Activision's Call of Duty: The phone had an explosive start. The multiplayer-battle royale hybrid game surpassed 35 million downloads within a week of release. According to Sensor Tower, Call of Duty: Mobile racked up 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 phone growth.
We spoke with Chris Plummer, vice president of mobile at Activision, about the popularity of Call of Duty: Mobile in India. Plummer also clarified how the game is different from the popular PUBG Mobile battle royale game. Here are edited excerpts.
Did you anticipate such an overwhelming response in the first week of release?
We were very humiliated by the response in the first week. There were signs that a Call of Duty: Mobile-quality game could really take off, but you never know until players start getting involved with the game and telling their friends. Call of Duty always has such a good community and we are excited to see so many new players enjoying the franchise. We still have a lot of work to do and we hope players will always come back for new experiences and updates in the coming weeks.
Did you expect India to contribute a large amount of downloads? What are your main observations about the Indian gaming community?
We saw a lot of interest from players in India when we tested the game from the beginning. This helped us ensure that the quality of the network was strong in India and we wanted to make sure that players in India remained engaged and enthusiastic, but we didn't know how popular it would be until after the global launch. It's a pleasure 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 insight into the genre from within the Call of Duty universe, specifically created and adapted for Call of Duty: Mobile. We emphasize vehicles, including ATV, helicopter, SUV and tactical raft, enabling faster travel with your squad and encouraging land, sea and air combat. Also, another thing that sets us apart is that players can choose an Operator class before entering battle, where each Operator has two unique actionable equipment items for that class. For example, you can equip a hook while a teammate equips recovery equipment.
Electronic 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 the moment.
Read also: Beginners of CoD Mobile, Chris Plummer, Vice President of Activision, has some interesting tips for you.
Hacking and workarounds are some of the common challenges for gaming companies. What are your cheat policies?
We closely monitor the game environment to ensure a fair and enjoyable experience for all our players. This includes collaboration between our live development, publishing and service partners and is always evolving to adapt to changing player bases and game needs.
Also read: PUBG Mobile: If you cheat, your ID will be banned for 10 years
How much effort has been made to optimize COD Mobile for next-generation phones and slower networks in markets like India?
Great efforts have been made to optimize Call of Duty: Mobile for the widest range of devices while achieving the signature Call of Duty graphics quality that fans expect. We will continue to optimize the game to reach the widest range of players and devices that can be reasonably addressed while ensuring that the quality of the experience remains high. Currently, the game plays very well on midsize devices, excelling in more advanced hardware.
Controller support has long been required by fans. When will the game come?
We hear players and hear them loud and clear in support of control. We are currently testing controller support and considering bringing it to the game sometime in the future. Our goal is to ensure that controller support is implemented and balanced appropriately. Wait for more information as this develops.
What comes next for COD Mobile? What are the new features or updates that we will see?
We have big plans for new features, options, in-game events, and more. We have already turned some new maps and modes in and out since the global release and will strive to keep the game up to date. For example, the Gun Game was recently added to the spin, followed by the rocket-only arena modeze. Therefore, return to the game regularly.
Can you tell us about COD Mobile users? Demographic users, assets, time spent, or the like.
Our player base is widely distributed all over the planet and they are getting deeply involved with the game. Players have clocked a quarter of a billion hours in the first two weeks since we launched globally and are still playing hard. It is really exciting for us all to experience this kind of enthusiasm from the players.