Call of Duty might be brought back to its glory days by publishers behind PUBG

Gameplay from Call of Duty MobileOfficial trailer

  • Activision previewed Call of Duty Mobile during Unity’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) keynote in San Francisco.
  • They also announced that the game will be published in partnership with Tencent, the game publishers behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
  • This will be first time the first-person shooter video game will be able on mobile platforms, but without a single-player campaign mode.
Call of Duty, once the world’s biggest entertainment franchise, is finally coming to mobile. But, instead of Activision, the company that served as the game’s publisher since its creation, putting the nuts and bolts together all on its own — Call of Duty Mobile will be published in partnership with Tencent, the game publishers behind the massively popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

At its annual keynote address at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) 2019, Unity — a video game engine — provided an exclusive first look at Activision’s Call of Duty Mobile.

Playtests are going great, and we've never been happier with the results at this stage of the game.

Chris Plummer, VP of mobile for Activision at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019

Even though Call of Duty was once the gold standard by which all first-person shooter games were compared, Activision has lost some steam since its Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare days of 2007.

In fact, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — the most recent title in the Call of Duty series released in October 2018 — has already a lot of borrowed elements from PUBG like the its Blackout mode that brings in battle royale gameplay where the objective is to be the last man standing.

Call of Duty: Black of Ops 4 was also the first game in the series to strip itself a story campaign with no single-player mode option, a move which was probably for the best.

What’s Tencent got to do with it?

Aside from the sweeping success of PUBG Mobile, Tencent is also known as the game publisher behind Honor of Kings, known internationally as Arena of Valor — it was the world’s most popular game and the highest grossing game of all time in 2017 — as well as Fortnite Battle Royale, the most successful of the Fornite series.

Tencent is no stranger to Call of Duty either. Back in 2011, Tencent was already hosting Call of Duty Online with a exclusive license to operate the game in China.

Taking Tencent’s track record into account, it is only natural for Activision to outsource the development of the mobile version of Call of Duty, instead of working on it themselves.

Sneak-peak at Call of Duty Mobile

Call of Duty has some fifteen titles in the market already and has managed to remain relevant for 16 years since its inception in 2003.

The original Call of Duty might not have been the most revolutionary of the series, but it did get a lot of things started that other first-person shooters hadn’t popularized yet. Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare was when the Call of Duty series were at their peak, dominating the PC and console gaming world.

But since then the game developers have been called out for lacking to innovate and selling out to sci-fi elements and mainstream Hollywood, like with the introduction of Kevin Spacey in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in 2014.

That being said, the new Call of Duty Mobile game doesn’t seem to shattering any glass ceilings either, it will be only free-to-play title of the game.

That doesn’t mean that the game will compromise on variety since the three classic maps — Hijacked, Crash and Nuketown — are only some of the maps that will be available on the Android game.

And, even though only the five-versus-five format was showcased at the GDC 2019, there was also a strong suggestion that there will also be a battle royale format. That wouldn’t be surprising since the battle royale format of Black Ops 4 was critically acclaimed as well.

If there’s one concern, it’s that Tencent might simply reskin PUBG with Call of Duty textures.

Android and iOS user can pre-register on Call of Duty’s official site to access to the public beta version, but that’s only available in select areas when it arrives this summer. Follow this space for an update for the exact date of when the beta will begin.

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