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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Could Call of Duty Online Be Blizzard's Next MMO?

Posted by BillMurphy Tuesday May 4 2010 at 4:47PM
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I know that blog title seems a bit sensationalist.  But blame Br3ntbr0 over at ITG for this meandering Tuesday afternoon thought.  The blogger starts pondering about the possibility (and it’s all just a big what-if at this point mind you) of Blizzard’s next top-secret MMO being Call of Duty Online.  Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan seems to think that a big change in the franchise is on the way stating, “Activision intends to transform the game from a packaged product only to a subscription multiplayer game.”  Could that be where Blizzard comes in?
 
Not to draw more unnecessary attention to the Infinity Ward drama, but what if one of the reasons for the shakeup is because the former studio heads didn’t agree with the direction Activision wanted to take their series in?  Pachter believes that a game like Call of Duty Online would need two to five million subscribers “to keep the franchise's revenue levels up and create higher margins.”  And if there is one thing Blizzard seems to know, it’s how to get those kinds of numbers and keep them there. 
 
Still would a CoD MMOG actually be any good?  Is Blizzard really the studio that would be the best fit for accomplishing such a task?  Provided that such a project really is under consideration, Blizzard has some things going for them.  They’re a company that’s built on the notion of taking a genre and honing it and refining it in a way that no other development house can while simultaneously opening said genre up to the masses in terms of accessibility.  They did it with the RTS, the Action RPG, and the MMORPG.  Is the FPS next on their list?
 
Pachter believes that that Activision wants to work towards more subscription-based revenue models and that Jason West and Vince Zampella simply did not want to work on such a game, leading to their departure.  Activision sees the success of World of Warcraft and knows they have Blizzard in their stable… would it be so farfetched of them to look towards the venerable developer to bring home the bacon for the world’s most popular FPS franchise?
 
Even so, if Blizzard is making such a game, will their name alone automatically make the title the success it needs to be and the success Activision is looking for?  The realistically set war-games Infinity Ward is known for are not exactly Blizzard’s milieu.  Not to mention the fact that the company has never designed an FPS before (though one assumes they would be pulling plenty of talent from the CoD studio on the project). 
 
Blizzard says that their next MMO project is something wholly different from WoW and won’t be pulling from the same audience.  Many have speculated this means the team is working on something along the lines of Club Penguin.  I do believe they have stated that it will be a new IP.  So maybe all this talk about Call of Duty Online is just wishful thinking.  But then, the CoD IP would be new to Blizzard, wouldn’t it?
 
This is all just fun and pointless speculation.  Br3ntbr0 made me do it.  But man, a wide open war-torn world with CoD’s mechanics and an ever-changing political landscape does sound like a dream.  If an online Call of Duty is ever made, I just hope we’re not tasked from the outset to kill 10 generic bad guy soldiers and then take some supplies to the nearest “Inn-firmary.” 
 
Ha.  I made a funny (a bad one).
timmer7000 writes:

Here is the exact quote from the man himself so to speak.......

"Games take years to develop from concept to release. Diablo III was in the works for years before being announced. StarCraft II was announced two years ago and isn't even in Beta yet.

We have nothing to advertise for the new MMO because it's a shell of a game thus far. We've already stated it'll be a brand new franchise, which means the lore, art, and game play are being developed entirely from scratch. It's an overwhelming process, but a process through which we excel. Our track record supports this."

Here is the link if you want to check out the entire conversation......

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=16903519279&postId=169024684459&sid=1

Now I hate to say it but before you go making wild guesses like this I suggest you get your facts straight.  Blizzard has said that it will be a new IP built from scratch.  That means they will not be building the game on an exsisting one.  I personally think this topic is stupid.  CoD MMO by Blizzard?  W....T.....F.....  I seriously can't believe you actually went there.  Everything points away from it being a CoD MMO by Blizzard, really, all you have to do is check out that link.  The man says built from scratch with new lore, art, and game play.  Therefore the game is based on nothing but pure imagination, meaning it is a new IP, they are not going off on anything (like CoD).  Once again, this topic is stupid and it has NOTHING supporting it while there are striking remarks of this new MMO being a new IP in a complete literal sense and built from the ground up with it being based of of nothing we are familiar with.  Sorry, I am coming off harsh but this really is a dumb speculation.

Tue May 04 2010 11:50PM Report
Draemos writes:

not a chance in hell

Wed May 05 2010 8:27AM Report
br3ntbr0 writes:

@timmer7000

Thanks for the link.  I don't follow the WoW forums in order to maintain my own sanity.  I've updated my article accordingly.  

I still think it's logical to assume that Activision is thinking about a Call of Duty MMO based on what we've seen so far.  I think the quote you linked rules out Blizzard as the developer, or at least as it being the "next MMO" by Blizzard.

I think both articles try to leave the impression that this is playful speculation, based mostly on logical assumptions from quotes we've read.  The only real stretch was Blizzard's involvement, but I think every thing else is going to prove to be accurate.  

It's probably more wishful thinking than anything to hope Blizz would be involved with such a thing :)

Wed May 05 2010 8:45AM Report
DAS1337 writes:

No, it is not logical to think Blizzard is even thinking about thinking about the idea of a CoD MMO.  They know that it is not a game that will translate to the MMO genre.  It is a FPS.  Name one FPS that has successfully moved from multiplayer to massively multiplayer.  Cat got your tongue?  It's because it's not technologically possible right now.  Those FPS games require twitch reflxes and it simply is not a viable option unless the world consisted of maps.  Which would be no different than what it is now.  So why even try?  You can't just claim something and not explain it.  You have to give reasons why.  Otherwise your comments are pointless.  You should punch your friend in the head for suggesting this article, then punch yourself in the face for writing it. 

 

Would a CoD MMO that has a seamless world with good graphics and twitch based combat, as well as no latency or sync problems just like the CoD franchise has now...be any good?  HELL YES.  But, we are probably another decade away from seeing anyone bold enough to be the guinea pig of failure.  You'd have warping all over the place and the game would simply be unplayable at this point.

Wed May 05 2010 11:37AM Report
Cursedsei writes:

DAS, in the same regard people can easily say "Oh, Warcraft 3 is a real-time strategy game, its not something that will translate to an MMO". But then they'd be proven wrong.

There's nothing stopping a FPS game going from shooter to MMO. CoD in its current state is close, it has a levelling system, achievements in-game, persistent (to some degree). All the game really needs is an open world and removal of "lobbies".

Wed May 05 2010 7:35PM Report
Asheram writes:

hey why not people are claiming Global Agenda and APB are mmo's why not CoD,if Blizzard made it it would be a pretty good one I myself cant wait for Huxley to come out.

Wed May 05 2010 8:20PM Report
ThomasN7 writes:

So if their new mmo is something new then someone please explain why Blizzard is trying to trademark Starcraft Ghost in China ?

Thu May 06 2010 12:27AM Report
Gravarg writes:

Prays for a Wild West mmo :)

Thu May 06 2010 12:49AM Report
Silacoid writes:

Probably the biggest reasoning gap in this article is that Infinity Ward and Activision are no longer partners, and that information came out at least a week ago.  Not even knowing that Blizzard no longer has access to the rights for CoD when you are writing an article like this is pretty bad.

Thu May 06 2010 7:27AM Report
andrew24p writes:

i would bet my soul that this isnt what they have been cooking up mostly for two reasons

1. They said they have been creating the lore from scratch in one of their wow twitter interviews

2.They put wows original and arguably best designer to work on it and he has been in the fantasy/fiction field for a long time. To put him on an mmo like that would just not happen they would use a lead developer from infinity ward, which is no longer part of activision.

P.S saintvictor they need to easternize everything they send to china including names , textures and other things touchy to the chinese people.

Thu May 06 2010 9:12AM Report
Dvalon writes:

I'v been thinking about this for a long time, it seems to me that since it cant be RTS in design or wow like, that space is the only other logical way for them to go.

EvE has dominated this market , soon to be stompped on by Jumpgate and Black Prohpecy, so it would not shock me in the slightest, if their next MMO, is a Space Sci-Fi MMO with fighters, bombers and proper flight mechanics.

Knowing Blizzard it will be very arcade and easy to play.

Either way , we wont be finding out for at least 3 years.

Thu May 06 2010 9:34AM Report
Schockey writes:

They will try to out do themselves for sure. I guarantee it will be similar to wow, because they will want to keep their fanbase and players. :)

Thu May 06 2010 10:18AM Report
pojung writes:

1. Really, *really* don't care what Blizzard releases next. The quality of their games have decreased since Vanilla WoW, as evidenced by WoW xpacs tearing up what made intial so good, SCII's complete lack of innovative gameplay, and DIII's more of the same.

2. Not a snowball's chance in hell that anything is happening to the CoD or MF titles. Based on the court documents and patterned history of abuse by the defendant, I would be *highly* surprised if the rulings were not in favor of West and Z. Part of the ruling is retaining all rights to the titles.

3. Blizzard has said it would be from scratch. Which, mind you, would be a complete 'first' for Blizzard. They are the masters of polish, not creativity. And, for what it's worth, the whole claiming of 'from scratch' rings to me like nothing more than PR hype as is their form and fashion.

Thu May 06 2010 10:40AM Report
BillMurphy writes:

Hey folks?  Activision DOES indeed still have the CoD franchise in its grasp, and Good ol' Kotick is already talking about how to leverage Blizzard's expertise in bringing CoD to the subscription scene.  That doesn't mean they're making CoD Online, for sure.  But like BioWare with Mythic at EA, it does seem to mean they'll have some stake in such a project.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28441/Kotick_Teases_New_Models_Markets_For_Call_of_Duty_Platform.php

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