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Since When Does Call Of Duty Require Top Writing Talent?

As a writer, I sometimes view such news in a negative way. For instance, maybe I'm thinking- "Isn't this a waste of someone's talent?"

According to FPS General, an Academy Award-winning writer is on board for Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Ghosts. He confirmed as much yesterday.

Okay, so it's clear that Activision and IW have the resources to recruit the absolute best talent in the world. They could probably get anyone they wanted (in this case, Stephen Gaghan). Hence, this doesn't really surprise me; what seems odd, however, is the theory that CoD needs great writing. ...since when? Firstly, the overwhelming majority of those who purchase CoD games only care about the multiplayer. Secondly, even those who might be interested in the campaign aren't exactly looking for "Citizen Kane." Wrong type of game for that. And I hate to say it, but it's the wrong audience, too.

So, what do they need someone like Gaghan for? I'm sure Infinity Ward will rant and rave about how great the campaign will be, and I'm also sure that most won't care in the slightest and that just about everyone who lines up to get Ghosts on November 5 will be ignoring that campaign. Even if they don't; even if they start with the single-player adventure, it's not what they plunked down their money for. It just isn't. Therefore, is it even necessary to expend money on resources on something nobody seems to care about?

Hmm...well, maybe it is. Maybe this is the kind of thing that will help CoD's ailing reputation among hardcore gamers. Maybe if there's a lot of quality in that campaign, some gamers who have bashed CoD for years will start to come 'round. Maybe it is indeed a good thing. But I still say that the masses couldn't possibly care less about a great story in CoD, and there is no series on earth that caters more to the masses, so...

Related Game(s): Call of Duty: Ghosts

Tags: call of duty ghosts, cod ghosts, stephen gaghan, cod writers

5/20/2013 9:30:16 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

Akuma07
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 10:15:26 PM
Reply

Should we really be complaining about anything that might possibly change the current FPS landscape?

If developers want to start creating high-class scripts for their FPS games, then nothing bad can really come of it. Maybe it will start to turn all those dumb and fast players into people who care about more than that.

EDIT: It would be interesting to see Japanese dev reaction if Western devs start focusing more on great storylines.

Last edited by Akuma07 on 5/20/2013 10:15:59 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 10:28:56 PM
Reply

What his this dude written? Maybe they are looking for writing talent not to bring deepen the story but to make it the best possible surfacey, twitchy, action blockbuster available.

Either way, it's pretty much wasted because as you say the multiplayer is the draw.

Anybody else notice how MS is attaching themselves to this game? I bet we see MS hit on it pretty hard on their NextSexBox 1 hour conference.

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Akuma07
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 12:43:38 AM

They always have tried to be seen as the COD console, all COD DLC has Xbox timed-exclusivity.

I agree with you though, it seems they are going to push that further with the nextbox.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 2:34:29 PM

More like they are clinging to it for dear life this time.

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Jed
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 10:38:28 PM
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Wow that's like getting M. Night Shyamalan to do write a Disney movie.

I liked the single player in the first Modern Warfare, but not because of the writing. The C-130 gunship and sniper levels were really fun. It was too short and didn't have much substance. Like every Cod since.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 11:05:20 PM

"Wow that's like getting M. Night Shyamalan to do write a Disney movie."

Yeah, that's what I mean.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/20/2013 11:05:29 PM

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monkeypunch
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 10:43:14 PM
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This is a good thing. I like campaign modes. I play multiplayer too but the campaigns give it context. Like you said, it will inject some life into the sequels. We all want things to get better. :) The alternative is they get crappy writers and the story is worse.

Last edited by monkeypunch on 5/20/2013 10:46:04 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 11:06:43 PM

Lupin?

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Kryten1029a
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 11:00:47 PM
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I'm smelling something fishy going on with Call of Duty lately. The supposed leaks and attempts to make it relevant-such as the Masks trailer-just seem desperate. They know that franchise fatigue is setting in and they're doing anything that they can to generate excitement.
You're not going to see anything different until the next-gen versions come out and even then it'll just be the same old thing in a prettier environment. Nobody goes to a Michael Bay movie expecting "Citizen Kane" and nobody expects anything from Call of Duty beyond smooth multiplayer. Gamezone put the percentage of players who completed the Black Ops campaign at 18.6%; that's lower than the industry average! People don't generally play these games for the campaign.

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booze925
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 11:52:09 PM
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I want to attempt writing. But from my limited experience in college, and average Joe-Blow could have written the Modern Warfare games.
The MW2-3 plot is complete nonsense because in the beginning of 2, the good guys are able to trace a single bullet on a security camera to prove Makarov was involved in the massacre... even though Makarov's unmasked face was directly on camera. Then Russia invades the U.S. under the impression that the U.S. intentionally massacred the airport even though Makarov's face IS ON CAMERA. If they all took a step back and just examined the footage and saw that a notorious terrorist was responsible for the massacre, it would negate the entire story from there on out.
I cannot believe that the fool who wrote those games manages to find work.

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KidPresentable
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 3:17:46 AM

Yeah, with plot holes that big I was sure David Cage wrote that script. Turns out he didn't.

Last edited by KidPresentable on 5/21/2013 3:18:10 AM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 12:47:33 AM
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I see this as a signal that they try to improve every little bit of the game, even the parts that most gamers don't care about in multiplayer games; the single player campaign.

And quite frankly, I don't see anything wrong in that. How much can it possibly cost them to have a good writer pen a few pages of script. I'm pretty sure it's just a tiny post in a huge budget, so why not. If anything it will only make other devs too invest more in a decent script, and that can only be a good thing.


Last edited by Beamboom on 5/21/2013 12:49:56 AM

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 1:53:25 AM
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Well id first like to say im a huge CoD fan and always will be. Id like to add I always finish the campaign before jumping into mp, with the exception of Black Ops 2 mainly because I havnt played it much compared to the other CoD titles. There was too much good to go 'round last holiday season.

Id also like to mention that CoD is without a doubt popular because of the mp experience but I dont think I need to remind everyone how ground breaking Modern Warfares campaign was and how much people adored it. The game was not gettung praise for the mp at that time, surely it got a lot of attention but the campaign wowed everyone. It was only over time that the mp became the focal point. Its like I said about Uncharted and The Last of Us having mp. It gives you something to go to when youve beaten the game over and over. Thats what CoD went through and it attracted more and more over time eventually it being all about the mp to most fans. So with that said I do believw there is still those who would appreciate a great campaign because at one point it was a huge part of the franchise. That can still play a part in these games, surely.

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KidPresentable
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 3:23:53 AM
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Well, I own, have played, and enjoyed every CoD campaign since its inception, so if I'm just the one guy that enjoys it, I feel privileged that Activision would put that much effort into making my experience better.

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___________
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 5:38:32 AM
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ahhhhhh, gotta love this industry!
developers create mindless shooters with about as much depth and creativity as a blade of grass, and its wah wah wah!
so they hire some talent to try improve that and sh*t up the babys, and its wah wah wah!
christ, the term damned if you do, damned if you dont, has never rung truer!

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Ninja_WafflesXD
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 8:37:49 AM
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I don't really see how there's anything particularly wrong with this?

I mean, yeah, it's Call of Duty and yeah is a fast-paced, explosion-filled FPS but that doesn't mean that it can use good writing. I'm all for innovation and steps forwards in this industry that we love so much, so there's no reason to question it, even if it is in the form of CoD.

If anything, prehaps with so many developers trying to copy CoD, this could pave the way for other developers to want to strive for good, even great, storytelling.

I'm not the biggest fan of CoD but I'm not gonna stick my nose up if they want to try something new....isn't that what everyone's crying for??

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Dante399
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 8:40:49 AM
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I might be wrong but I think they are trying to cater to more fans especially those who do care about script and art. I myself find it a positive move.

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Amnesiac
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 9:44:00 AM
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Getting "respected" hollywood writers for a series that is most regarded for its multiplayer?
Every person I have ever spoken with about call of Duty has the same thing in common
-they never play campaign mode.

Why not forgo writing talent gimmick and simply hire on a "top" hollywood director like Brett Ratner to direct every cut scene?

Last edited by Amnesiac on 5/21/2013 9:44:44 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 10:16:27 AM

A very good question.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 11:27:36 AM

A good idea that are likely thought over at COD HQ a long time ago, but highly likely it would cost a *lot* more. Plus, I'm not even convinced that most "top" Hollywood directors would accept such a job.

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ethird1
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 1:49:18 PM
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HEY! Cod doesn't NEED a good story line. But like OMG WTFEVA!! Activision wants to make sure everyone enjoys it, including little wussypoos who want a story line and loves to play with little dressup dolls on jrpgs!

End of line.

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DocPain
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 10:53:08 PM
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To be fair, gamers don't care about a great narrative BECAUSE the writing is so broken and contrived.....not the other way around....

So a great narrative in COD would be a great step in the right direction that will pave the way for more immersive experiences......don't discourage this.....

Think about how much we all enjoy Uncharted

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