Call of Duty Online set to invade China

Guess what! (What?) Activision has been secretly working on a new Call of Duty game for the past two years! …actually, we knew a little about the project, but nobody’s really heard anything about Call of Duty Online since mid-2010. Now, Activision has formally announced an agreement with Tencent, to bring the game to mainland China.

Martin Lau is President of Tencent, and he explains he is “thrilled” to work with Activision on such a well-loved franchise.

We believe Call of Duty Online will attract tens of millions of loyal fans in China, and our game platform and operational expertise to run massive multi-player online games can provide strong support to deliver the immersive and highly interactive game experience to game players in China.

Adhering to the gameplay model that has worked so well in Asian territories (and is slowly creeping to the west), Call of Duty Online is a free-to-play project, fully monetised through the sale of in-game items. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is, predictably, quite enthusiastic.

We are very excited about our relationship with Tencent and the opportunities for gaming in China. 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 describes Tencent as the “ideal partner” to help Activision bring the Call of Duty franchise to China.

Tencent is an ideal partner for Activision to bring Call of Duty Online to China. Tencent has a terrific track record of customer-focused innovation and deep market knowledge that will be invaluable to Activision as we build great games for China. 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.

[img_big]center,9801,2012-07-03/CallofDuty_Online22.jpg,Call of Duty Online[/img_big]

As we know by now, FPS games in Asia are traditionally quite different games to the ones we see in other territories, but Call of Duty Online will carry on the “rich multiplayer experience” we’ve come to expect from the Activision blockbuster, just wrapped in something a little different.

Gamers are able to enhance their gear, weapons and perks using elements designed specifically for the needs of the Chinese market. Game modes, maps and features have also been adjusted, and with a heavy emphasis on personalisation (weapons, equipment, characters), Call of Duty Online features a bunch of Special Operations missions based on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare universe.

No mention of release dates just yet, but we’re guessing if you’re anywhere near China, you’ll know all about Call of Duty Online when it hits.

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