Less than a week after the release of Call of Duty Modern Warfare, and hardcore fans are not happy about how exceedingly beginner-friendly the new game is. A resurfaced clip from an interview with the developers reveals that this was the plan all along.
With a big release like Modern Warfare, and with the Call of Duty League on the horizon, Activision and Infinity Ward were tasked with the challenge of developing a Call of Duty game that could draw in new fans and satisfy the diehards.
Based on some reactions from veteran and hardcore players, they haven’t been able to do both.
But a clip from an interview with the developers from two months ago indicates that trying to please both camps wasn’t a goal for Activision at all, and based on their statements, their priority was to please beginners first and foremost. The clip made its way to the near top of the ModernWarfare and Competitive CoD subreddits.
Starts at 38:58 for mobile users.
In an interview conducted by Game Informer’s Brian Shea, Infinity Ward’s studio narrative director Taylor Kurosaki and multiplayer design director Joe Cecot are asked about balance in multiplayer, and both developers doubled down on the importance of getting new players in the game.
“We want to get new players in the game, we don’t want them to get punched in the mouth over and over again until they leave, “ says Cecot. “That’s a big focus for us. Our weapons are a bit more lethal than in Black Ops, and that helps a lower skill player get a kill and have some success.”
This decision also affected the design of maps, says Cecot. “We want those players to have a safe place to take their time.”
When asked by the interviewer if that approach would come at the expense of hardcore players, Cecot said that wasn’t the plan, but reiterated the goal of making sure lower skill players didn’t have bad experiences.
“We have to make choices on how we matchmake.”
The goal of making a beginner-retentive game has resulted in more and more hardcore fans expressing their displeasure, most notably about how lethal certain weapons are, and the higher-than-usual amount of camping.
Pro players have expressed their frustrations too, with some big names sounding off on the latest release. Seth ‘Scump’ Abner said on stream that he had “never, ever in his life played a more horrible Call of Duty competitively than this. What a f*****g joke of a game.”
Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper expressed dismay that “people were paid to make these maps.”
Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag called the maps horrendous on Twitter.
Gunplay on Modern Warfare is great but the maps are horrendous.
— 100T Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) October 25, 2019
Commercially, Modern Warfare is doing well when it comes to sales, but an unhappy and unsatisfied pro player base heading into an inaugural, franchised league worth millions of dollars is not a good sign for Activision.