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Sledgehammer: “A lot of pressure” in co-developing Modern Warfare 3

Wednesday, 9th November 2011 01:41 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Working alongside Infinity Ward was the the opportunity of a lifetime for Sledgehammer Games, but not a light-hearted undertaking.

“I’d be dishonest if I said I didn’t feel the pressure. To be working on Modern Warfare 3, with 30 million plus fans demanding nothing less than an amazing sequel to Modern Warfare 2 … yeah, we knew it was going to take everything we had to give,” COO and co-founder Michael Condrey told IndustryGamers.

“We also knew that it was an opportunity of a lifetime. It’s like that saying – the hardest steel is forged in the hottest fire. It’s been quite a two-year journey and it certainly took a herculean team effort.”

“There has been a lot of pressure, but most of it we put on ourselves,” general manager Glen Schofield added.

“We realize there are millions of fans out there that are counting on us to deliver something that can be held up to Modern Warfare 2. There are so many people looking forward to playing Modern Warfare 3 that I’d be kidding you if I didn’t say we feel some pressure.

“But at Sledgehammer Games we love a challenge and live for the pressure. It makes us perform at our very best. I think those that can handle the pressure, and love what they do, always do their greatest work.”

Sledgehammer, Infinity Ward and Raven worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and its attendant social network platform, Call of Duty: Elite. The game likely to be the biggest seller of the year launched globally on November 8.

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55 Comments

  1. JimFear-666

    mw3 is nothing more than an overprice map pack.
    also a lot of copy/past in this game from previous mw.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5dsOn06w1s&feature=colike

    #1 3 years ago
  2. muffinmn100

    It honestly took them 2 years and 2 studios to click the giant copy/past button? Saying the facts here: DICE 1/2 created a new engine, an entirely new game, and at least changed the HUD from BC2. Sledge/IW copy and pasted the HUD and assets while creating an online service?At least, AT LEAST rearrange the god damn menu and change the sounds 2 years.

    Edit: What happens when the next gen consoles come out and they have the exact same graphics? Everybody else is progressing their games to the limit like Rage and Bf3.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Kabby

    The PC version is pretty bad.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    @1 That’s pretty embarrassing. How sad.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    @1

    Hahaha wow the only thing they had changed was the environment and the textures not even the layout was different.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Ireland Michael

    @5 Fanboys in the comments section for that video are actually trying to pawn this off as an Easter Egg.

    Hilarious.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    Tried not to read the comments, I can only imagine its like when a 8 year old finds out Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    You only found overused levels in MW3?

    Oh lol. Go back to previous titles and you will see that all over the place. Especially with white truck in MW3 that was in MW2.
    If you don’t remember, (just for fun) in campaign… Makarow’s clothes didn’t changed in MW3 since MW 2. I’m serious. Yeah, i know it’s not like it’s a huge trouble, but we are discussing the quality here, right?

    I’m playing right now and i can say that i won’t play it at all. It’s just a DLC pack with Zero quality in it. I played MW2 multiplayer for 34 hours, i’m not sure i will play more than 10 of it, thanks to Battlefield 3 at least or maybe Uncharted 3 MP…

    Singleplayer is a convoluted bullshit with retarded plot, with fake Russians, with stupid sci-fi gadgets and boring on rails stuff in 95%. Some characters dies in the game and you don’t care at all after 2 games.

    Multiplayer also have changes from MW2, but thats only on a cosmetic side and mechanics enchantment for most of the Perks|Killstreaks. Basically it’s an enchanced Modern Warfare 2, trying to go more for “the teamwork style”. In the end it’s not even succeeding there not because of fratboys that likes to kill or shitty classes balance…

    But because maps are designed in a horrible way. They are so fucking small, that you have no option to do something else than going forward. Your brain abilities are basically out and you have two options:

    1) they die
    2) you die

    Well, thats a solid thing for a running and gunning gameplay mechanic with one exception, even Quake 3:Arena maps were clever and some of them required some kind strategy that could help you go different route.

    I didn’t played with a clan, but i’m sure the basic strategy will be 1 Supp/few AS/ and most of the other guys are Specs.
    but to be honest i never saw a decent clan match. Most of the time 2 guys with a clan name [COCKS] comes in to the game and play together.

    to me it’s meh, even without the fact that visuals and physics are so fucking last gen that i don’t want even to talk about. Everyone know that already.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. viralshag

    Coming from a few weeks of Battlefield 3 on ultra, the game certainly doesn’t look that good at all, in MP at least, as that’s all I have played so far.

    In some ways, considering people “buy it for the MP” I do think the higher price tag is unwarranted as essentially, there really isn’t much new stuff in the game. At least nothing that makes this stand out from MW2. And so far most of the people I know with it have said the same.

    But saying that, I can’t deny the fact I was up until about 3am playing this and having fun. I don’t think it will last and once Skyrim comes, this will get shelved for the most part.

    Plus, I had a great game with G1GA last night but I won’t say what the outcome was… other than it was awesome. :P

    #9 3 years ago
  10. G1GAHURTZ

    O NOEZ!!

    I have found out taht thsi is not teh fiirst tmie Infenety Word haz mad ethe same levle o0ver egaain!

    Lok teh prroof here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS9NevTYZ6A

    Tihs is 0uTrageous. We sould starrt interwebz pertishun!

    Wy tehy meke us sooooooo angrrrry????!!!!!!11

    Spred teh w0rrd.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Fin

    @8

    All good bro.

    “I played MW2 multiplayer for 34 hours, i’m not sure i will play more than 10 of it”

    Blops says hello.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Fin

    Right, in a rare engage-the-cynics post, here’s what I actually think about MW3/BF3.

    First of all, BF3 is far superior technically. There’s no argument here, anyone that says it isn’t, on any platform, obviously hasn’t played it.

    Now, while MW3 is basically a technical dinosaur at this stage, it is far more fun. I really didn’t enjoy the BF3 campaign – it had MW2′s storyline (Who..what is going…why are you doing that), I hated the QTEs (PRESS X TO WIN) and the enemies were stupidly accurate, even on normal (Oh, I can see the right side of that guy’s face? He can kill me). I finished MW2′s campaign in one sitting yesterday (granted BF3 only took me two-and-a-tiny-bit), but it was much more entertaining – I understood what was going on, the set pieces were great, I was never frustrated by the enemies.
    Honestly, I don’t care if the physics are dodgy or the AI is crap or the graphics are subpar or they OMG REUSED ASSETS as long as the game is fun. I imagine this is the same for a lot of people.

    BF3′s got all its lighting effects and animation whatever, but I just didn’t enjoy playing it. Sure bits like the airplane mission were awesome, but overall the campaign was confusing and boring.

    I’ve not played enough of BF3 MP (busy socially) to have an opinion on it, but I suspect it shouldn’t be compared to MW3 – totally different style of play.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. OrbitMonkey

    Bought MW3 for the mp. It’s fun, fast and frantic. Overpriced map pack? Well only If It didn’t have a sp story, co-op & new modes… Oh it does? Bargain then :)

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Joe Musashi

    @12 Fun VS Graphics? Fun wins.

    Glad folk are enjoying it. :)

    JM

    #14 3 years ago
  15. G1GAHURTZ

    Just playing through the campaign now.

    Just wanted to say that the President’s airplane level is INTENSE!!!

    Amazing stuff.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. absolutezero

    I had more fun with the BF3 campaign.

    I used the fun word you have no comeback. AH HA HA HA FUN FUN FUN FUN I need not quantify it in the slightest because its FUN. FUNNY FUN FUN.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Moxifool

    @16 So did I. As an aside – respawing enemies can fuck right off.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. YoungZer0

    Who cares if they reuse some things like building structures? Seriously, who?

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Iliad

    The original Modern Warfare campaign was very good, Modern Warfare 2′s campaign was appalling, horrifically so, and I’ve no desire to touch MW3, although friend’s who have played it put it somewhere between the first two in quality.

    Admittedly it’s probably still better than the BF3 campaign, which I have to say, was extremely poor – I preferred BC2′s campaign a lot more.

    Still, can’t remember the last FPS that had a good campaign – probably MW’s.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Maximum Payne

    @13 ”Bought MW3 for the mp. It’s fun, fast and frantic”
    Yea because you know its same game with 0 changes…

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Takeshi

    I totally agree with G1GAHURTZ. I’ve played through MW1 and MW2′s campaign’s several times, and I’ll definitely be playing MW3′s again.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. YoungZer0

    @20: That’s just ignorant. Playing MW3 is still better than having to deal with Origin. That’s why i choose it instead of BF3. Origin is just a deal breaker for me. As long as this little spyware exists and doesn’t allow me to play the game properly, i won’t spend a dime on the game again.

    Actually bought MW3 from the money i got back for BF3.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. absolutezero

    For a game with the userbase, budget and sales of the CoD series re-using assets is fucking insulting. This series is now at the fore front of what everyone thinks about when gaming is mentioned. Now they can’t even be bothered creating anything because they don’t have to. No one really cares they’ll all still buy it so might aswell continue to pump out all those map packs where 3 out of the 4 new maps are remakes of old ones.

    I asked my friend last night why he bought MW3 and basically it came down to “Well this friend will be getting it so I kinda need to get it aswell so we can play togethor, I enjoy playing togethor.” No problem with that, went to the friend mentioned and asked the same question. “Well (original friend questioned) will be getting it so we can play togethor”.

    Oh so you both could have just continued to play Blops or MW2 instead?

    Yeah I guess so, but this one is new.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. G1GAHURTZ

    Now they can’t even be bothered creating anything because they don’t have to.

    Sorry, but I worked as an environment artist in the games industry for a number of different devs for the best part of a decade, and if you think that art assets aren’t re-used from version to version in just about every single franchise going, you’re kidding yourself.

    Throwing everything away and starting from scratch when you’re working with the same engine, on exactly the same format is just stupid.

    In fact, any lead/producer who’d even suggest such a thing should probably be fired.

    It’d be money down the drain.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. absolutezero

    uhgrgh. No im not trying to say that at all. Ok from your time working did you ever lift a structure whole sale from a game which appeared 5 titles back in the series?

    Actually im sure it would lead to the downfall of nearly every other small company and indeed most large ones. This is Call of Duty though! millions upon millions of people buy this every single year. Surely its not asking all that much for them to pull everything out to make it as amazing as possible? This is the wonder-child of our hobby! Why is it re-using assests from years and years ago?

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Moxifool

    @24 There is blantant cash-cowing and taking the ‘resting on your laurels’ mantra to extremes.

    This franchise is the epitome of both of the above. The fact that you’re unable to see this neither surprises me or even disappoints me, but I will say this: Your reputation with regard to Call of Duty fanboyism not only precedes you, it turns you around, pulls down your trousers and kicks you hard in the balls on this one I’m afraid G1GA me old mucker.

    I’d leave now before you run out of lube and the bumming begins to smart.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. OrbitMonkey

    So what is the problem here? The game or so many people liking the game? Pokemon doesn’t get this shit & Captain Price is just as cute as Pickachu o_O

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Ireland Michael

    @27 This is basically the entire mantra of Activision (and Blizzard) as a whole. Every single idea they create is like this.

    If something sells, run it into the ground. Make as few changes as possible (taken to the extreme) to increase profits. The only difference is, unlike every other franchise the company owns, this one seems immune to franchise fatigue. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty much the only franchise the company has any legs left to stand on anymore.

    With WoW subscribers dropping like flies, Activision is in for some very big trouble if this franchise’s sales ever start to lag. And don’t think it won’t happen. All franchises have a shelf life, and they all need to be buried and left to rest in peace eventually.

    @27 Question: Do you play Pokemon?

    Because those who do can tell you that it’s not the same regurgitated crap every single time. For a non-player looking in, that may superficially looks be the case, but every single game has added significant new changes and additions to the gameplay and mechanics that continue to evolve (sorry, pun not intended) through every game.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. YoungZer0

    @28: Question: Do you play Call of Duty?

    Because those who do can tell you that it’s not the same regurgitated crap every single time. For a non-player looking in, that may superficially looks be the case, but every single game has added significant new changes and additions to the gameplay and mechanics that continue to evolve (sorry, pun not intended) through every game.

    ;)

    #29 3 years ago
  30. Ireland Michael

    @29 Actually, yes I do.

    I rent out each one when it’s released and give it significant play time so that I actually have some personal experience to back up my critical judgement of the games.

    And each game certainly has *not* added significant new changes and advancements. They make tiny adjustment to existing game mechanics and pawn them off as change – the money system in Black Ops and the leveling in Modern Warfare 3, for instance.

    They were actually doing okay up to Modern Warfare 2. Spec Ops was a strong, well defined and we’ll constructed addition to the franchise. But that was honestly the last time the franchise ever tried.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. G1GAHURTZ

    Ok from your time working did you ever lift a structure whole sale from a game which appeared 5 titles back in the series?

    First of all, the two buildings shown in the vid are obviously from the same initial model, but the 2nd one has clearly changed. Most of the time when assets are re-used, detail is added/rearranged in terms of both the geometry and textures, to make them better looking than the first time.

    The problem here is that this particular building is quite infamous, because most CoD4 players would probably have spent a lot of time getting ‘naded or shot by some camper up in the roof while playing headquarters on pipeline, the map it’s actually from.

    But if you do know CoD4, then you’ll know that the building has changed (slightly, but obviously not enough for some). For example, the rear wall now has a large hole in it, you can’t go upstairs, the doors are gone, etc. It’s also clearly been re-textured.

    So they have actually done some work on this, and not just gone into some sort of ‘CoD4 buildings folder’ and plonked it in.

    Secondly, CoD is only the so-called “wonder-child of our hobby” because no-one else has managed to make anything that the so many gamers enjoy playing more.

    Be pragmatic about this.

    Kotick et al are only in this game for the money.

    They’re not in it for any sort of ‘beautiful addition to humanity’ by any means.

    If they have a game that sells 25 million, and people play it every single day, all year round, including old versions, don’t expect them to go out of their way to make it any better than it needs to be.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Ireland Michael

    @31 Cool story, broski

    Lady Gaga is listened to by millions of people and Twilight is watched and read my millions more.

    Popularity =/= Quality.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Moxifool

    “If they have a game that sells 25 million, and people play it every single day, all year round, including old versions, don’t expect them to go out of their way to make it any better than it needs to be.”

    Christ, doesn’t that very same type of work ‘ethos’ (if you can fucking call it that) just piss you off though? I mean seriously, are you that blind and that sado-mascohistic that you’ll willfully buy whatever shit they pedal?

    That is YOUR money they are asking for each time they release a new entry in the franchise – make the cunts work for it.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. OrbitMonkey

    Quality promotes popularity and in any form of entertainment medium, the quality is entirely subjective.

    By all means keep pointing out other forms of media you dislike if you think it has any bearing on the subjective qualities of CoD.

    Obviously it doesn’t, but makes it easier for people to not get you the wrong thing for christmas :)

    #34 3 years ago
  35. Ireland Michael

    @34 “Quality promotes popularity and in any form of entertainment medium.”

    No it doesn’t.

    Ever.

    Edgar Allan Poe
    Herman Melville
    Nick Drake
    Robert Johnson

    I can go on.

    There are countless master musicians born every day that will never be noticed by anyone. Countless writers who will never have a book publishes. Countless kids as good as the best international footballers who’ll never be noticed and never rise to fame on the international field.

    Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

    “By all means keep pointing out other forms of media you dislike…”

    Are you actually capable of *any* critical analysis of quality? At all?

    Are you actually going to justify the entertainment value of books like Twilight? The woman can’t even construct sentence in literate English, for fuck sake.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Phoenixblight

    There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite. ~ Heavy D

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Ireland Michael

    @36 “There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity.”

    This should be hung on a plague on a wall.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Moxifool

    @37 I’m sure it is in the office of Mr. Kotick.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. G1GAHURTZ

    Again, even if one man might find her repulsive, the most attractive woman is the one who attracts the most men.

    @33:

    No it doesn’t p me off. I’m not just buying whatever they dish out. I enjoy the gameplay. I’ve been playing it since CoD4, and it still gives me the same adrenaline rush every time I play.

    I was playing Viralshag this morning and my heart was pounding, because he was a few kills ahead of me in a game of FFA, and I wanted to win (he somehow managed to beat me by one kill! we all know you hax, viral!!!). The game makes me laugh, it gets my endorphins flowing on a regular basis, and I enjoy it.

    Sure, sometimes it puts me into a rage, but the only game that doesn’t really do that is Tetris. (Don’t know why…)

    IMHO, they’ve added loads to the game. I plan on doing a full explanation of exactly why I think that, in the MW3 impressions thread in the forum, if you’re genuinely (I’m sure you’re not) interested in what exactly it is that I like about the game.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Moxifool

    @39

    “Again, even if one man might find her repulsive, the most attractive woman is the one who attracts the most men.” – Yeah, i’ve never been one for chasing gold-diggers much myself.

    “IMHO, they’ve added loads to the game. I plan on doing a full explanation of exactly why I think that, in the MW3 impressions thread in the forum, if you’re genuinely (I’m sure you’re not) interested in what exactly it is that I like about the game.” – Oh no, I am. Please. Really, do it.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. Phoenixblight

    “Again, even if one man might find her repulsive, the most attractive woman is the one who attracts the most men.”

    Analogy is full of fail because what you are essentially saying is that COD is a hot woman that everyone pays 60$ to have fun with all at once. How is that for your analogy?

    #41 3 years ago
  42. Ireland Michael

    @39 “Again, even if one man might find her repulsive, the most attractive woman is the one who attracts the most men.”

    She might also have no passion, little intelligence, and a complete lack of creativity.

    The hottest women are not always the best in bed.

    I for one would take the woman with soul and a little belly over the 34-24-34 bimbo any day of the week. Every. Single. Time.

    “Sure, sometimes it puts me into a rage, but the only game that doesn’t really do that is Tetris. (Don’t know why…)”

    If a video game makes you angry enough to be “put in a rage”, there’s a bigger problem going on here than the game.

    @41 You’re a roll today Phoenix. Some of this stuff you’re posting is priceless and quote worthy! Keep it up!

    #42 3 years ago
  43. viralshag

    @39, 8)

    #43 3 years ago
  44. OrbitMonkey

    Quality doesn’t promote popularity? Not ever? Bullshit.

    The Beatles
    Nirvana
    The Foo Fighters
    Shakespeare
    Charles Dickens
    Lee Child’s

    Now that’s a few of the top of my head & you may disagree, but then like I said its all subjective.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. Ireland Michael

    @44 Scratch the first three names off that list and we’ll be getting somewhere.

    #45 3 years ago
  46. OrbitMonkey

    @45 Nah, then we’d just have something you agree with. Different thing entirely :)

    #46 3 years ago
  47. Erthazus

    @G1GA, “Just wanted to say that the President’s airplane level is INTENSE!!!

    Amazing stuff.”

    OMAIGAD!1111 SO INTENSE!1 Congratulations that you discovered this first time in videogames history… It’s so intense. So freakin intense that this level was used in a lot of games in the past including this generation. It’s so hard in Scorched3D to do this trick.

    But you can always check Uncharted 3. There is also an airplane level just million times better.

    #47 3 years ago
  48. G1GAHURTZ

    ***SPOILER ALERT***
    ***SPOILER ALERT***

    =
    =
    =

    Sorry, but I’ve never played a game where I’ve been in a plane that’s going down, shooting people and being shot at whilst I float around weightless, because of the rapid speed of descent, then watch the plane break apart, partly bursting into flames as it crash lands at about 200mph.

    And all in a first person perspective!

    If there is another game, I’m sure it’s just as intense as this one.

    #48 3 years ago
  49. IL DUCE

    Yeah…I agree with a lot of th comments above, its basically MW2 re-packaged…its not a bad game its just the same game with new maps and slightly crisper visuals…and a spec ops survival mode

    Also, sledgehammer wasn’t even on this game for 2 years b/c they didn’t even come over to help IW until april or may 2010…since west and zampella weren’t even “dismissed” until march…so its more like a year and a half max…and it had been said IW hadn’t even started the game yet sooo that’s either covering their ass for any work west or zampella did or mw3 took less than 2 years to make which makes sense since it so similar to mw2

    I definitely feel Battlefield 3 is the better game and the critics have unfairly reviewed it while they’re dropping 90s to the same game every year whenever CoD comes out…plus MW3s SP is nothing special so idk why BF3 gets so much flak for it while MW3 seems immune to criticism…they are both good games but Battlefield 3 is at least something fresh and new, while MW3 is once again more of the same

    #49 3 years ago
  50. Gekidami

    Just beat it, i found the campaign to be weaker then that of MW2, the set pieces are good but the overall structure is poor. I hate how it jumps from location to location no matter what faction you’re playing as, i’d rather there be one side hows just focused on fighting off the invasion like Ramirez in MW2. The utter lack of actual European forces in Europe (the most you see being resistance fighters), instead having the US everywhere is boarder line offensive. The game is surprisingly easy too, i beat it on Commando first time, its by far the easiest CoD game to date. I’ll have to see how it fairs in Vet.

    Compared to BF3… BF3 is structured better, but MW3′s campaign is just more fun and impressive. Also, MW3 doesnt just have static loading screens like BF3. Seriously, what were DICE thinking?

    #50 3 years ago
  51. G1GAHURTZ

    @50:

    Commando?

    You beat it without any underwear?

    Or do you mean Hardened?

    #51 3 years ago
  52. Gekidami

    ^ Its called Commando in the language i played it in. But yeah, whatever comes before Vet.

    #52 3 years ago
  53. G1GAHURTZ

    Oh right.

    #53 3 years ago
  54. DSB

    I always thought the fact that it did so much in such a short time was one of the biggest advantages of the singleplayer. Rio, Russia, Washington DC. Ain’t no thing.

    The gameplay itself is little more than a glorified shooting gallery, which is fine, but not very interesting without some serious glorifying.

    That kinda sucked for me in Black Ops, because they kept you in Vietnam for like 3 or 4 chapters. I wanted to go to the damn Iranian embassy, mang.

    #54 3 years ago
  55. Erthazus

    “The utter lack of actual European forces in Europe (the most you see being resistance fighters), instead having the US everywhere is boarder line offensive.”

    What is so offensive? It’s an American game about Americans for That market. So what is there offensive? You shoot Russians and play as Americans and you still get to fight with European forces in England if i remember.

    “The game is surprisingly easy too, i beat it on Commando first time, its by far the easiest CoD game to date. I’ll have to see how it fairs in Vet.”

    CoD game was hard? Since when?
    I finished this campaign with pistol in most cases on Veteran. Easiest shooter like any Polish shooter about military with infinite respawn.

    But to be honest you can finish it without even shooting targets. Your friends are doing all work for you anyway. You just need to be sure that bots are not respawning, because respawning in CoD games is always ridicilous.
    + you need to move forward because respawning system in this game is depending on your progress.

    Why am i saying this? Because there is no atmosphere for me anymore. I see that campaign as a piece of code already. There is no fucking atmosphere in it. You just kill bots in one small map.

    #55 3 years ago

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