Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin has said the developer never rests on its laurels when it comes to creating the next Call of Duty game, as it wants every success to feel like a “Rocky” moment. With Ghosts, the team has invested heavily in the “emotional” aspect of the game, by bringing in a Hollywood scriptwriter to tell a tale was from the perspective of two brothers, and by tossing man’s best friend into the mix.
Speaking with GI International, Rubin said while its easy to become self-assured with the CoD IP breaking sales records year after year, Rubin is adamant his team remain focused, and consider every development in the series a challenge – and not a guaranteed “winner” in the shooter market.
“Every year, every time we made a new one it was the same thing [in terms of competition], and I like that,” he said. “I think that’s the part that keeps us hungry, that keeps us… we don’t want to feel like the top dog, necessarily. We want to feel like it’s a struggle every time. We want to feel that almost ‘Rocky moment’, which is kind of a weird thing to say, but we do want to feel like that. We want to feel like we’ve got a huge challenge in front of us. We can’t just phone this in and ship a game and expect it to sell.
“We actually really have to do harder work this year than we did last year.”
One of the ways the team at Infinity Ward hopes to accomplish another big win, is by getting the player emotionally invested in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Rubin hopes the storyline penned by Hollywood writer Stephen Gaghan will help accomplish such a feat – with his brothers tale, and the developer’s inclusion of the amiable German Shepherd which will serve as the player’s ‘war dog’ in the game.
“We actually didn’t make that big of a deal about the dog – it was just in a trailer and all of a sudden the internet blew up and made the dog became this sensation… People are so in love with the dog,”said Rubin. “They’re already emotionally invested. It’s amazing how many Twitter messages I get saying – in all caps – if you guys kill the dog, I will never play another…and I’m like, ooh, you’re emotionally attached.
“We’re really trying to push – paying attention to just those two [brothers] the whole story through and their emotional story and have the world have an emotional impact on it.
“[Steve] is really looking at this in a way that I’ve never seen a Hollywood writer look at it. He looks at writing for a game as an amazing chance at an artistic challenge as a writer. One of the things he described was… he goes, ‘As a writer, this is like art film. Basically, think about it. Your main character, your main star of your movie, is never seen and never talks. And so you have to craft a story that deals with that.’
“Think about it. If you took a game, our game, and you put it into a film where the main character never talked, never spoke, you never saw him – it would be like one of those black and white crazy French films. So he really loves the challenge of it and he’s been really engaged with everything. There’s a disconnect between Hollywood and the game industry. They have two different languages. And they haven’t in the past talked very well. And I think that’s changing.”
You can read the full interview with Rubin through the link, where he also discusses competition, and offers a few bits of information on next-gen.
Call of Duty: Ghosts releases on November 5 for PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360. PS4 and Xbox One versions will release alongside the new consoles.
The first, live look at the multiplayer occurs on Wednesday, August 14 on the official website.