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Activision's Heller:  Call Of Duty: World At War  Benefited From Internal  CoD  Competition
Activision's Heller: Call Of Duty: World At War Benefited From Internal CoD Competition
November 10, 2008 | By Staff

November 10, 2008 | By Staff
More: Console/PC

Talking to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth new interview, Activision senior producer Noah Heller has been discussing working with Infinity Ward to make Treyarch's Call Of Duty: World At War, suggesting that it's "gratifying" to compete internally to make the best game in the series -- noting that "we both win if we make a great product."

According to Heller, the two Activision-owned studios traded builds while developing their respective Call of Duty titles and reviewed each other's work, as was the case with Call of Duty: World at War and its predecessor Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

"The engine is an Activision platform, something that we can all use," he says. "From a design perspective we don't want to step on each other's creativity, and the Treyarch team has its own insular design force."

Heller adds, "It's awesome that we're able to trade and we're able to do a Call of Duty game this year. They were able to do one last year, because on Call of Duty 3, it was nine months in the pipeline to get that game done, and no team should ever have to work like that.

He believes that Activision's current system for the Call of Duty series is "really healthy," as it allows the studios two years to work on their projects.

Heller also noted that there is internal competition between Treyarch and Infinity Ward, especially because their releases are often compared to each other.

"It's tough, but at the end of the day, we're all Activision," he says. "A great Call of Duty game just opens up opportunities to do other great things with Call of Duty."

He continues, "Frankly, it's more gratifying to compete internally than it is against any other company, because at the end of the day, we both win if we make a great product."

Infinity Ward's director of communications/community manager Robert Bowling, however, recently lambasted Heller for repeatedly referencing Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare in interviews for World at War, suggesting that it was poor form to make comparisons to CoD4 in promoting CoD5.

You can read the full in-depth interview with Treyarch senior producer Noah Heller on the upcoming release of Call Of Duty: World At War (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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Byron Tauser
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Poor form to discuss COD 4? Isn't Treyarch using the same engine that Infinity Ward developed? Aren't those the same character animations in the COD 5 videos that were in COD 4? So Treyarch took the engine and all the effort that Infinity Ward put into COD 4 and they made a WWII game.

I totally get that they have to distance themselves from COD 4, but in all seriousness they should be on there knees thanking Activision for giving them the Infinity Ward engine. Because without that, Treyarch would be just another C level developer (which they pretty much are).

Benjamin Quintero
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Amen. People in the development community aren't dumb; and making false claims really doesn't look good for Treyarch... There is obviously some bad blood there; we are not getting the whole story. Oh well, CoD is a strong franchise. Let's hope they settle this before the franchise starts to take on water.

Daniel Romeo Padilla
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For the record, Hoah Heller DOES NOT work for Treyarch. He works for Activision.

Maurício Gomes
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What bizarreness, a company that fights itself...

It is like Atari...

Erm... Actvision was created because of that behaviour on atari...

Daniel Romeo Padilla
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Thanks for the correction.

Yannick Boucher
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A company that fights itself is bizarre ? More like business as usual. Publishers LOVE to pit developers against each other. Even INTERNAL developers. That's how they can get what they want.

Ryan Duffin
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Byron, those are definitely not the same character animations as COD4; there is a pretty obvious quality gap. And to give credit for COD4's success to their engine is kind of insulting to IW's accomplishments; you can make a bad game with a good engine and vice versa.

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