Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Inspired by Liberace

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare [official site] has introduced Master Prestige ranks which are another way to earn elite weapon drops and culminate in a Grand Master Prestige gear set which kind of makes you look like your character has been mistaken for a couch and upholstered.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester and COO Susana Meza Graham discussed the future of the games industry at a media round table last week, focusing particularly on the viability of big-budget game development, the challenges facing an exploding digital market, and why a game about pinging a goat off a trampoline is preferable to the biggest shooter series in the world.

"Competition is really fierce," said Wester. "You have to have an edge in there, and that's why I say 'more Goat Simulator and less Call of Duty' for Paradox, because we need the edge. It's easier to get out and market, it's easier to show what you're doing.

"People are tired of explosions and dubstep music. We've seen it a million times now, like, stop doing it. No more."

Paradox' bosses aren't planning to muscle in on the farmyard animal flap-about genre any time soon, but they are thinking hard about how to stand out in increasingly packed market of small and mid-tier releases. It's not surprising that they'd look favourably on a quickly produced viral hit like Goat Simulator, they've had success building niche games with relatively small teams, and are wary of the one-upmanship that accompanies big-budget blockbuster development. Susana Meza Graham thinks the arms race can't last.

"I think we're going to see a little bit of a scaling back as well. As an industry we've just tried to top each other every single time we release something, it's going to be bigger, better, bigger productions, bigger marketing budgets, whatever, whatever. Then all of a sudden it's released and we still can't meet consumers' expectations because some things don't work maybe as planned, the plans were too ambitious."

 People are tired of explosions and dubstep music. We've seen it a million times now, like, stop doing it. No more.

Assassin's Creed Unity provides a recent example. Wester has another that highlights the sky-high expectations developers and publishers set around their landmark releases.

"One signal there is when Square Enix shipped [Tomb Raider], the latest edition of that, it's like 'it's a new record for Square Enix! Shipping 5.3 million units day one!' And it's still 1.2 million units under their target. Then I feel like 'okay your target is 30 percent more than you've ever done before ever ever ever, and that's your target' There's something that's a bit strange here."

"You can always dream," Susana adds. "And there's reality, and at some point the two need to start meshing together a little bit more. Maybe it's easy to sit here and say—we don't face those realities on a day to day basis—but I just think it's gotten to a point where it's a rollercoaster, it's not going to be able to continue like this."

Paradox has had its own setback recently, cancelling their Norse mythology RPG, Runemaster, to refocus their efforts on other projects. Said projects include the wizardy co-op game, Magicka 2, Cities: Skylines, Hearts of Iron 4 and a new expansion for Europa Universalis IV. They're also publishing Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity, due out next month.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Yes, it still needs to have guns.

Activision have started vaguely muttering about this year’s Call of Duty, which is the first from Cod Blops folks Treyarch on the series’ new three-year development cycle. We knew that was happening, and all Activision had to say in an earnings conference call yesterday is that it’ll be “loaded with innovation”. Right-o. The FPS is now a decade into annual sequels and quite set on that path, so I wonder: what would you do with Call of Duty?

You can reboot, resurrect, reinvent, fragment, and spin-off all you like, but let’s assume you won’t get the green light from Activision without releasing a core FPS. Past, present, future, revolutions, invasions, operations, robots, dinosaurs, spacemen – go. Dream. Me, I’m thinking episodic.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

In thoroughly unsurprising news, Activision has confirmed that Treyarch will develop this year's installment in the Call of Duty series. Best known for their Black Ops installments, 2013's Black Ops 2 was their last effort before the series transitioned to a three-year development cycle with the addition of Sledgehammer into the mix. 

Activision confirmed the news during an investor's call today (via IGN). It follows studio boss Mark Lamia's appearance at the DICE Summit earlier this week, where he delivered a presentation about the team's first effort in the series, Call of Duty: World at War.

While investors are privy to information like this, it's unlikely us lowly consumers will hear anything solid about the next COD until May, if previous announcements are anything to go by. Will it be Black Ops 3? Will it have zombies? Will it be set in outback Australia? Only time will tell.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ben Barrett)

Well, if you're going to go out, might as well be leaping through the air dual-wielding ... something huge.

Heya, Call of Duty, buddy, how are you doing? Breakups are hard, aren’t they? Ex-friends Respawn are off doing their own thing and that big bully Battlefield‘s still swanning about, making your life difficult. You wanna look cool and hip, so at Gamescom yesterday you showed off your hottest new clothes, spruced up versions of the last-season garbage those losers are wearing. Double-jumps and cloaking, maps that modify themselves over time – you’ve taken the best of them and mixed it in with your own feel. Plus, for some reason, Unreal Tournament dodging. That one’s a bit off the wall.

… [visit site to read more]

Announcement - Valve
The Activision Publisher Weekend continues today with great deals on Activision titles! From now through Monday* pick up titles up to 75% off!

Additionally, play the Call of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer for Free throughout the weekend!

Today's Daily Deal features the Call of Duty franchise** at 50% off!

*All discounts end Monday, March 17th at 10AM Pacific Time.

**Does not include Call of Duty: Ghosts



















Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Confirmed: the new Call of Duty will feature butts

Finally! A new Call of Duty game! What has it been? Five years? Ten years? One whole minute? Never mind the agonizing wait. All that matters now is this perfect moment, this sweet embrace. Activision were planning to take the wraps off Call of Duty: Ominous, Obvious, Or Utterly Meaningless Subtitle (aka, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare) this weekend, but a couple of leaks have prompted them to offer a few early details. Foremost, this one is being developed by series first-timer Sledgehammer as part of Activision’s plan to give each series entry a three year development cycle. Second, it’s about Private Military Companies (PMCs) deciding to STOP TAKING ORDERS and START TAKING OVER and there’s a brief SHOCK-YOU-MENTARY below. Third, there’s also now a trailer and this time the villain is Kevin Spacey.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Ghosts, yesterday.

Call of Duty has long shared development duties between multiple studios. Most obviously, it’s operated under a two-year schedule, with series creators’ Infinity Ward and Treyarch taking it in turns to work out which national monuments to make fall over. You might be less aware of the other studios who pitch in each year, including Raven Software, Nerversoft and Sledgehammer Games.

As reported by IGN, an Activision investor call mentioned that Sledgehammer are now working on a Call of Duty all of their own. That was already known, but it makes it official that Call of Duty is switching to a three-year development cycle. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Here’s the thing. The Call Of Duty modern campaigns really don’t need to be dreadful. I think, after so many ugly, stupid attempts, there’s a perception that it’s just the way it is, the limits of the genre, the best you can hope for. And this simply isn’t true. Sadly it isn’t the case for the latest release, and I think I know why. There’s a conflict that’s gone missing, and they need to get it back.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

If you haven’t read my thoughts on the first three hours of Call Of Duty: Ghosts, it’s worth looking through those first. But now the single player campaign is finished, here’s wot I think:>

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