Hollywood and video games are two broad generic terms that go together like sunshine and rain. This doesn’t stop Activision or anybody else in Southern California from throwing those terms around loosely when it comes time to talk about the Call of Duty franchise. Now that Call of Duty: Black Ops II has enlisted the help of former Nine Inch Nails dude Trent Reznor and screenwriter David S Goyer (he wrote some movie called Dark Knight Rises) we’re seeing the same theory put to the test all over again.
My take on this occasion is this: it doesn’t matter if you get Martin Scorcese and Bootsy Collins to collaborate on Call of Duty because the mission of the folks behind a video game is the same as it’s ever been. Make a quality product. Throwing a known creative person into the mix gets great press like you’re reading now, but, if anything, it raise expectations that this person will know how to bring their creative success to a video game. Reznor and Goyer are known to be good at what they do already. Doesn’t mean they know how to do this. And if Black Ops II ends up smashing sales records again, it’s unlikely it’ll be because of the work these two lads have done. It’l likely be because using the Quadrotor drone is a perfect balance of risk and reward and there’s no more hackery going on where the guy you’re shooting at can see you first. That’s how you sell billions of dollars of CoD.