'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2' - Infinity Ward Talks Callsigns And Community
New callsigns and kill streaks in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" have made their way through several gaming news cycles. Infinity Ward's announcement of their new multiplayer features took center stage at their press event Tuesday in Los Angeles, and the one of the big names there to introduce their fame-making gameplay innovations was community manager Robert Bowling.
Bowling not only sits in Infinity Ward's watchtower for gameplay interaction and online conversations; he seeks out the Twitter and message board trenches, engaging gamers and figuring out what they want. Bowling agreed to a few questions on Tuesday night and offered some details on how many callsigns there are, where new ones will come from and what Infinity Ward's next steps will be at launch.
"When you first start out you only have a few titles and emblems," Bowling told MTV News. New titles and emblems will appear according to weapon usage, in-game actions and rank.
"As you rank up, you automatically get a new title. Llike I’m a sergeant, now I have a Sergeant title. But now say, when I was ranking up I only used pistols, so now you’ll not only get icons for your rank, you’ll also get titles and emblems that are pistol-focused."
Just how many unlockable status titles can you potentially activate to show to your multiplayer pals? Bowling said Infinity Ward isn't releasing the exact number, but he did give a fuzzy figure of "several hundred."
"You might see one that you have no idea how you get it, what they did to get it," he explained. But that's how the fun and surprises happen. Bowling revealed that new callsigns will be added in future patches, and current callsigns come from behavior he's already observed.
"Like with 'Call of Duty 4,' we had this player called Only Use Knife. All he ever did was stab people. I’d play games with him and all he does is hide in a bush and run out and stab people. He’s never shot a weapon. We checked his profile, and he’s never killed anyone with a bullet. So now he has like 30,000 knife kills."
Even beyond kills, whether its camping, moving in special ways or figuring out how to use your environment, any in-game actions you take can accumulate and label you for other players. Even if a title isn't already waiting to be unlocked, if players are doing it, Bowling wants to reward them.
"I’m very excited that we’ve announced callsigns, because now I can go to the community before we ship and say, here they are – what do you think? What do you think would be good ones?" he said.
Adding new callsigns won't be where new patches and uses for the feature end. Bowling fully intends to take them beyond Xbox Live and Infinity Ward's website.
"I totally plan to do Facebook Connect integrations, Twitter stuff, and an iPhone app," he noted.
His ultimate hope though? He sounded mischievous when mentioning how specific some of the action combinations will have to be to unlock a callsign. In his words, he's very confident in the challenges ahead for players:
"We did stuff that we think are crazy and most people will never see."
What will you be known for on "Modern Warfare 2"? What should Bowling and Infinity Ward be watching when you play? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.