Is 'Call of Duty' Looking to 'Fortnite' for a Model of Success?

A new job listing from 'Candy Crush' studio King offers clues to the first-person shooter's move to mobile.
Screengrab/Activision; Courtesy of King

Mobile game studio King, best known for the hit puzzler Candy Crush, recently posted a job listing for a level designer for a new Call of Duty project in Stockholm.

"In collaboration with Activision Blizzard, we are adapting one of the most iconic game franchises of all-time: Call of Duty," the listing reads. "The aim is to create a Call of Duty experience on mobile, while also breaking new ground for mobile and redefining the genre. The approach and ambition is to be fresh, social, and highly accessible, while providing a very authentic game experience."

Call of Duty is one of the best-selling video game franchises in history, having topped $15 billion in sales since its inception in 2003. Activision Blizzard obtained King as a subsidiary in 2015. Meanwhile, King, which outside of its flagship Candy Crush franchise is also behind a number of other successful mobile games, has generated more than $1.5 billion since its founding in 2003.

The new listing provides a number of hints of what gamers may be able to expect from the new mobile title. "We believe that levels are the stage upon which the game is played, and an integral part to the experience," the listing reads. "The better the stage, the better the experience!"

Naturally, hiring a level designer to punch up and create new settings implies a wholly new experience, not a simple port of previous titles. Furthermore, the listing states, "You will work both to create and refine our levels but also to find and fine-tune our level design language. It is your job to find the right metrics, pacing and balance that [harmonizes] levels with core gameplay and then making sure this language is maintained across the board."

The Call of Duty mobile game was first announced in April 2017, so any new designer will be coming into a project already well underway, but the gaming landscape has changed significantly in that short amount of time as Epic Games' Fortnite is raking in profits and dominating the video game zeitgeist. Epic recently announced a mobile version of Fortnite in March and promised cross-platform play with Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC gamers.

The move to mobile for a game as popular as Fortnite (which generated $223 million in March alone and is free to download and play) has no doubt drawn the attention of others in the industry. Given Call of Duty's established popularity as a known IP and King's track record of creating profitable mobile games, it is possible that Call of Duty might be eyeing a similar move and making its mobile iteration of the shooter more than just a simple port of the console titles.

Requests for comment from King and Activision Blizzard were not immediately returned.

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