What Is Call of Duty Online?

Activision and Tencent's free-to-play shooter is a big hit, so why is it only available in China? 

Every year, Activision releases a Call of Duty game for consoles and PC, and every year it turns out to be a massive hit. However, one thing you may not realize is that not every Call of Duty game has been a U.S. release. In fact, there's one particular game that's been a huge hit overseas, without getting any form of domestic release. Activision released Call of Duty Online to the Chinese gaming market back in 2013 as part of an alpha and closed beta. It officially launched with an open beta in January 2015 and has since become one of the most popular free-to-play shooters on the market. Here's a quick breakdown of what Call of Duty Online is, and why we haven't had a chance to play it.

Getting To Know Call of Duty Online

The game is a partnership deal between Activision and Tencent Holdings, one of the biggest gaming companies in China.The game was put together by Activision Shanghai and Raven Software but has been published, marketed, and distributed strictly by Tencent. The game is built like a traditional Call of Duty game with a campaign featuring a newcomer by the name of Rook who fights alongside Captain Price, John "Soap" MacTavish, and Simon "Ghost" Riley from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series. Little is known about Call of Duty Online’s campaign other than the fact that it's structured in a similar manner to other story modes in the Call of Duty series.

Call of Duty Online also features a Survival Mode in which players can take on consistent waves of enemies, as well as a traditional multiplayer component. The multiplayer takes place across a number of maps featured in Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops ranging from a modified version of Carnival to classics like Ambush, Highrise, and Killhouse. In addition, Call of Duty Online also features a Zombies mode – but without the Zombies. The reason for this is because Chinese gamers look at the undead in a different manner than U.S. gamers, and although games like Dead Rising are fairly big hits in that market, Activision chose to change them into robots.

In Call of Duty Online, you face off against these robots in a mode called Cyborg Rising where you fight in familiar areas including Nacht der Untoten using whatever weapons you can find to stay alive through successive stages. There’s also a version of the Evacuation mode, but with more robots. Your job in the Evacuation mode is to fight through various maps and track down survivors while fending off the robotic horde. The game can be played with up to six players bringing full team tactics into play as you try to earn Killstreaks, take down a massive boss mother ship, and clean house on several waves of robots.

A variation of this mode called Death March is also available, where you escort survivors from point A to point B while fending off enemies. Three maps are available in Death March: Arsenal, Night Farm, and Suburb. Call of Duty Online is a fairly big deal in the free-to-play market. It's attracted millions of players, and Tencent even went as far as to recruit Captain America actor Chris Evans to help add hype to the game upon release.

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About The Author: Robert Workman

Robert has spent years working as a devoted video game enthusiast/journalist/beer drinky guy. He knows his way around good social media and game streaming. In his spare time, he’s quite the beer snob, enjoys a good flick like anyone else and, of course, playing video games.

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