SAN FRANCISCO—Activision has taken the wraps off its first major Call of Duty video game for smartphones. The title is simple enough: Call of Duty Mobile. The online, multiplayer-only game will arrive later this year, but neither Activision nor any of its Western CoD-focused studios will lead the game’s development.
Instead, dev duties will be handled by Tencent, one of China’s leading mobile-game publishing houses. (Activision did not clarify any particular studio taking the lead within Tencent on this game.)
Call of Duty Mobile was unveiled at today’s Unity keynote presentation as part of the 2019 Game Developer Conference, because it has been built in the Unity Engine. An Activision representative at the Unity event said that players can expect “beloved maps, competitive game modes, and signature combat mechanics from [Call of Duty entries like] Black Ops and Modern Warfare.” Teased maps coming to the series’ first-ever mobile version include Nuketown, Hijacked, and Crash, and fans can expect traditional CoD multiplayer systems like kill streaks.
In terms of modes, Activision said players can expect either 10-player free-for-all combat or five-on-five modes like team deathmatch and search-and-destroy. The event did not include any mention or hint of a potential 100-player battle royale mode, as seen in the PC and console versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Activision promises “60 frames-per-second graphics, low latency, and super responsive controls” in the game to come. No raw gameplay was shown, however, so it remains to be seen how important aspects like on-screen controls and general UI will look. We’re also in the dark about how monetization and microtransactions will figure into the experience. A brief demonstration of CoD Mobile‘s current state, as broken down in the Unity Editor, included explanations of mobile-friendly graphics tricks like static shadow masks and dynamic, cascaded shadow maps.
Interested players can now pre-register at callofduty.com for the iOS and Android versions.