This article is a continuation of my previous article about the ongoing court battle over Activision’s various activities regarding ex-Infinity Ward executives. May 23rd was the start of that lawsuit. There was not a lot of information available until someone discovered a wiki entry for the Call of Duty lore.
Let’s start with the stipulations of the lawsuit. Because it’s quite interesting. According to the entry:
If West and Zampella win, the two will be compensated for the royalty payments, and also retain their creative rights to the Modern Warfare series. What that could mean for Modern Warfare 3 is unclear.
Actually, it IS clear. There’s a reason why Activision decided to use the “MW3″ sub-title; its not just a marketing stunt, they have no choice but to go to a plan B. Robert Bowling said in an interview that the Box Art is not final. So if for whatever reason Activision and the duo decides to come to an agreement, they can probably use “Modern Warfare 3.” That might come with a price, though. However if the duo and EA loses:
If Activision wins, then West, Zampella, and EA would have to provide Activision with a hefty sum of money – over $400 million.
This means that whatever Respawn has cookin’ under wraps is going to have to take a backburner and the duo would have to essentially work for EA. This actually coincides with the recent notion that Respawn is not going to appear at E3 to show off the game they’re developing. They, as individuals will wander the showfloor, however.
Now that we’ve got the stipulations out of the way, we’re going to start talking about the case itself. In the case of West, Zampella, Electronic Arts, Inc. v. Activision Publishing, Inc. everything looks messy because things get really complicated by the time this whole thing gets underway. Just looking at the list makes a lot of people confused as to what is the intention of everyone involved. Yes, you can argue that Activision wants money, Vince and Jason wants the money, too, and they all also want to take over the Modern Warfare brand. But EA got into this mess late last year because Jason and Vince were accused of conspiring against Activision.
There are reports coming in about a new Modern Warfare 3 Ad during the finals of Champions Leagues game between Manchester United and Barcelona. [source] The ad spot is the final act of the trailer we already saw – the Modern Warfare 3 reveal campaign. It was revealed at the NBA finals game a week ago.
It will be aired on Sky Sports 1 and ITV, which are United Kingdom channels. It will be aired 11am PST. As disclosed by Fox:
Union of European Football Associations Champions League
Barcelona, Spain vs. Manchester United, England
Live Wembley Stadium, London at 11am pacific time or 2pm eastern time on Fox
So, by the time you wake up, the trailer may already have been aired. Don’t expect much from the trailer though because the trailer may be an extension of what we already saw.
In any event, Activisions European marketing director, Daniel Green said this about the ad:
“We’re really excited to start showing our fans what they can expect from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, with over 7m YouTube views of our reveal trailer since it was released on Tuesday, it seems our fans are just as excited.”
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Strikes November 8, 2011 Year’s Most Anticipated Entertainment Launch Stages World Wide Invasion
Global warfare is raging and the battle will begin on November 8 when the cultural phenomenon Modern Warfare returns with the worldwide release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the newest installment in Activision Publishing, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) #1 first person action series and is being developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games.
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is by far the most epic Call of Duty experience yet. The teams at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games have worked tirelessly to create for the Call of Duty player a scale that is unimaginable with a level of polish and creativity that will push the genre forward,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “The passion and energy of our developers is reflected in everything about the title. From the innovative gameplay, to the cinematic intensity, to the most advanced multiplayer ever, Modern Warfare 3 will raise the bar for this already incredible franchise.”
This game is not yet rated. For more information, visit the official Call of Duty website. If you would like to check out the official Modern Warfare 3 website, check it out here.
Yesterday, I talked about the possibilities of the MW3 engine. There are 4 developers working on the game. And the trailer is…..HERE!
These are confirmed:
- Destructible environments.
- New Killstreaks. I see machine guns used from a different angle – the side of a helicopter.
- More emphasis on indoor environments.
- Tanks are controllable, and usable in combat.
- November 8th, 2011 is officially confirmed. Not a rumor anymore folks. Its official.
- AC130 makes a return, the killstreak is more deadlier now thanks to the indestructible environments.
- Infinity Ward is marketing MW3 as WW3. World War 3 is the prominent theme in MW3.
19 hours ago, it was revealed that the “reconstructed” Infinity Ward has upgraded the Call of Duty engine in a tweet. Robert Bowling made it perfectly clear that the engine goes far beyond that of the MW2 engine.
We haven’t gone into detail on the engine yet but we’ve moved beyond the MW2 engine and added a lot of cool stuff for MW3.
Ever since Call of Duty 2, the series has been using an proprietary engine of their own, called “IW.” As much as it is based on the legendary Quake engine, it has been modified again, and again, and again. For example COD4′s engine was dubbed “IW3.” With MW2, Infinity Ward still used the engine, but with a bunch of tweaks, and new features.
When Bowling made that tweet, people were pessimistic about the tweet, as one person said “They are just making the game shinier.” A lot of people think that Mr. Bowling was lying, and that the they haven’t moved past the modified Quake engine. In Robert’s defense, he’s actually telling the truth, because each time a new Call of Duty title is being developed, their engines get modified. With MW2 the engine went a step above: IW4. Modern Warfare 3 could very well be IW5. But internally, I don’t think its being dubbed that, since after all, the game is being developed by 4 developers.
I’m going to start talking about the developers now so that you can get a clear idea of what to expect from the new MW3 engine, and what Bowling meant by “cool stuff.”
Sledgehammer Games: These guys were in Electronic Arts’ Visceral Games label. Some of them were from Insomniac Games. Together, their experience in the industry includes developing the Ratchet and Clank games, the EA 007 games, they even created the Dead Space series. There’s a lot of dismemberment in Dead Space. This might mean that MW3 can have dismemberment “kills.” If you want to see what the team is capable of, see the Dead Space trailer:
The other thing to consider, is that they have a really big knack for detailed characters, and environments, but what stands out is their proficiency in light sourcing. They seem to be very good at it. The thing about the previous Call of Duty games is that they’ve never been known to have good lighting. Maybe Sledgehammer Games can solve that problem.
Raven Software: These guys have worked on some FPS titles. Their most recent FPS was Singularity, a game that told the story of a person traveling through time via a device that can manipulate time. These developers actually does a great job at programming, so I think they’re a good pick for MW3. Hell, their development styles may be similar to Infinity Ward, because the way in which you use your guns takes a page out of COD4′s book. See for yourself:
What stands out for them is that they are very proficient with the Quake engine, as they’ve done projects with the engine before; they were developers of Quake 4. And their relationship with Activision plays a role in being the developer picked for MW3 – Activision started out as their publisher, and then outright acquired them.
But what can we expect from them? Well, going by Singularity, an epic, on-going battle for survival. What I got from Singularity, is that they seem to have a good idea of how to incorporate the story into the gameplay as you go along. In Modern Warfare 2, we had a similar feeling, but it didn’t feel like the universe of MW2 was in any way sync’ed with the on-going crisis. It felt like, MW2 didn’t have much going on in the background, but more going on in front of you. Singularity seemed like it was doing a good job of having one story on one side, and the other story on the other end.
Infinity Ward: We don’t know much about the “reconstructed” IW. Nothing, at all. The only thing that we know for sure, is that IW5 was still in the Infinity Ward offices when Vince and Jason left with the old IW crew, and that whoever is working there is using what they have. With help from Raven and Sledgehammer.
Beachhead Studios: They too, are very questionable. This company came out of nowhere in the masses of information. I wrote an article about them trying to figure them out. We still don’t know who they are, and why they’re a big deal to Activision.
Stay tuned for the official trailer of MW3 tomorrow. By then, we’ll know exactly what Robert meant by “cool stuff.” Robert also said he’ll blast a tweet about the MW3 trailer.
There has been a wealth of new information swirling around Modern Warfare 3 in the past week that its hard to keep track of what’s rumor, and what’s fact. I have been watchning quite closely, and keenly. So, I’ll break them down into sections so that YOU can stay current without all that rumor bull$#!^. Ready? Righty so.
Modern Warfare 3 is set to released on November 8th, 2011 as it has been revealed in a poster. It was a retail leak. [See poster here] It has been a rumor for quite some time, but this poster sends a clear message that Activision will throw down the gauntlet to fight against Battlefield.
GameStop and other retailers all around the world have been taking pre-orders for Modern Warfare 3 since the big poster reveal. GameStop even created a page for MW3 specifically. Its here. It was revealed that ever since the pre-orders opened, the pace of these pre-orders were sold faster than the previous 2 games in the series. [source]
The rapid pre-orders were a result of the recent teaser trailers that were released by Activision. [MW3Blog article] People were surprised, because the teasers were released earlier than anticipated. Robert Bowling, the community manager at Infinity Ward says that the teasers weren’t planned to be released this soon in his tweet.
As for the story, so far, this is what we know:
Spoiler Warning: If you have not played and finished Modern Warfare 2, stop reading. You have been warned.
Modern Warfare 2 ended with a cliffhanger story. Task Force 141 were set up by General Shepherd, in an ambush mid-way through the game. Ghost was killed in action during the same setup ambush. Roach was with Ghost at the time, and was also killed in action. After learning of the betrayal by Shepherd, Soap and Price went after Shepherd and ultimately killed Shepherd. There are questions and speculation surrounding Ghost’s past, and future. The other question is: “Where in the world is Makarov?” As far as we know, Makarov is still alive, the last time we saw him when you played as an undercover CIA agent named Joseph Allen. So, as of right now, Makarov is on the loose. MacTavish and Price are on the run with a Russian informant named Nikolai.
You can now read on. This is purely speculation, and nothing is official until Infinity Ward says so.
When you load the game onto your console, you will now be in the middle of U.S. being under siege by the Russian forces. So far, the teaser trailers has shown 4 confirmed locations: America, more specifically the general New York public. Germany, an unknown building being destroyed. A war broke out in France on their ports. In England, we are seeing nothing but buildings, one stark clue may be that we may go back to where Modern Warfare all started; the Ferris wheel. There’s a message in the MW3 logo; that the main theme of MW3 is indeed World War 3. Flip the ‘M’ and you will find a ‘W.’ The result would be “WW3.” Quite the marketing stunt there, Infinity Ward.
Call of Duty: MW3 will once again feature the Spec Ops mode from MW2, and some sort of survival mode. [source] Next monday, we’re going to see the results of the pending lawsuit between Infinity Ward, and its former employees. Also, its been known that we’re going to get a reveal of MW3 on the same day. An event that was posted on facebook today, solidifies the notion that Activision is going to unveil the full Modern Warfare 3 trailer. That page can be seen here. Notice that it was created by the same guys that created the MW3 page. So, this means that the reveal is official. It’s not a rumor anymore, folks. Its over.
It has been a tradition of Activision using the Western Conference basketball games on ESPN to reveal a new Call of Duty game. Electronic Arts tried to uppercut Activision with this tradition last month by using one of the basketball games to reveal Battlefield 3.
To prepare for the influx of gamer interest in MW3, Activision updated the official Call of Duty website to include MW3. With that, a Modern Warfare 3 page was revealed.
There are 4 different companies working on COD MW3: A “reconstructed” Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software, and Beachhead Studios doing an content delivery service that may come to be known as Call of Duty Elite. [MW3Blog article] The game is going to be released this coming november, penciled for November 8th, 2011. Over the weekend, there has been a lot of leaks, and so, Infinity Ward acted fast with 4 teaser trailers. Yes, count that; Four. Each may be hinting at some clues, and also hinting at the locations of which where we will duke it out in MW3. This directly confirms that the game is indeed a sequel.
The logo that was leaked a while ago, is in fact real. A strong emphasis on “3″ is pretty evident in each trailer, hinting at a more marketing approach to things. I have a feeling that the guys at “reconstructed” Infinity Ward is going back to the “word of mouth” marketing, because the trailers are pretty clever.
I have obtained more information about MW3 today. Two important information to know about. I’ll start with this Call of Duty Elite information that was leaked during yesterday’s big MW3 boxart reveal. [MW3Blog article]
Lets start with backstory, shall we? Treyarch has been wine-tasting the market through Call of Duty: Black Ops in two ways. Treyarch introduced Call of Duty points, these points can be earned through various things such as killing an opponent, achieving challenges, destroying killstreak rewards, getting a specific killstreak, and more. These COD points can be bartered for weapons, killstreak unlocks, equipment, and whatnot. Treyarch also introduced a game mode called “Wager Match.” These Wager Matches allowed you to sign a contract and put YOUR COD points on the line. The very same COD points that you use to buy your weapons, killstreaks, and items.
A company called Zynga is one of the world’s largest social games company. Many of their games including the ever popular facebook games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars have been giving its users the option to buy points such as Mafia Wars’ “Favor Points” and FarmVille’s “FV cash” to name a few. These points can be purchased through the games’ interface, there are game cards that has points redeemable through any one of the games. These points can buy you an expansion of your farm land, a rare farm plot such as rare flowers, rare fruits, and rare items to name a few.
With me so far? Good.
For quite some time, there has been rumors about digital distribution service. Well, building on previous speculation that I reported before, Beachhead Studios is readying a content delivery platform that will allow you to buy weapons, items, other equipment, and DLC-style content such as new maps. Not only that, the service will allow you to do poker-style waging matches, cash-in-the-pot tournaments that you find in poker tournaments, and community events. [source] Is this service Call of Duty Elite that has been leaked before?
Stay tuned for more more information in a week from now. There has been rumors that a reveal is forthcoming on May 23rd. [source] I find that funny because there’s a lawsuit between former Infinity Ward executives and Activision on that same day. If you would like to be current on that situation, here‘s an article I wrote about the lawsuit.
Above looks like to be the world’s first glimpse of Modern Warfare 3′s logo. Many websites have been swirling with excitement over the new logo because it seems like COD and MW3 is undergoing a complete re-brand. The evidence is not just in the design, but also the typefaces. That’s not all, Kotaku got a boxart to share with the world, at this point the boxart isn’t official, its all speculation, and rumor:
Now, lets examine this “leaked” box art – remember folks everything is rumor and speculation until we get official word from Activision. The face is being shaded quite a lot. He seems to be either Price or Soap. Though the entire get-up seems to resemble Ghost. He’s holding an assault rifle, or a sniper rifle, since the visor scope has a collapsible hinge cover. I don’t know about you but the box art seems to indicate that we’re going back into the snow. There’s this foreshadow that shows what looks like rain, but is in fact snow flowing through the front of his legs.
And finally, what in the hell is this? Call of Duty Elite?
Could this be the digital delivery platform Activision was talking about two nights ago?
Last night at Activision’s earnings call, the new C.E.O of Acitivision let out some information regarding the new Call of Duty, saying the game has a massive scale. [MW3Blog article] He said that the game will have epic action, a better community because of connectivity, and immersion. We didn’t know too much about the game he spoke of, until Kotaku caught up with a “reliable” source.
The source said Captain John “Soap” MacTavish and Captain John Price will return to complete a much, much bigger story, that features a scenario that the world is in crisis. In the same world that Russia invaded U.S. that left a cliffhanger in MW2. [Kotaku article] This further indicates that the game in question is in fact Modern Warfare 3 that has been hinted for a year and a half. The source goes on to say that the game will have an urban theme – and the game will be highly destructible. The destructible environments has been a trademark of the Battlefield series. See for yourself:
There has been rumors that Activision is looking to monetize the Call of Duty franchise by the way of a pay to play model, that is a hallmark of MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft. This was further backed up by an announcement that there would be a digital platform that would further enhance the COD experience through COD upgrades. [source] This digital platform opens COD up to more weapons inventory; new weapons, new equipments, new weapon equipment, and weapon/item upgrades. These include weapon attachments that have been a hallmark of Call of Duty since COD4. But we still don’t know that that digital platform entails or even what it’s going to be. It’s purely speculation at this point. But the idea seems obvious, and is more in conjunction with Black Ops’ introduction of Call of Duty points. These points allowed you to buy unlocks within the actual game itself, so this digital platform may be the key to opening COD to a marketplace that the industry may have never seen before.
The difference between the content in Black Ops and the forthcoming Modern Warfare 3 is that the digital platform is purely a content delivery service intended to update regularly, and not presets as with previous games in the series. This project has been in development for 2 years, and is headed by Beachhead Studios.
Activision made it perfectly clear that when MW3 launches this year, players will start out with the same feature sets as the previous games in the series. They said that they can enhance their experience through this digital platform, but they also stressed that they’re optional add-ons.
The supposed pay to play model has been a rampant rumor since it was spoken about by former C.E.O. Bobby Kotick, but it’s a rumor that has been debunked by both Treyarch and Infinity Ward. In the investor call, Eric Hirshberg confirmed that the game will NOT be pay to play.