade places at any time with computer generated soldiers infused with artificial intelligence.

"This is the biggest overhaul of multi-player since the original 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,'" said Rubin.

Among new twists expected to be hits with is an "extinction mode."

"We've seen the things that worked in zombies and special ops, and sort of wove them together to make this great alien bad guy," Suarez said.

The global launch of "Ghosts" begins in Australia and will roll through time zones, with about 15,000 shops overall expected to be open at midnight to allow fans to buy the the moment Tuesday arrives.

"Everyone is excited," Suarez said of the launch. "There is just so much energy going on."

Explore further: Activision summons new 'Call of Duty' video game

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New 'Call of Duty' blows away sales records

Nov 11, 2011

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," the latest installment of the blockbuster videogame franchise, blew away sales records on its first day to become the highest-grossing entertainment launch ever, publisher Activision said ...

Recommended for you

Enabling dynamic prioritization of data in the cloud

Apr 14, 2014

IBM inventors have patented a cloud computing invention that can improve quality of service for clients by enabling data to be dynamically modified, prioritized and shared across a cloud environment.

Uber meets local lookalikes in Asia taxi-app wars

Apr 14, 2014

Riding on its startup success and flush with fresh capital, taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia. There's a twist, though: Instead of being the game-changing phenomena it was in ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Making 'bucky-balls' in spin-out's sights

(Phys.org) —A new Oxford spin-out firm is targeting the difficult challenge of manufacturing fullerenes, known as 'bucky-balls' because of their spherical shape, a type of carbon nanomaterial which, like ...

Gene removal could have implications beyond plant science

(Phys.org) —For thousands of years humans have been tinkering with plant genetics, even when they didn't realize that is what they were doing, in an effort to make stronger, healthier crops that endured climates better, ...