After finishing Modern Warfare 2, Condrey would have "given them $50 the next day" for Modern Warfare 3, and he says the same of Uncharted. It's got "good content that hooks you."
The annualisation of Call of Duty by Activision is part of its strength, notes Sledgehammer COO Michael Condrey. He likes to think of the IP as being in the 'same place' as hot TV shows.
"It's interesting to me - as a gamer, I couldn't wait. This was our first chance to develop with Infinity Ward. That was awesome, but I've been buying Call of Duty as a fan for over a decade. A majority of my time has been on the other side; it has been the fan experience. I don't know how you felt, but every year, I could not wait," said Condrey.
"When Modern Warfare 2 was done, I would have given them $50 the next day to get Modern Warfare 3."
"I said the same thing about Uncharted, right. The minute I finished Uncharted 2, I wanted Uncharted 3 because good content that hooks you, I mean that's awesome, whether that's a sports season (and I'm a big football fan and look forward to pre-season every year) or a game or TV show."
The Sledgehammer exec uses The Walking Dead TV show as his prime example: "So when you think about that, this year was interesting. They split the season in half. Rather than have the full season, they took a mid-season break. I don't know about you, but I could not wait to get back to it," Condrey admitted.
It has palpable anticipation, and that's what Call of Duty has to. "I like to think Call of Duty is in that place, where it represents something that is emotionally powerful to gamers, and they can't wait for the next one."
It's why DLC releases are so popular for the likes of the mega huge shooter franchise. Vocal gamers have often lamented downloadable content has stuff that should have been in the game in the first place but gets 'delayed' so it can be packaged as DLC. What's Michael Condrey's take on that?
"What I can say hands down, in no uncertain terms, is the studio has poured every last bit of value that they could to put out the best experience in November," he began. "Everything that we've delivered since has been new ideas, new innovation and things that we've wanted to do after November. We held nothing back, but it's a massive game."
"The campaign is an eight-hour blockbuster and I'm really proud of that. We put a lot of time into making that into what it became. Multiplayer...Spec Ops, survival and mission modes... man, we could not have gotten anything else in."
Check out thebetween Michael Condrey and GamesIndustry.biz.
Call of Duty is "emotionally powerful to gamers," impatient for next offering
19 April 2012 | By Simon Priest