Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty takes cue from social games in China

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Call of Duty
And here we though the day would never come: The pinnacle of hardcore gaming, Call of Duty (CoD), has succumbed to the pressures and potential profits of Facebook games ... in China. VentureBeat reports that Activision Blizzard announced a new CoD game today, though the game will be a free-to-play affair for Chinese audiences only (at the moment). The company made the announcement in an earnings call today, and said that it will create a "best in class digital platform" to support the game.

"Today, Call of Duty is part of the cultural landscape," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, in the earnings call. But to succeed in foreign lands, the game will have to adapt to cultural landscapes as well. Free-to-play games supported by micro-transactions are what Chinese gamers expect these days, and Activision plans to deliver. Not to mention that the company also created a studio known as Beachhead to make an online community for CoD players worldwide. The platform has been in development for two years already, and Activision expects it to be ready in time for the expected fall release of the next CoD.

According to VentureBeat, details on the next CoD developed for Western audiences will surface in the coming weeks. And Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick promised that this next CoD will be the best experience that the company has ever made. If the company is aware of what resonates with Chinese gamers, surely it's considering the massive social games movement in the US. In fact, with EA already offering free-to-play versions of its Battlefield franchise, Kotick has at least mulled it over.

[Image Credit: G4TV]

Do you think CoD will adapt to a more social games-esque distribution model in the states as well? Would you be more interested in the franchise if it was presented like this? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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