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[Update] Call Of Duty Could Have Gone To Ancient Rome

by Mike Futter on Jul 07, 2016 at 09:20 AM

Update: An Activision spokesperson has offered a statement on the rumored Call of Duty:Roman Wars project, identifying at as a proposal and nothing more. You can find the statement below.

The game concept was proposed by a former employee while working at the studio, but was not seriously considered nor requested to move to prototype.

Original story published July 6, 2016 07:52 a.m. CT:

Vicarious Visions, a study now known for its work on the multi-billion dollar Skylander series, once had a big idea for the Call of Duty franchise. The studio pitched an idea to bring players back to ancient Rome on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

According to a report on GamesRadar, players would have taken up arms in Call of Duty: Roman Wars as part of Julius Caesar’s Tenth Legion. Development sprung off of Vicarious Visions’ work on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, and the new game started off with that camera perspective.

It would have taken players through historic battles with Germanic armies in third person, but there would be first-person moments also. Those would have used a combat system borrowed from Xbox 360 launch title Condemned: Criminal Origins. That game featured a more methodical melee system that put emphasis on dodging and parrying.

Ultimately, Activision balked at attaching the Call of Duty name to something that diverged so drastically. The game never made it past the concept stage.

When we first looked at the video yesterday (viewable at GamesRadar), we noted that Ubisoft’s name and logo were on flags. GamesRadar dug back in and found out that eventually, members of the team spun off from Activision. 

They pitched the game without the Call of Duty name to Ubisoft. While Roman Wars never saw the light of day, perhaps some of its concepts will be present in Ubisoft’s For Honor, launching on February 14, 2017.

[Source: GamesRadar]


Our Take
I can understand why Activision was hesitant. The concept isn’t a bad one, but the Call of Duty brand can’t be used as a shotgun. Consumers would have likely been confused by the game under that umbrella and it may have ultimately hurt the franchise. Regardless, this is an interesting story, especially with the Ubisoft twist at the end.