"There's always that kind of stuff, and it's constantly being thought of. That's right out of the gate, two months into development, we said hey, let's try some crazy jump stuff. And now it's a full feature within the game. Normally the first couple of months after a project's over are kind of experimentation time, and people just go crazy to find something that works in there, and that we were able to take and really iterate on." Sledgehammer is hoping that the new Exoskeleton abilities, which allow players to jump, dive and slide all over the place, will successfully find that balance between new angles for Call of Duty, and keeping that familiar feel intact. Advanced Warfare is also one of the first Call of Duty games really being built with eSports in mind, leaving a question of how exactly you take this already teetering gameplay balance and throw specific competitive play elements into the mix. "A lot of it is making sure we know what the eSports community is interested in, so we can build features to help them," answers Reisdorf. "We listen to their feedback and want to provide them with support, but just as much as anybody else."
"We asked ourselves, what is the core? What makes Call of Duty what it is?"
"Casual gamers are the majority of our audience, and the game is built for them," he notes. "But the game is also built for eSports, because at the end of the day, it has to be a competitive game - if it's not competitive, that means it's not balanced. That means no-one's having fun, and it's not going to be around for very long." In other words, Sledgehammer believes that working the competitive side of Call of Duty more firmly into the core of the franchise will benefit every style of player. "The more we can look at it from a competitive side and engage those guys and say hey, exploit this, break this, show us what's happening. Then we go and fix that, and make sure we're accommodating that and we know that we have solutions to these problems," he adds. "To really help everyone to make the game more competitive for everybody, and make every weapon and combination viable to use."