Speaking with GameInformer, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg revealed that while the company is fine with the annual release model when it comes to Call of Duty, they should probably improve at unifying players across different installments.
I think on Call of Duty, we actually have a system that works with the annual release, but I think there’s more we can do to unify the player no matter where they’re playing. You’re seeing us now starting to have some success with releasing content wherever players are. You just saw us release a big zombie pack in the Black Ops III community, and that game is two-and-a-half years past its launch, but it’s super “sticky” and there’s still a passionate group of players playing it, so we want to be wherever players are and we want to provide great content wherever players are, so we’re starting to have some success with that. I think there’s more we can do to unify the player experience if there are going to be people who move around from game to game. There are players who buy the new game, try the new game, maybe have a satisfying experience with the new game, but still decide “I’m going to go back to the previous game because more of my friends still like that, so I want to play MP with them,” or “I want to get the clan back together” or whatever.
There are people who shift into the new game and never look back. I think that our goal is to not necessarily completely reinvent the things that are working, but to make the experience for “I’m a Call of Duty player, I like multiple titles within the franchise” – make that experience better, create more benefits for being a loyal player, those are things that we’re working on and trying to improve.
Not just that, but Hirshberg also wants to incentivize players to cross between the various game modes.
I think that Call of Duty operates at a scale where we can afford to really invest once a year in these epic releases that take three years to make and an army to produce. Not everybody has that ability, and so I think that that value proposition is a huge part of what we think is fun about that game, is awesome about the game, and our fans expect from the game. The other thing, I was talking about making the experience better for people migrating from game to game, you’re also gonna see us do more experiments in terms of trying to unify the player who moves from mode to mode and trying to make that a richer experience. So I think the headquarters is a place where no matter what type of player you are – there’s gonna be a rewards path, there’s gonna be an interaction opportunity to meet other players, like you to meet up, to team up. So I think it’s something we can definitely get better at.
Call of Duty: WWII is due to launch on November 3rd. The beta is now live for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; a similar test should also launch on PC at some point.