Video Games

Activision promises unique Call of Duty games for mobile and tablet, not ports


Unlike other publishers, Activision has been lagging behind in selling content for mobile phones and tablets. For example, the publisher has only released a handful Call of Duty games on the App Store, all watered-down ports of the console games’ zombies mode. The ports were merely “okay,” Activision Blizzard senior director of global digital and mobile sales Jon Estanislao said. But, he promised that going forward, the company will be focused on avoiding ports, and making original experiences.

“Going forward for us, how do we really take that Call of Duty experience, what is the essence of it? These kinds of grandiose, immerse experiences–how do we move that to mobile or tablet? From a development perspective, we’re investing a lot more in understanding how to marry that together with how customers expect to play on those devices,” he said.

Speaking at DMW Games in Los Angeles, Estanislao says that future Call of Duty experiences on mobile will “evolve” the way customers interact with the brand, offering new ways of utilizing Call of Duty Elite, for example. “We’re definitely looking to reach out to our core audience and engage them beyond their TV or PC and then give them new experiences around Call of Duty that are unique for that device,” he said.

Given the amount of money that’s in mobile gaming nowadays, it’s surprising to see Activision so slow to capitalize on it. However, Estanislao says that the publisher’s size can get in the way of being agile. “Sometimes it takes a bit longer for large companies like ourselves because our DNA isn’t necessarily that flexible,” he said. “But I think we’re at that stage, we have dedicated internal studios to work on it, and folks from outside the industry that we’re bringing in.”

Rumor has it that Activision Leeds is heading up Call of Duty mobile efforts. The Blizzard half of the company is also working on a free-to-play card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft.

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