Call of Duty Mobile’s Chris Plummer on popularity in India, PUBG Mobile comparison
Call of Duty Mobile is going strong. The multiplayer-battle royale hybrid game already has gone past 148 million downloads. What’s next CoD Mobile? Activision’s Chris Plummer explains.Updated: Nov 17, 2019 15:42 IST
Activision’s Call of Duty: Mobile had an explosive start. The multiplayer-battle royale hybrid game surpassed 35 million downloads in less than a week of launch. According to Sensor Tower, Call of Duty: Mobile has amassed about 148 million downloads in the first month, surpassing PUBG Mobile and Fortnite. The research firm also pointed out that India was one of the biggest contributors to Call of Duty: Mobile’s growth.
We spoke to Chris Plummer, VP Mobile at Activision, on Call of Duty: Mobile’s popularity in India. Plummer also shed light on how the game is different from the popular battle royale game PUBG Mobile. Here are edited excerpts.
Did you anticipate such an overwhelming response in the first week of launch?
We’re very humbled by the response in the first week. There were signs that a game with Call of Duty: Mobile’s level of quality could really take off, but you never know until players start engaging with the game and telling their friends. Call of Duty always has such a great community and we’re excited to also see so many new players enjoying the franchise. We have a lot of work to do still, and hope players will keep coming back for new experiences and updates in the coming weeks.
Did you expect India to contribute such a big chunk of downloads? What are your key observations about the Indian gaming community?
We saw a lot of interest from gamers in India when we were testing the game early on. This helped us ensure the network quality would be strong in India and we wanted to make sure the players in India stayed engaged and enthusiastic, but we didn’t know how popular it would be until after we launched globally. It makes us happy to see a large and thriving community of Call of Duty Mobile players in India!
What makes COD Mobile different from other FPS games? Thanks to PUBG, battle royale games are taking off. Even COD Mobile has it. What makes COD Mobile’s battle royale different from the competition?
Our Battle Royale mode is our unique take on the genre from within the Call of Duty universe, specifically built and tailored for Call of Duty: Mobile. We emphasize vehicles, including an ATV, helicopter, SUV and tactical raft, allowing for faster travel with your squad and encourages combat across land, sea and air. Also, another thing that sets us apart is players can choose an Operator class before entering the battle, where each Operator has a two actionable gear items unique to that class. For example, you might equip a grappling hook while a team-mate equips recovery gear.
E-sports are becoming a big phenomenon. Will we see COD Mobile tournaments soon?
E-Sports is always a topic of conversation internally, but we have nothing to disclose at this time.
Hacking and workarounds are some of the common challenges for gaming companies. What are your policies for cheaters?
We closely monitor the game environment to ensure a fair and enjoyable experience for all of our players. This includes collaboration between our development, publishing and live service partners and is always evolving to adapt to the changing player base and needs of the game.
How much effort has gone into making COD Mobile optimized for low-end phones and slower networks in markets like India?
A lot of effort has gone into optimizing Call of Duty: Mobile for the widest range of devices while still achieving the signature Call of Duty Graphics quality that fans come to expect. We will continue to optimize the game to reach the widest range of players and devices that can be reasonably addressed while also making sure the quality of the experience remains high. The game currently plays quite well on midrange devices while excelling on more advanced hardware.
Controller support has long been demanded by the fans. When will it come to the game?
We’ve been listening to players and hear them loud and clear on controller support. We are currently testing controller support and evaluating the option to bring it into the game sometime in the future. Our goal is to make sure controller support is properly implemented and balanced. Stand by for more information as this develops further.
What’s next for COD Mobile? What are the new features or updates we’re going to see?
We have big plans for new features, options, in-game events and more. We’ve already rotated in and out some new maps and modes since the global launch and will strive to keep the game fresh. For example, Gun Game was recently added to the rotation, followed by rockets-only arena modez. So check back regularly in the game.
Can you tell us about COD Mobile users? Demographic, active users, time spent, or something similar.
Our player base is broadly distributed across the planet and they are engaging deeply with the game. Players clocked in a quarter of a billion hours in the first 2 weeks since we launched globally and they’re still playing intensely. It’s really exciting for all of us to experience this kind of player enthusiasm.