Flashback to over a decade ago: you couldn’t move in a newsagent without seeing a video game magazine that had ‘Halo/Mario/GTA killer’ as a massive coverline spread across an image of some new video game. The idea of one game ‘killing’ another was embedded deep in the lexicon of gamers and the gaming press back in the day. To the extent that, in development, the very first Call of Duty was actively being referred to as ‘Medal of Honor Killer’ early in development, reports MCV.
That was what the game was actually called. That was its placeholder name in the beginning.
“The project was actually named ‘MOH killer’ until an official name could be found,” explained former Infinity Ward artist Justin Thomas.
The original Call of Duty was actually developed by many of the folks who worked on the Medal of Honor franchise all those years ago so, in that sense, the title made sense.
“We were focused more on fun than success,” Thomas continued, “with the idea that if it was fun, it would be successful. We were just going to make a great game, and do the things better than we did on previous projects. The great thing is that a team learns from previous projects.”
It’s funny how that idea has been so prevalent in video games — since the beginning really. I remember the flood of games designed to be ‘Street Fighter II killers’. The games designed to be ‘Mario killers’. Then ‘Halo killers’ was the big thing. The idea of video game series’ being designed to ‘kill’ others has sort of faded from consciousness — we don’t really say it out loud anymore — but the idea behind it persists. Games tend to ape others, publishers demand ‘their’ version of the video game selling millions of units. It’s a funny old business.