Interviews

Modern Warfare 3: 'Our engine is a Porsche - copy and paste critics have no idea'

Part two of our interview with Sledgehammer Games general manager Glen Schofield

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What did you think of the beta?

Let's just say that I still use Modern Warfare 2 as my competitor. I need to make sure that the millions of people that played Modern Warfare 2 will pick up this game, notice that it's better, notice that it's bigger, that there's more in it, that there's more polish, all that stuff. That's what I'm concerned with - this community.

Was an open beta considered for Modern Warfare 3?

Someone asked me that the other day. This game is so big between the campaign, the Spec-Ops and the multiplayer, there was so much work to do that I don't know whether it hit anyone's mind or not. We had XP and XP was in itself a way for 1,000s of people to play the game and for us to look over their shoulder and see how they were doing and how they liked it and that was really good.

Zoom

I was looking at the Metacritic scores for the 360 versions of the last few Call of Duty games earlier. Modern Warfare is at 94. World at War is at 84. Modern Warfare 2 is at 94 and Black Ops is at 87. What's your target - are you confident of matching those 94 scores?

If I got a 94 I would kiss you. It would be really nice to have a nine in front of the score, but really the truth is: can we make those millions of fans happy? Can we make them feel that we made a worthy successor to one of the biggest and best games ever. I don't know how you quantify that but I think if people shake my hand and say "Nice job" that will be worth more than the Metacritic score.

The Sun

When something gets as big as Call of Duty, it kind of becomes a cool thing to hate on it.

Yeah it sure does, doesn't it? It turned quickly. Modern Warfare 2 was a media darling. Modern Warfare 3, nothing really changed. Well, some people left...

Do you ever worry that that kind of vocal, negative sentiment is going to cross over to or be reflected by the people that write for those audiences? People always like to back the underdog and want to see the market leader dethroned.

I hope that the people writing will dig in to the story and find out if that's really true or if that's the vocal minority. I look at my tweets and I get the same three or four guys who are just negative every night. They're so vocal that their name pops up all the time, and I have to go back every once in a while and say, 'No, I've got 1,000s of people following me, these guys are just really vocal'. So I think the press needs to do, and they probably are doing the same thing, is just see how many people really are vocal about it. There's always going to be haters and they are the loudest ones. If they start writing about it and it's not true, I think people will see that. I actually think that's happening with Battlefield a little bit right now. I'm starting to see more negative stuff about Battlefield 3 based on the beta. What they're writing about now would be based on the true game, not like smoke and mirrors or something.

Zoom

Is as the original Sledgehammer project cancelled or just put on the backburner?

We'll probably cancel it. They gave us the choice of: do you want to work on Modern Warfare 3, or do you want to continue working on this? And we really liked that. We liked what we were doing. It third person, probably set at a time that might have niched it too much. I bet that if we had kept going, within a month or two I probably would have switched the time period, but kept the gameplay. It had some really cool stuff.

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