Infinity Ward’s decision to finally leave the Axis and Allies behind for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a long time coming, but could have been even longer if publisher Activision had their way. In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, the developer revealed how they wanted to move to modern warfare, and to consoles, years ago, but Activision’s top brass weren’t ready to decommission the WWII money making machine.
“With Call of Duty 2, we were dead set against it being World War 2,” IW’s Chief Creative Officer Vince Zampella said, “but Activision really wanted it, the compromise sort of being that we’d get some dev kits for consoles in exchange for doing a World War 2 game. We always wanted to be on consoles and Activision saw us as more of a PC developer.”
Even after returning to the WWII well for Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 3, Activision was still scared of deviating from the played-out time period.
“Activision also did not want Modern Warfare,” said Zampella. “They thought working on a modern game was risky and [thought], ‘oh my god you can’t do that, it’s crazy!’ They were doing market research to show us we were wrong the whole time.”
“We had to fight for everything,” added Project Lead Jason West. “They wanted it to be World War 2. Again.”