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Chris Plummer on how Warzone Mobile completes the Warzone ecosystem

We sat down with Chris Plummer, Co-head of Mobile at Activision, to talk all things Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile ahead of the release.

Official promo image for Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile interview piece with Chris Plummer showing an operator shooting at an unseen enemy

It’s the one so many of you have been waiting for: the release of Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is finally upon us. The iconic battle royale title from one of the biggest brands in gaming has finally landed on mobile, and to celebrate the release, we sat down with Chris Plummer, Senior Vice President and Co-Head of Mobile at Activision, to talk all things Warzone Mobile.

For a bit of context, Plummer is no stranger to mobile development or the Call of Duty series. He led the team behind Call of Duty: Mobile through its release, and the incredible success of that game made him the obvious choice to lead the way once again with Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile. From just a quick chat, it’s clear the series means a great deal to him, and his passion for all things Call of Duty is evident in his detailed answers.

As we only had fifteen minutes with Plummer, we wasted no time at all in our questioning of the Co-Head of Mobile. While those who have played a fair of Call of Duty will be well aware of the differences between the Warzone format and that of the main series, not everyone knows their Warzones from their Modern Warfares, so we led by asking Plummer how the Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile experience differs from that of Call of Duty: Mobile.

“The reason we’re we’re making this game and delivering it to players is that when we launched Warzone on console and PC, we saw how we started to unite our Call of Duty community across console and PC because we had this broader audience who could play free to play but also there was shared progression and connectivity of the content that allowed the community to have a single conversation. They’re talking about the same stuff, the same gun, the same new operator, they’re talking about their experiences like a shared communal thing. That accelerated the whole franchise and took the community to a new level.”

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Plummer continued, “We always wanted to provide that, complete the circle, if you will, for our community through mobile, but in order to do that, we needed to be on our own technology. It was the only way to deliver that shared experience with the unified content, the cross-progression, and things like that, so a big launching off point for this was to create a more connected experience to unify our Call of Duty community across console, PC, and mobile.”

Plummer’s answer makes it clear that Warzone Mobile isn’t just a new game but a completion of the Warzone ecosystem. This game is the final brick in the wall that Activision has been building since the arrival of the original Warzone in 2020. If you’re part of the Warzone community, you can now play wherever you are, with cross-progression ensuring you have one singular goal across all platforms. It’s an ecosystem few other battle royale games can compete with, and it’s sure to be a hit with fans of the series.

Still, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t the only mobile Call of Duty game. As we mentioned earlier, Plummer led the development of Call of Duty: Mobile, which arrived almost five years ago in October 2019. That game is a big success for the publisher giant, topping mobile game charts worldwide and amassing over 650 million downloads. With the achievements of Call of Duty: Mobile in mind, we asked Plummer if he’d learned anything from the development and continuation of this game while making Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile.

Official promo image for Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile interview piece with Chris Plummer showing an operator attacking from a jeep

“There’s so many things to learn from that, and we’re very fortunate to have that experience and have that amazing title in our portfolio. When we think about how you operate a live service, I think we learned a lot about that. If you look at the first six months of Call of Duty: Mobile, we adapted the service rapidly to what we saw players were doing, what they were excited about, and what type of content they were interested in. That’s been refined over four years, and we have a lot of that insight and learning. We do a lot of the live operations for that here, internally, through Solid State Studios. So, that learning is now carried over to our Warzone Mobile team, and that’s just on the live operations side.”

Plummer had more to say on what he’s learned from Call of Duty: Mobile, “I think from a gameplay and experience perspective, we hear about things like the progression and the content and wanting to be part of that ecosystem. There’s all this great Call of Duty content out there. Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy it on one platform and it’s there on the other? So, we learned a lot about that as well. We talked to a lot of mobile gamers and our Call of Duty players before we started doing too much work on Warzone Mobile to make sure that we understood what they’re looking for, making sure we’re complementing what’s out there and improving on it every step of the way.”

Official promo image for Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile interview piece with Chris Plummer showing various operators attacking from behind cover

With a bit more knowledge about how Warzone Mobile came to be and how it completes the Warzone ecosystem, we finally got the juicy bit. We asked Plummer what we could expect in terms of game modes from the new mobile Call of Duty experience and whether he had a favorite child of all those available to play at launch.

“There’s a lot of modes that have been introduced through the life of Warzone, and we played them all. We are interested in always refreshing our offering on Warzone Mobile so that there’s something new and different as each season comes around. We have a variety of different options for folks at worldwide launch, including the classic Warzone battle royale. We also have what we call Mobile Royale, a heavily modified version of the main battle royale that’s designed to work in ten minutes, which is great for mobile players. Sometimes, you have twenty minutes for a longer match, and sometimes you don’t. So, for folks who only have ten minutes to spare, we wanted to have a really authentic feeling, a really tight experience that feels great that you could play through in ten minutes. That’s Mobile Royale.”

Official promo image for Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile interview piece with Chris Plummer showing operators parachuting into a map

As for his favorite mode, Plummer told us, “I’m kind of old school, so I like going into the full-on battle royale with a quad and cruising through Verdansk, taking out squads and doing contracts and all that stuff. There was something magical about the Warzone battle royale configuration that brought more depth to the experience through the contracts and the economy, and the fact that you have this resource management element that you didn’t have to engage in as a new player but you come to realize is really important. You can buy kill streaks and you can buy your friends back in if they were taken out getting the second chance mechanic in the Gulag. All these things give Warzone a unique flavor, and so I personally love it.”

The inclusion of Mobile Royale is an interesting exclusive aspect of Warzone Mobile. Shorter game modes definitely have a place on mobile, just look at the success of Marvel Snap, and it’s clear that the team behind the game wants to offer something that suits the platform. We don’t always see mobile developers take the different patterns of mobile and console players into account, so it’s reassuring to see this awareness from the very top of the Warzone Mobile development tree.

While Plummer alluded to microtransactions in an earlier answer, detailing how cross-progression works across console, PC, and mobile versions of Warzone, I couldn’t help but ask for a little more detail on what we’re going to be paying for in the new mobile title. It’s no secret that free-to-play live service games rely on microtransactions to survive. After all, there’s no $50 entry charge for Warzone Mobile, so the studio needs to make money somehow. However, different publishers approach in-game transactions in different ways, so I wanted an idea of what you can expect from Activision’s mobile battle royale game.

Official promo image for Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile interview piece with Chris Plummer showing operators attacking from a quad bike

“First and foremost, if you’ve played Warzone on console or PC, you’ll see those same monetization options are available. That’s part of cross-progression, so you buy the battle pass and get all this great content, you buy bundles, and you get great content in the bundles, and those carry across to mobile. Or, you can buy them in Warzone Mobile, and they carry across to console and PC. That’s the heart and soul of it. We know mobile players sometimes have different tastes. Like we talked about with the play patterns and having some of the playlists augmented a little bit for mobile. The same is true with events, by the way, we tweak them and adjust them, and craft them for mobile players and mobile play patterns.”

It looks like there is some mobile exclusive content to look forward to, though, with Plummer going further, “Some mobile players want certain types of content that might not be in the battle pass or in the bundles, and so we offer some additional content for them, and that’s exclusive to mobile. It has its own monetization systems that are similar to what you see in other mobile games in the genre. We’ll have a handful of those and even some mobile-specific bundles and event rewards. So, there’s quite the variety, but it all starts with the stuff you’re familiar with from across the franchise.”

While this answer doesn’t give us much to go off in terms of in-game pricing, it’s exciting for potential players to know that there’s content unique to Warzone Mobile. It’s not a surprise from the developer, though. These exclusive bundles might bring in players who don’t always play mobile games but want exclusive content for their Warzone account. With the quality of the gameplay we’ve seen from pre-release trailers, we don’t think these types of players need much convincing, but it’s nice to have an exclusive content cherry on top.

Official promo image for Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile interview piece with Chris Plummer showing an operator sliding in to attack

As is the norm for gaming journalists, I couldn’t help but be a bit cheeky as the interview drew to a close, asking Plummer if we could expect any competitive events or tournaments soon. It’s a bit of a given with a game that lends itself to tournament play like Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile, but we had to ask anyway. Plummer’s answer was what we were expecting, with no real specifics, but it did hint at something for fans to look forward to.

“We know that the competitive spirit is strong in our community. It’s something that we’re well aware of from Call of Duty: Mobile and Warzone. We know what players get excited by there, so we have some interesting things cooking up, but nothing I can get into detail on at this time.”

Official promo image for Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile interview piece with Chris Plummer showing operators storming a castle-like fort

With that, my time with Plummer was up. It was a short and sweet interview, but if one thing came across during our chat, it’s how much Plummer and his team live and breathe Call of Duty. I don’t mean just the game, but the community, too. At every step of development, the team behind Warzone Mobile has soaked up feedback from testing while learning lessons from the continued success of the original Warzone and Call of Duty: Mobile. The result sounds like not only an engaging mobile experience but the completion of the Warzone ecosystem. If you’re a fan of the series, these are very exciting times, and there’s plenty to look forward to following the much-anticipated launch.

There you have it, our chat with Chris Plummer, Senior Vice President and Co-Head of Mobile at Activision, on the day of the big release of Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile. While you’re here, check out some of our other chats with developers with our Hearthstone anniversary interview and Warcraft Rumble interview. Or, if you’re interested in more of the latest games, see our Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection Switch review and Ex Astris review.