As we wait twiddling our thumbs for Black Ops II to hit shelves this coming November, gamers in China are waiting in the wind for something completely different. Publisher Activision and Chinese game company Tencent, will be releasing Call of Duty Online into the Chinese Market, a free-to-play shooter that “will capitalize on the rich multiplayer experience that the Call of Duty franchise is known for.”
Being developed by Activision in Shanghai for the last two years, Call of Duty Online will be free-to-play and will feature microtransaction-fueled customization, so gamers can add new weapons, gear, and perks to their load out for a certain fee. The game will introduce a new gaming model designed specifically for the Chinese market, with new ways to personalize your weapons, characters and equipment. The game’s story will be told through a series of Special Ops missions played out over maps and modes we all know from the franchise.
With Activision titles “World of Warcraft” and “StarCraft” already playable online games in China, Activision look to add more to a national market that doesn’t have a strong gaming sector.
“We are very excited about our relationship with Tencent and the opportunities for gaming in China,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “We think China is one of the most exciting places in the world for us to grow our business and to develop innovative new games.”
Kotick continued to talk about Tencent being the ideal partner in their quest to bring the franchise to the country, with their strong track record for customer-focused innovation and deep market knowledge, it will only help the project run as smooth as possible. Kotick went on to say, “We have worked closely with Tencent to create a game with broad appeal for the Chinese market. We look forward to laying the foundation for a long-standing relationship with Tencent and to launching a new and unique experience for fans.”
Martin Lau, President of Tencent, was as equally as excited about the pairing, saying the company is “thrilled to be working with the world’s premiere game developer and publisher to bring this much-awaited title to Chinese game players.” Lau believes China holds millions of loyal Call of Duty fans and with their operational expertise at running online games, it’s can be a match made in heaven.
Call of Duty Online doesn’t have a release date, however a website showing a countdown timer launched shortly after its announcement, we don’t know if the timer indicates when the game will go live or if more details will be released to the public, we will have to wait and see. So … who’s moving to China?
Update: Here’s a strange image that we came across (probably a promotional image), not sure what to make of it yet. If anybody reads Chinese, let us know what it says.