CoD Modern Warfare devs reveal surprising Fallout inspiration

CoD Modern Warfare devs reveal surprising Fallout inspiration

Written by 

Jack Marsh


25th Oct 2023 16:43

When Call of Duty entered the FPS market, there were a number of games already populating the charts, all differing in styles and appearance.

And just like how when Warzone launched the developers drew inspiration from other battle royale games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, back in the olden days, Call of Duty had plenty of titles to examine and steal ideas from.

In what turned out as a combination of Quake and CS:GO though, it was actually Fallout which had quite a large impact on the Call of Duty devs.

Ex-Call of Duty developer explains how Fallout inspired Modern Warfare

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One of the first things that Call of Duty did to stand out was up its weapon loadout customisation to encourage different ways to play the game, whether it was unlocking guns, adding attachments, or the perk system.

The latter of which, according to ex-Infinity Ward developer Mackey McCandlish, was nabbed straight off the Fallout shelf.

Speaking on how Infinity Ward added customisation beyond guns, McCandlish told IGN that, "on top of that, of course, unlocks and perks, which is a Fallout thing."

There was some tinkering to the system though, as McCandlish claimed that the IW team took the best part about Fallout's perk system and made it their own.

"In Fallout, the perk usually has a good side and a bad side of the coin. So we [said] 'Eh, we don't need the bad side as much,' but we will keep this idea of creating your own character from the collection of positive characteristics you want for your character. And that also helped define the game and set it apart from the games at the time," he continued.

Call of Duty originally wanted to be a 'better Counter-Strike' 

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Drawing inspiration from Fallout wasn't their only focus though, as Call of Duty was actually supposed to be like Counter-Strike and subsequently usurp it in the market. 

But it was early on in which Infinity Ward realised that this wasn't possible - and to no surprise considering Counter-Strike's adaptability to fend off competitors.

In McCandlish's words, it was the first Modern Warfare game (Call of Duty 4), where Infinity Ward took the reigns and "finally gave up on the idea that we were making a better version of Counter-Strike," after the mediocre releases of the first three games.

This was a ground-breaking year for Call of Duty too, as many forget what happened before CoD 4, which, in most fan's eyes, was when the game began to flourish.

And it looks like Call of Duty owes a lot of its success to Fallout, where combined with its epiphany that the franchise can be a game of its own, CoD began to grow into the beast it is today.

Jack Marsh
About the author
Jack Marsh
Jack is an Esports Journalist at GGRecon. Graduating from the University of Chester, with a BA Honours degree in Journalism, Jack is an avid esports enthusiast and specialises in Rocket League, Call of Duty, VALORANT, and trending gaming news.
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