No matter what your preference is when it comes favoured wartime shooter game, it’s the cash that talks when declaring which title was the most popular experience of the year. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 looks like another runaway hit this year, selling enough copies to allow Activision head Bobby Kotick to finally have that eye surgery so that he could replace his regular peepers with robotic dollar signs.
So, is Call of Duty an unstoppable franchise juggernaut that looks set to dominate the industry? Not if former Activision head Dusty Welch and his upcoming shooter has anything to say about it.
Welch recently formed U4iA Games, with the sole intent to beat Call of Duty at its own game, and dethrone in the FPS genre.
spent as the senior vice president and head of publishing at Activision for a number of years, Dusty Welch seems justifiably confident in his latest venture. As the head of the newly founded U4iA Games, he has only one goal on his mind: dethrone Call of Duty as the top competitive FPS series.
So how exactly do you beat a title that has managed to sell almost 7 million units since it launched? Easy says Welch, make the game free to play. "I created Call Of Duty to dethrone the established leaders back in the early 2000s, and you bet my goal at U4iA is to repeat that success again”, Welch said.
“Providing a AAA, first person shooter experience in a browser is really what the end game is for us. And I think that’s going to help lead the new dynamic and a transition of gamers into the social".
The idea of freemium games has been noticeably successful as of late, with online titles such as DC Universe Online, Team Fortress and League of Legends adopting the approach, offering players content for free, while keeping the more advantageous aspects at a price.
Welch and his team will still have their work cut out for them, as he talked about the project to Game Effect with a little confidence. "I think that yeah, U4iA can match or exceed the user base that Riot is experiencing today”.
“Much bigger genre, sticky proposition, e-sport competitive first person shooters are the hallmark of why so many gamers are playing on Xboxes and PlayStation 3s today, and we’re going to provide a whole unique way to experience that in a AAA free-to-play package."
Welch is no stranger to success, having had a hand in steering the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises to early victories, but only time will tell if his ambitious project will be a COD rival or a flash in the pan.
Last Updated: November 29, 2011