Sep 08 / 2011
"Now that Call of Duty XP is over with, what's next for Sledgehammer? I assume you guys aren't done with the game quite yet?"
Call of Duty XP 2011! What an event! It was truly remarkable. From the opening keynote to the closing Kanye West concert, the show exceeded every one of my expectations. The best part for me was the validation by the fans that the MW3 MP and Spec Ops: Survival Modes were great. A ton of passion and heart has gone into the development of MW3, and seeing thousands of fans playing and enjoying the game was heartwarming. There is a ton of coverage on the event at http://www.callofduty.com/xp and @GuyBeahm is putting up some Sledgehammer Games' exclusive coverage at www.sledgehammergames.com.
Now that we are back, the focus is 100% on polishing the game and driving to software Final. The final touches are going in, the last bits of icing are being put on the cake, and we have an army of QA testers working their butts off to ensure we have a very solid piece of software ready for submission. Dedicated Servers for PC is a big effort at SHG and a lot of engineering brains are driving hard to bring that to fans on 11.8.11 as well.
What many gamers may not know is that it takes double digit weeks of time to clear 1st party approval at MSFT or Sony, to manufacture the discs and boxes, and to get them to retail stores for the fans. When you are talking about a game on the scale of Call of Duty, the manufacturing and distribution models gets strained to their maximum capacity. It's a good problem to have, I suppose, but it siphons off precious time at the tail end of the schedule leading up to release. November still seems a little ways away, but that time will get eaten up quickly. We are driving hard to maximize every last opportunity before we go into 1st Party.
To offset the stress of the final sprint, I am sending Schofield on a four week global PR trip starting this weekend. His first stop is Tokyo Game Show next week, and from there he heads across Europe to share MW3 with our fans across the pond. If I paid the right people the right amount of money, his tickets and passport just may get lost somewhere along the way, and we might not see him again until December. But don't worry, he's a big boy and would do fine in a small Turkish prison for a few months.
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