John Carmack doesn’t agree with your criticism of Modern Warfare

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Modern Warfare 3 is shaping up to be another game for the fans, containing all the series trademarks such as smooth visuals, massive explosions and multiplayer sessions populated with global players who can’t wait to teabag your digital corpse. On the other side of the scale however, are the detractors of the franchise, who claim that the latest game is merely recycling previous content in order to push a game out, unlike their favourite upcoming game that also features soldiers fighting a contemporary battle. John Carmack doesn’t think that such a snooty attitude is fair however.

In an interview with Industry Gamers,Id Software’s John Carmack explained how he thought that it was unfair for the Call of Duty franchise to be attacked for not revolutionising the genre with each iteration.

That’s still a proven formula that people like, and it’s a mistake to (discount that). As long as people are buying it, it means they’re enjoying it. If they buy the next Call of Duty, it’s because they loved the last one and they want more of it. So I am pretty down on people who take the sort of creative auteurs’ perspective.

It’s like, Oh we’re not being creative. But we’re creating value for people, that’s our job! It’s not to do something that nobody’s ever seen before. It’s to do something that people love so much they’re willing to give us money for. So I do get pretty down on people that, you see some of the indie developers that really take a snooty attitude about this. It’s almost as if it’s popular, it’s not good. And that’s just not true.

Carmack then went on to explain how the popularity and sales numbers of Call of Duty has validated what he and his development company, id, set out to achieve.

It’s interesting that over the course of it, once FPS kind of got out of being the sole property of id, it seemed clear to me that when we reached a certain level of visual fidelity, that third person was going to have certain significant advantages because you can use the tools of the director,these established, finely honed cinematography skills to do things in games that we never did before.

I was more or less expecting third person to be the more popular set of genres and indeed it was looking like, with Gears’ success, that even in the serious action (genre), that it might end up trending more that way.

And I’ve actually been really happy seeing the success of Call of Duty, which is also a 60 fps game, which would validate some of my (thinking). That was one of our big arguments internally as we were stressing over that, like, ‘Y’know, I think some of the success of Call of Duty is because of how good it feels.

If there is anyone in the industry who can talk about the FPS genre without being heckled, its definitely Carmack, and its great to hear a developer emphasise fun over big ideas for once.

Read  Where to find all 33 mementos in Call of Duty: WWII

Source: Industrygamers.com via Computerandvideogames.com

Last Updated: July 20, 2011

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Reed

    I don’t actually have a problem with Call of Duty itself and I do understand what John Carmack is saying and I’m not a pretentious hipster. Back when Call of Duty 2 came out, it was a unique and new way to go about first-person shooters and I thought it was the coolest thing on earth when I first played it. The problem that I see is that more companies have been trying to make clones of Call of Duty because it’s the safest option to break even with production costs and their products aren’t as good as Call of Duty. It’s almost like when Burger King had tacos on the menu, but were even worse than Taco Bell’s. Call of Duty itself isn’t bad, it’s how other game companies have responded that have made it somewhat of a bad thing. This sort of thing often happens when a very popular game comes out, however. Until the first Half-Life game, every shooter wanted to be Quake. There’s also games that are great that get swept under the rug by popular games. I loved Duke Nukem 3D and Halo: Combat Evolved, but I’m also sad that DN 3D swept Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall under the table and Halo swept Timesplitters under the table. Now, hopefully Timesplitters can come back in a similar way to the Elder Scrolls series, or maybe something new entirely, but I don’t hate the Halo series for it and I still think that Halo’s elements and flavor had its own entertainment value.

    In short, my real issue isn’t that Call of Duty exists, it’s that everyone is trying to be Call of Duty instead becoming the next ground-breaking first-person shooter. Call of Duty, Halo and Doom weren’t created by conforming; all of those games came completely out of left field.

    And pretty much all shooters that aren’t RPGs are repetitive in one way or another (hell, even the RPGs… I’m looking at you Borderlands). I personally prefer monsters with Gatling guns for arms over Nazis and terrorists, but every once in a while a real life bad guy is fun to shoot.

  • mornelithe

    Rofl, yes, because clearly Mr. Carmack’s recent achievements in gaming are proof that he knows what he’s talking about. Look dude, you go ahead and keep living off of your decades old achievements in Doom and Quake, while over-hyping piles of crap (Rage). Given the amount of people who criticize CoD, it’s clear that you just aren’t in-tune with what a good chunk of gamer’s desire. Yes, there are plenty of people who love CoD, and those fans propel CoD’s take to meteoric levels (typically), but that isn’t everyone. It doesn’t mean that those who dislike/hate or simply criticize CoD are wrong, it just means they have different tastes (namely, they like a good story, decent amount of gameplay…and a single player campaign that isn’t simply training for the MP component)

  • mornelithe

    Well, I’m one of the people who won’t be buying it. But, I agree with you, I’m not over CoD either, which is why I still routinely play CoD 1: United Offensive and CoD 2. Where it all started, and peaked.

  • mornelithe

    Yeah, Justin Bieber has sold millions of albums also. Popularity doesn’t denote quality.

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