Original Call Of Duty Was Codenamed “MOH KIller”
Believe it or not kids, there was a time when How I Met Your Mother was funny and Call of Duty was not king of the FPS playground. That title was previously held by the mad, bearded one they call Medal of Honor (curse you American spelling). With Call of Duty: Ghosts releasing this week, how about we delve into some CoD trivia?
Speaking to MCV, Infinity Ward’s Justin Thomas recounts those early days of developing the game that would become 2003’s Call of Duty and spawn the biggest franchise in gaming.
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“The project was actually named ‘MOH killer’ until an official name could be found,” Thomas said. “We were focused more on fun than success, with the idea that if it was fun, it would be successful. We were just going to make a great game, and do the things better than we did on previous projects. The great thing is that a team learns from previous projects.”
Thomas explained that one of the challenges associated with building Call of Duty was making sure it did not too closely resemble the Medal of Honor series.
“The challenge was not to duplicate Medal of Honor,” Thomas said. “We also wanted to find a way to tell different game play stories without having a ‘super soldier.'”
They actually went around the office referring to this game as MoH Killer? I find that pretty funny but equally juvenile. Then again, that mentality created a great game.
The ethos taken in developing the game with the notion that success follows a fun game is one that more developers should take heed of these days rather than creating a game against a checklist of must-have features that any successful game needs to have. It’s the reason so many games have needlessly tacked on multiplayer components.
The game was set to feature a James Bond-like character who went on a secret mission to thwart the Nazis during WW II but this changed when it was decided to boldly attempt a three-pronged narrative taken from the perspectives of three different protagonists. The idea did not come from Infinity Ward, but rather Spark Unlimited, which at the time was working on Call of Duty: Finest Hour.
“We took stuff that had been intended to be a part of that American spy storyline and we found new uses for them,” ex-Infinity Ward designer Zied Rieke said. “Then we designed some missions that we could have only done as the British or the Russians.”
Another thing that Thomas, who had previously worked at EA on Medal of Honor, stressed was that Infinity Ward made sure their game was different to MoH and did not resemble it too closely. Why? Because nobody is going to buy something that looks like MoH when they can have MoH. It’s as simple as that and in the past 10 years developers seem to have lost sight of that.