Call of Duty format can’t change much as it’s like a sport, says Infinity Ward’s Mark Rubin

Monday, 7th October 2013 11:56 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin has stressed that the series template can’t change too much because it’s become almost like a sport.

Speaking with OXM, Rubin said that the core format of the game’s controls and functionality can’t change too much because of its growing eSports presence, and because that familiarity is what keeps people coming back for more.

He said, “There is the obvious truth that if this were football, and next year they decided we only want seven players a side and you can use your hands, I don’t think people would want to go to many of those games. So we can’t change too many of the core rules, and the core rules are really simple. You’re a player, it’s in first-person, you have a weapon in your hand and you run around shooting other people.”

Does this rule out all scope for creativity and deviation? No, suggests Rubin. “We can play a lot with the outside of how that works, and it’s things like character customisation, making the movement through that world better, making the world itself more interesting, adding the new modes, adding the new dynamic maps.

“So there’s still I think a lot to do. Anytime we ship a game – and this is a non-Call of Duty statement, this is [applicable to] any dev you’ve ever talked to – is there’s always a ton of features they wish they could have gotten to, before they shipped. So I think we’ll always be able to bring new and interesting stuff. It’s literally that we’re just trying to make a better game than we made last time.

“Giving people new content, new ways to play, Squads is a really new way to play that I think people are going to find really interesting, because it’s different to anything we’ve ever tried to do in Call of Duty… I think we’re going to continue that trend.”

I actually agree with the man. That core twitch format is what makes Call of Duty identifiable, just like how Battlefield’s destruction gives it a hook to call its own. I wrote about it a bit here.

What do you think?



  1. Panthro

    ‘Call of Duty format can’t change much as we lack creativity and dont like the risk of losing money, says Infinity Ward’s Mark Rubin’

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Dave Cook

    That approach can be applied to most blockbuster triple-a franchises today, to be fair. Because sequels.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. monkeygourmet

    I agree with this. It is a sport… An awful, awful sport… :)

    #3 1 year ago
  4. monkeygourmet


    Didn’t COD invent the ‘yearly roll out’ though?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. CyberMarco

    @3 Yeah sport, or better yet a race. Race for money!

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @4 No, sport games did.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. monkeygourmet

    Ultimatly, the sooner they make this subscription based (MMO style) and remove the pretence of single player (or sell it cheaper but seperate), the better.

    Thats it’s logical conclusion and I wish they would just get it over and done with. It’s pretty much there, just hidden behind map packs.

    I fear the only way it hasn’t yet is they know more parents will ask questions if there shit heel 8 year old son wants a £10 a month subscription rather than them brow beating their parents into forking out £40 and then DLC map packs just because his friend ‘Billy’ has it.

    So, IMO, make it subscription based, have more direct community interaction over changes and add maps / weapons / features as you go…

    Edit: Same with FIFA et all. It cracks me up with sports games. There is so little to improve or change now, they always end up deconstructing their tiltes and making them WORSE, just so they have something to do! Always raises a chuckle. Just leave it alone and let people download roster changes! :)


    Thats true enough, and I suppose backs up his point. Are all online shooters now ‘sport’ games though? I suppose you could call them E Sports. Either way, they should still get the same flak as games like FIFA. Minimal changes and a full price considering a simple update could easily suffice.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. BrahManDude

    @1 well said

    #8 1 year ago
  9. VibraniumSpork

    Sure. It’s a sport. These guys are athletes:

    Still, I guess Darts is classed as a Sport. The world is a strange, terrifying place sometimes.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Llewelyn_MT

    Bridge and chess are sports too. However, they don’t force me to buy a new cosmetically different and greatly overpriced deck or board every single year.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Major Mayhem 70

    I’ve always said COD is the Madden of FPS. The concept will always be the same with a few new ideas to keep it fresh and yet familiar.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. yeoung

    CoD is basically a money printer now.. might as well stick some of those profits into a new IP. I mean, Skylanders is raking it in, so is CoD year after year.

    They could go out on a limb I think, even if it doesn’t pay off and the limb snaps they still land in endless piles of money. Activision’s like the freakin Walmart of gaming.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Ballisticon

    @11 Except that Madden is a monopoly that has sucked for over 10 years. At least CoD has some competition that forces the devs to at least try and make the game better. Imagine if there was no BF series (or, MoH to some degree). CoD would still be the same game you bought when MW came out, maybe with new outfits and guns. The rest would have stayed the same, just like Madden for a decade.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Panthro

    Hopefully after ghosts the fanbase will realise the sequels are becoming stale… maybe it will force activisions hand to be more risky and innovative and create something as good and fresh as the first modern warfare

    #14 1 year ago
  15. bradk825

    If COD lost its familiarity, it would be gone. They can’t change the core of the game, and the question is; Why would they?

    For this year they’ve changed the engine, the guns, the modes, added character customization, radically changed how you level your characters and prestige them, made the maps changable, added squads mode, the list goes on, and the same haters that have been on their case since MW2 are still saying it’s not enough.

    They keep asking to change something core to the game. Why? People like the core of the game, sales prove it. Despire the large number of haters, they sell more games than anyone else. Why mess with that to please the vocal minority? And what would that change look like anyway? No longer FPS? Introduce dragons and and magical armour?

    If it ain’t broke…

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Dunno

    ” Oh I’m a fucking genius. I’m gonna compare COD games with football to get people off backs. What an elaborate plan! “

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Panthro


    I class innovating and bringing something new to the table alot different from something losing its familiarity… Look at GTA V, it brought so many new things to the franchise but its still a GTA game, no familiarity lost.

    EDIT- And just because people got bored with the franchise doesn’t mean they are ‘haters’, I used to be a massive cod fan, but it became the same thing every year so I stopped buying them

    #17 1 year ago
  18. bradk825

    @17 I fail to see how adding more “stuff you can do” in GTA, which is an open world game known for having that, differs from adding modes, create a soldier, etc etc.. You still steal cars and do missions… The core of the game has not changed.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Panthro

    I never said change the core game, I just expect more to be added to each addition of the series… I expect it to evolve and actually get better and not in the way of:

    1. update graphics by the bare minimum
    2. make 6 minuscule maps
    3. create a 6 hour story with little to no depth
    4. charge for 4 new maps every couple of months

    GTA V feels like a different game to GTA IV, however… if i saw some game play of modern warfare 3 and black ops II I wouldn’t be able to say which one was which because they are so similar.

    The core of the game doesnt need to change, its already simple enough. all they have to do is innovate and create a similar but new experience with each iteration…. I would of been happy if the cod series actually evolved into how titanfall is shaping out to become.

    #19 1 year ago

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