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500 Developers on Call of Duty

There's an interview on VentureBeat with Dave Stohl, talking with the vice president for studios at Activision Publishing about the Call of Duty series of military first-person shooters. The series has had multiple developers for years, but it is still eye-opening to read just how many developers are currently tending to the franchise, as the article states Activision "has four or five studios working on Call of Duty titles at any given time. This includes the remainder of Infinity Ward teamed with Sledgehammer Games on Modern Warfare 3, Beachhead Studios at work on Call of Duty Elite, Treyarch working on the non-Modern Warfare arm of the franchise, and DemonWare handling network services for the whole series. As for the headcount this represents, they state: "Activision has said that it has more than 500 developers working on Call of Duty."

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19. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 22:00 LArac
 
And after Release

498 Fired,Studio Closed.

2 Months later New Studio To carry on Game.
All fresh out of School working for 17k each.

Except for the 120 Interns who we make pay us 50$ USD a week to get experience.

Lee

 
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18. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 20:16 Mr. Tact
 
I wasn't particularly surprised by this. But then I have personally witnessed 250 programmers work for 2 years and release nothing... corporations do some totally unamazing things.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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17. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 19:59 Sepharo
 
wolve wrote on Sep 7, 2011, 19:26:
What's with all the shock and surprise here? 500 people for the entire franchise, not one single game (reading comprehension fail).

That's the impression you would get after only reading the first 3 out of 15 posts.

LOL LEARN2READ AMIRITE?
 
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16. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 19:26 wolve
 
What's with all the shock and surprise here? 500 people for the entire franchise, not one single game (reading comprehension fail). They probably have at least 2+ future games / projects in the pipeline.

It takes more people to develop and maintain WoW. And the typical blockbuster movie definitely has more people working on it.

This comment was edited on Sep 7, 2011, 19:32.
 
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15. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 18:09 Beamer
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Sep 7, 2011, 18:06:
Greed and Gluttony. Can't believe they are making a game that is just reskinned with that many people. Pretty lame. Glad i have been skipping their titles......also doenst seem like such a surprise why they want to control servers to shut them off and force you to buy the new mod, er I mean version, er I mean....DLC and update to the game. F them.

They will over saturate the market just like GH and kill it soon. Fine with me.

Well, if it's that many people it can't really be a reskin, can it?
And what servers are they controlling? MW3 is open-server. I've called you out on doubting this before, and now they've been explicit about it. THEY ARE RELEASING SERVER FILES!
And what CoD servers have they shut down? How old was the game when it happened?
And, unlike GH, if the CoD market becomes saturated these studios, which will have sold hundreds of millions of FPS games, can pretty easily just move to the next big thing in FPS, whereas the GH studios could really only do GH.
 
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14. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 18:06 xXBatmanXx
 
Greed and Gluttony. Can't believe they are making a game that is just reskinned with that many people. Pretty lame. Glad i have been skipping their titles......also doenst seem like such a surprise why they want to control servers to shut them off and force you to buy the new mod, er I mean version, er I mean....DLC and update to the game. F them.

They will over saturate the market just like GH and kill it soon. Fine with me.
 
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13. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 10:40 Creston
 
It's the only thing they have, so yeah, that makes sense. They have to give all these guys they're paying a salary SOMETHING to do...

Creston
 
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12. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 09:32 Beamer
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 7, 2011, 07:28:
And yet a cool game like Hawken being made by 8 unknown kids. Tell me again why they "need" 500 devs?

First, it's really 250 devs, as it's split between 2 games.
And it needs engineers, as they maintain their own engine, whereas Hawken is done through UDK and more just needs gameplay guys and artists. Reasonably that'd be another, I'll be generous, 50, so 25 per game.
Then there are the network guys, figure another 5 per game (again, being generous.)
Then the entire Elite backend, another 15 per game.
It's a much, much, much more featured game than Hawken, so another 50 various people makes sense.
And it's being properly QAd, unlike Hawken, so another 40 per game there.

We're still way over. The weird part, to me, is that it's two devs doing MW3. One for the single player, which is always fun-ish but incoherent and infinite-spawny, and one for the multiplayer, which is very much based on the single player. It just seems like a terrible idea.
 
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11. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 08:06 Prez
 
The budget, the number of developers, the amount of money wasted on fluff... all of it has long since crossed the boundary of "insane" and planted itself squarely in "surreal".  
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10. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 07:45 everyone
 
What a waste.

Sepharo wrote on Sep 7, 2011, 01:40:
When does the series make a jump equivalent to BF2 -> BC2?
If they dumbed COD down to a similar extent, all they'd be left with is a facebook game involving brightly coloured ponies and excessive amounts of glitter. So hopefully never.
 
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9. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 07:28 Cutter
 
And yet a cool game like Hawken being made by 8 unknown kids. Tell me again why they "need" 500 devs?
 
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8. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 04:32 Paketep
 
0001 wrote on Sep 6, 2011, 21:32:
30 Million per year or more? That much money for a game? Did I say insane?

That number pales in comparison to the marketing budget. I think I read somewhere that Activision allocated around $100 million for either MW2 or BlOps.

Can you imagine the amazing games that could be done with that money?. Or just pay up all the indies in the world and tell them to make whatever they want.

Fucking Kotick..
 
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7. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 04:30 Paketep
 
Which goes to show that more is not always better.

In fact, those 500 poor souls are releasing turd after turd. And what is worse, they're selling millions of them.
 
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6. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 02:53 Jerykk
 
When is the next leap, is it actually MW3?

No, MW3 is just MW2 set in first-world countries. Activision is going to keep pumping games out each year until people stop buying them, at which point the franchise will die. Hopefully that happens sooner than later.
 
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5. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 01:40 Sepharo
 
It's pretty impressive, it's too bad that it's setup to just churn derivative yearly titles out. When does the series make a jump equivalent to BF2 -> BC2?

I bought CoD and CoD2, skipped 3, got the first MW and that was it. When is the next leap, is it actually MW3?
 
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4. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 7, 2011, 01:01 spindoctor
 
No surprises there. Call of Duty makes over a billion dollars a year, of course they're going to throw resources at it. Ubisoft does the same thing for Assassin's Creed... I think they have 400+ people working in 5-6 different studios around the world on the series.  
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3. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 6, 2011, 22:14 Dades
 
The really sad part is that it takes 500 people to make a Call of Duty game, it's a pretty bland FPS. They should stop focusing on the ridiculous campaigns and put more of an effort into keeping their multiplayer current if they want to compete with newcomers.  
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2. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 6, 2011, 21:43 Rhett
 
That much money to add another coat of paint to the game, you mean. >_>  
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1. Re: 500 Developers on Call of Duty Sep 6, 2011, 21:32 0001
 
Insane. I wonder how many people of those are really "working". Or if those numbers are accurate at all.

500 people * average developer salary * 12 Months = DEVELOPER COSTS per year.

30 Million per year or more? That much money for a game? Did I say insane?

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This comment was edited on Sep 6, 2011, 21:38.
 
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