From the “we knew this day would come but it’s still pretty surreal to see it arrive” file comes this: King is hiring. That in itself isn’t such a big deal. It’s the fact that the company is hiring people to help create a Call of Duty game that is the newsworthy bit here.
You’ve got to assume that moves like this were sort of the point of Activision Blizzard acquiring King last year. King brings in revenue just fine on its own thanks to its various Saga games, but you had to figure that sooner or later the parent company would ask for some assistance in turning some of the larger IPs it owns into bona fide mobile game smashes.
Call of Duty is one of the most bankable video game IPs around. The trick is to keep what console gamers love about it intact while making it something distinctly mobile at the same time. And that seems to be what King is attempting according to its career page:
Our challenge as a team is to create a Call of Duty experience on mobile that will strive to transform the best console experience fans know and love, while also breaking new ground for mobile and redefining the genre. Our approach and ambition is to be fresh, social, and highly accessible, while providing a very authentic game experience.
So, uh, no pressure or anything! That’s more info than is on the actual jobs page, which only say the team is looking for an art director, level designer and various systems designers for “an exciting new project” in Stockholm.
Activision has actually found some decent success with Call of Duty games designed specifically for mobile on its own, including Call of Duty: Strike Team, which could be called something of a traditional experience on mobile, and Call of Duty: Heroes, a build-and-battle game that definitely is not. We’re going to assume for the sake of argument this isn’t going to be a CoD match-3 game or anything, but you never know. For the intrigue factor alone, it’s worth keeping your ear to the ground on this one.