Developing ‘Call of Duty Elite’ is as Intense as Playing It

Call of Duty gamers are a demanding bunch. Not just because of their passion for the game itself, but because of performance they expect. It’s a really fun game that’s filled with hard problems for both players and developers to solve.

“It’s fun to work on stuff like that,” says Doug Muir, Technical Director of Beachhead Studios – Activision/Blizzard, which develops Call of Duty Elite.

The scale of the game’s data is intense. First, the Call of Duty universe has more than 20 million active players. Call of Duty Elite has had 10 million registrations over the past year. And, more than 100 matches are played every second — every second — in the Call of Duty universe. That’s an intense gamer base that’s cranking out a ton of data all the time. For Muir’s team, that means being able to take the data, process it and present it to the user in a way that’s hopefully interesting and compelling.

Can You Solve Problems?

Beachhead Studios uses a host of technologies and programming languages that developers and engineers have access to. While it’s great to get people with tons of specific tech skills, managers there understand few people that will be able to come in and learn how to use them all.

If you want to work there, you need to look at problems, come up with solutions, act on them accordingly and own them, says Sean Berry, a senior back-end engineer. Every person needs to be able to set their own goals and drive them themselves. There isn’t a heavy management hand. You need to be a self-starter and manage your own time. Says Muir: “We’re looking for really smart guys that want to get stuff done,” said Muir.

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