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Activision considered making a Call of Duty game set in ancient Rome

A new report reveals that Activision considered making Call of Duty: Roman Wars for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This wild spin-off of Activision's popular franchise would have mixed first and third-person combat and it would have been set in ancient Rome, but it never got past the prototype stage.

GamesRadar+ reports that the game was being made by a team at Activision-owned studio Vicarious Visions. The article includes a blurry video of a prototype for Call of Duty: Roman Wars that was used as the team's main presentation. The game itself would have followed a soldier assigned to Julius Caesar's Tenth Legion, One of the article's sources, who calls himself "Polemus" stated:

"I really thought an ancient warfare game would do well, re-skinned with the Call of Duty engine," says Polemus. "Basically we were following Julius Caesar's Tenth Legion – his special forces during those times - and we were doing a one level prototype based on the Battle of Alesia. So we built the one mission based on that. We had everything from riding horses, to riding an elephant, to working with catapults. All done in the Unreal Engine for rapid prototyping".

The prototype for the game was completed and shown to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. While Call of Duty: Roman Wars got a good reception, the decision was later made not to go ahead with the project, because it deviated too much from the Call of Duty branding. If the game had gone forward, it would have been released in 2013. Ironically, Microsoft and Crytek released their own ancient Roman action game, Ryse, as a launch title for the Xbox One in 2013.

46 Comments
  • Hahaha. They have been told a thousand times that we are sick of this Halo crap and they wouldn't listen. Everyone goes nuts over the previews of the upcoming Battlefield One, and now Activision wants to finally try to change it up. Clowns.
  • Huh? This was 4 years ago..
  • that's what they want you to think.
  • sounds like a little kid crying for attention saying that they thought of something first.
  • I'm laughing, twit
  • oh my bad. i didnt mean this as a reply to your comment. i mean call of duty developers are crying
  • Your the clown lol you have just skimmed the article and made yourself look like a fool! :D
  • It's "you're" not your.
  • YOU'RE the down
  • Activision are the worst money grabbing ass holes going, I just wish people would just wakeup to the way use gamers, & have no real interest in gamer's enjoyment, once they have your £ $ €..
  • I realised that the day they released BO3 for ps3/Xbox360, which was just the shell of the actual game, the zombies was buggy, and multiplayer crashed the console. Took 3-4 months for it to be patched and fixed, and even then there was tons of back-end server issues that took longer to fix. Throughout the whole thing, there was no customer support for the last-gen users. Honestly they shouldn't have even released it to last-gen. But of course they did, because despite the problems with the game, they'd still be getting customers money. Made me lose all trust for both Treyach and Activision when it comes to CoD. CoD in my opinion is getting boring now anyway. It's the same game every time but reskinned and with 1 or 2 small new features. :P
  • I bet they're all jerk faces with pent up anger from thier SD400 powered phones.....
  • I used to love playing COD when it was set during the world wars, now I don't touch it. A game set back in Rome would be awesome.
  • I would like this game to let one have guns from ww2 to mow the SAVAGES down with...
  • MEOW!
  • This would be so much better, than the future s*it they're making today... :D
  • Yea, you should check Gameranx. Infinite Warfare is getting alot of hate. The official trailer is the second most hated video on YouTube, after "baby" by Justin Bieber. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yep, it's "cool" to make fun of CoD right now. Little to do with the actual games, mind you, other than perhaps a preference by some for a different theme than what they're doing. But the nastiness is on such another level that it has clearly just become the popular thing to do. The games themselves are very high quality. Ah well. They still sell, so either the people who like to make snarky remarks aren't really that disenchanted with it, or they're not the ones buying and the fans of the series are still into it.
  • There always will be people, who buy them, because it's the next COD. I just don't like, that they're doing the same with this future stuff for god knows how long now. And COD 2 is still one of my favorite FPS games ever :D
  • I DO buy them because it's the next CoD... because they have not disappointed me (well, CoD3 was a bit of a disaster). I agree that we could use a change of venue soon. But I also feel that people are being very much overly harsh. These games have a three year development cycle now... they have to anticipate what people will want three years later. This isn't really the SAME thing... this one looks to actually go into space (I know there was a very small portion of Ghosts that did that). Personally, I would like them to go back to WWII for a title or two. And do a better job alternating themes over the years... there's no reason we need all three developers focusing on roughly similar settings and time periods. However, the amount of hate that has been brandished to Infinity Ward on this title is just light years beyond ridiculous. I should note that I am strictly a campaign player... I don't understand the appeal of the multiplayer at all.
  • I think I've played one Cod before, and I liked it, but it was hard. I constantly died. I'm a Battlefield guy, but I wouldn't say because of preference. I just never really got the chance to pay Cod much. Lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "Little to do with the actual games" No, the games have been a mess for years now. MW2 was barely passable because it was an imbalanced mess with great maps. BO and BO2 were fine, though not great. MW3 and Ghosts were indefensible garbage (note they're from the devs of Infinite Warfare). Advanced Warfare was generally junk. BO3 tried to throw a million non-shooting things together and made guns a second-class citizen. The franchise has been in steep decline for a while now. Yeah, it's become popular to hate CoD, but it's got a LOT to do with how imbalanced and ADHD-driven these anti-gun "shooters" have been for a while now.
  • Read my comment above that i made when replying to another person. The "repeating theme" isn't the only reason why me and others have lost trust/dislike the CoD games from now on. Of course, they could improve. And they may. They may learn from their mistakes and make more original games and have a much more efficient customer service. But this on top of the repeating themed games over and over has lost a lot of players/fans. If you cant see that then I'm sorry, but right now, that's reality. And like Anthony said, the fact that the infinite warfare trailer is one of the most disliked videos on YouTube, greatly proves my point.
  • If you build it, they will come.....
  • Better than the bullshit they're making now
  • It's called Ryse
  • I was going to say that as well. Although short, I really enjoyed that game. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Same here. Sucks that there will likely not be a sequel to that under appreciated game.
  • Why always Caesar? There were many awesome people you can do a game on. Marius, Sulla for example Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Interesting for some of us, but not enough for the uneducated masses.
  • "You disagree with my historical interests, so you're dumb." Solid logic.
  • They never called anyone dumb.
  • "Uneducated," is just a PC synonym.
  • Not really. Not everyone is educated in depth of the rome history. So them people would be "uneducated " in that topic. That's not saying that them people are dumb its saying not everyone would understand the context, as they don't know of the history behind it
  • idk, the one battle at Pharsalus would seem cool
  • Sounds like a great game IMO
  • COD MW is still on list of my fav game . Dont like to play new cod games.
  • COD MW 1-2-3 is the best COD for me.
  • Cod without guns is like getting pregnant without semen. Its impossible l, and even if it would work and abomination
  • Call of Duty: Roman Warfare John Polemus Price ex-Carthagian veteran now called upon to fight in the 10th "Ghost" Legion against the evil Gallic Barbarian hordes led by the trecherous Kevin 'Vercingetorix' Spacey.  IGN 10/10
  • That's too far , all we want please bring back ww2 with focus on single player than multiplayer please
  • Call Of Duty: Flames of Nero
  • This game already came out.  It's called Ryse.  
  • When activision realized how bad the futuristic look of the recent cod games, and someone in the office was like: Setting games in the future didn't work out, so **** it, let's make one set way back in the roman times. Srlsy, this headline sounds exactly like a clickbate, looking at how cod infinite warfare failed miserably.
  • When activision realized how bad the futuristic look of the recent cod games, and someone in the office was like: Setting games in the future didn't work out, so **** it, let's make one set way back in the roman times. Srlsy, this headline sounds exactly like a clickbate, looking at how cod infinite warfare failed miserably.
  • Sounds like an interesting concept, Ryse with a story. They should still make this game and just not attach the COD title to it.