Question of the Week | 10-8-11



MW3 MP is just around the corner. Me and my friends can’t wait!! What are you playing? I don’t mean modes, I mean can you please tell me your favorite custom class.

-Jason Lee, Tampa, FL


Hey J (and friends of J),

With more than 40 weapons (each with multiple proficiencies you can earn), 28 point streaks, and a barrel full of perks to choose from, the custom class combinations are seemingly endless. I am constantly finding cool new ways to combine options. Some work for me, some don’t, and some I haven’t completely mastered yet. I am having a ton of fun working my way through the countless configurations.

Ok, so specifically, what I am playing now? My weapon of choice right now is the new SMG addition, the PP90M1, with the Two Attachments proficiency; Rapid fire and Extended Mag. It’s a shorter range weapon, and I often lose in a distance based shoot-out, but up close it lays down a fierce amount of lead in a short amount of time. I like the Semtex for a sticky kill, which always warms my heart, and then the concussion grenade as my non-lethal. For good or bad, I've copied this class into slots 1 and 2, with one running the Assault Strike Package and the other running the Support Strike Package. That gives me flexibility to jump between Strike Packages based on the game mode or maps we are playing.

Word to the wise though, I die a lot. Seriously, a %&#@ lot. It doesn’t help that I have guys here at Sledgehammer Games, like Guy Beahm, who are competition level and devs, like Aaron Halon, who have racked up double digit prestiges in both MW2 and Black Ops. So take my custom class for what it is worth. It’s a good setup, but there are so many. The great thing is that the game is built to allow you to play your way, with more options and features tailored to maximize your individual play style.

Best of luck. Look forward to playing with you on 11.8.11.

Written by Michael Condrey

Categories Question of the Week

Question of the Week | 9-23-2011



“Sledgehammer.  I’m a huge PC guy.  Please tell me more about MW3 on the PC.  I know there’ll be dedicated servers but what will that truly mean?”

- Jacob

North Carolina 



MW3 on the PC is going to be a great game and we are excited to launch it day and date with the consoles on November 8, 2011.   There is a ton of work being done to ensure the PC experience is fantastic.  Dedicated servers is a big feature that fans have been vocally asking about since its absence in MW2.   Erik Strickland, Principal Engineer, is leading the effort.  Let's ask him for some of his insight...  Erik?


Thanks Condrey.   Hi Jacob. 

We believe that Modern Warfare 3 match-making delivers a best-in-class competitive experience on consoles as well as PC.  For users who want deep customization and control on PC we’re also supporting free-to-download, free-to-run dedicated servers on launch day.  Using familiar tools, admins can download and run servers on their own hardware, customizing access, game rules and map rotation to their liking.

We’re embracing the Steam platform. From both the Steam and game clients, users can: browse, join, and favorite these servers; send and accept invites; everything just as you’d expect.  For gameplay customization MW3 dedicated servers leverage our recipe system to allow admins to finely tune gameplay without trial-and-error fiddling. Of course, server admins will have all the tools they expect - access control by IP/password, player kicking/banning, remote console access, etc…

In short, we are bringing back the features of Call of Duty 4's dedicated servers that the community has requested, and we hope everyone will be excited by the outcome  – let us know on November 8th!


Submit your questions to

Written by Michael Condrey

Categories Question of the Week

Question of the Week | Post XP



"Now that Call of Duty XP is over with, what's next for Sledgehammer? I assume you guys aren't done with the game quite yet?"



Hey Mary, 

Call of Duty XP 2011!   What an event!  It was truly remarkable.  From the opening keynote to the closing Kanye West concert, the show exceeded every one of my expectations.  The best part for me was the validation by the fans that the MW3 MP and Spec Ops: Survival Modes were great.  A ton of passion and heart has gone into the development of MW3, and seeing thousands of fans playing and enjoying the game was heartwarming.   There is a ton of coverage on the event at and @GuyBeahm is putting up some Sledgehammer Games' exclusive coverage at

Now that we are back, the focus is 100% on polishing the game and driving to software Final.  The final touches are going in, the last bits of icing are being put on the cake, and we have an army of QA testers working their butts off to ensure we have a very solid piece of software ready for submission. Dedicated Servers for PC is a big effort at SHG and a lot of engineering brains are driving hard to bring that to fans on 11.8.11 as well.

What many gamers may not know is that it takes double digit weeks of time to clear 1st party approval at MSFT or Sony, to manufacture the discs and boxes, and to get them to retail stores for the fans.  When you are talking about a game on the scale of Call of Duty, the manufacturing and distribution models gets strained to their maximum capacity.  It's a good problem to have, I suppose, but it siphons off precious time at the tail end of the schedule leading up to release.   November still seems a little ways away, but that time will get eaten up quickly.  We are driving hard to maximize every last opportunity before we go into 1st Party.  

To offset the stress of the final sprint, I am sending Schofield on a four week global PR trip starting this weekend.   His first stop is Tokyo Game Show next week, and from there he heads across Europe to share MW3 with our fans across the pond.  If I paid the right people the right amount of money, his tickets and passport just may get lost somewhere along the way, and we might not see him again until December.   But don't worry, he's a big boy and would do fine in a small Turkish prison for a few months.

- Michael

Send your question to:

Written by Michael Condrey

Categories Question of the Week

Question of the Week | 8-26-2011



"Hey Michael, what happened to the Question of the Week this week?"

-Guy Beahm, Foster City, CA

This week has been nuts.  Between cleaning up the post-GamesCom disasters caused by Hurricane Schofield, and preparing for Call of Duty XP next week, I've barely been able to tread water.   Terrible excuse, I know. On a good note, CODXP is shaping up to be amazing.  MW3 MP, Kanye, $1M Tourny, Dropkick Murphys... I can't wait.


Sledgehammer Games has a few more tickets to give out next week. If you still don't have your ticket, be sure to follow @SHGames for details on how to win.  And for Hammerfans who can't make it to the event, make sure you check our website daily for behind the scenes coverage from Guy Beahm, and follow us on Twitter for minute to minute updates from the Call of the Duty XP floor."


 - Condrey

Written by Michael Condrey

Categories Question of the Week

Question of the Week | Gamescom Edition


This was a big week for MW3 and Sledgehammer Games at GamesCom 2011, in Cologne Germany.  250,000+ fans and press visited Europe's largest Interactive Entertainment trade show, and the interest in MW3 was overwhelming.  The line for hands on gameplay with Spec Ops Survival exceeded 6 hours.   Survival Mode is fantastic and it really is a ton of fun.  Even still, my hats off to the fans for enduring the wait.  In their honor, I'll answer two QotWs about the show.

"What MW3 announcement were you most excited about at GamesCom?"
Holly R., London UK

There was a lot of MW3 news to be excited about this week.  A brand new Spec Ops Survival Map, Paris, was unveiled.  We showed Invisible Threat, our newest Spec Ops Mission.  MW3 on the Nintendo DS was shown for the first time.  The COD Elite integrations with MW3, and the upcoming $1M COD XP tournament and MW3 MP reveal were all hot topics.  Also, responding to fans' request, we announced the return of dedicated servers to the PC sku.  Specifically, we announced that MW3 will support user hosted dedicated servers on PC for free. Players will be able to set up their own server instance and administer their MW3 dedicated servers with direct control over:  game rules, setup, ban lists, and more. Players will be able to browse, filter, add favorites, and join MW3 dedicated servers of their choice. All of these features, and the dedicated servers functionality, will be launching day & date with the MW3 PC on November 8, 2011.

"What question did you most get asked at GamesCom?

Nils G.,  Utrecht, The Netherlands

Hmm... the most common question?  Hard to pick one.  There were lots of questions about Spec Ops Survival Mode. Many questions about MP too.  (Lots of MP answers coming via COD XP in a couple of weeks.)  I was commonly asked who the guy sleeping on the booth floor was,  and why he had no shirt on.  I had to make a lot of excuses for Schofield this week.

In all seriousness, a lot of people asked my view on MW3 competition within the gaming industry. My answer, in spirit, mirrored that of the sentiments expressed by Eric Hirshberg in his GDC keynote address.

An excerpt is included below:


Competition is of course a good thing. It keeps us all on our toes and ultimately, it makes the

games better. Competition is healthy for this, or any other industry. But it’s one thing to want

your game to be successful. It’s another to actively want the games of others to fail.


Recently, a competitor of ours was quoted as saying that he wants to see one of our games to

“rot from the core.”


I’ve been asked countless times to respond to this comment and I have generally chosen not to

do so. My job is to help our incredibly talented, passionate, hard working teams make the best

games we can, not throw insults at others. But I actually feel that this type of rhetoric is bad for

our industry.  I do.


Can you imagine the head of Dreamworks coming out with a new animated movie and saying

that he wants to see Toy Story "rot from the core”? Or the author of Twilight saying she wants

Harry Potter to “rot from the core”? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?

Seems to me we should all support great content,

even if we didn’t create it.


As someone who runs one of the biggest publishers in this business, I can tell you, I want as

many games as possible to succeed, whether we created them or not. Because I want this

industry to grow, and to keep bringing new people into this passion we all share.


I believe that when someone in this industry does something great, whether they work in

California, Sweden, North Carolina or the United Kingdom, it doesn't only benefit their company.

It benefits us all.  I believe as many great games as this industry can make, that’s how many people will buy.

I say that not only as the CEO of Activision but as a gamer.


This isn’t politics. In order for us to win, someone else doesn’t have to lose. This is an

entertainment industry, an innovation industry, and at it's best, it is an art form. But we are still

a young art form. If we were the movie industry, the movies wouldn’t even be talking yet.

So we are still solidifying our position in the pop cultural landscape. We still need to stand the

test of time. We need to show that we can withstand the kind of disruptive change and new

competition we are facing now.


The only way do that is to make great games.


We shouldn’t be tearing each other apart fighting for a larger slice of the pie, we should be

trying to grow a bigger pie. If we as an industry act like there are a finite number of gamers in

the world, then there will be. But I believe we’re just getting started as to what gaming can be.

Making great games is hard... and it’s rare. And anyone who can do it deserves all of our



So I can tell you what we at Activision will be doing in the months and years ahead. We'll be

working to make the best, deepest, most connected, most innovative, most fun games we’ve

ever made. We'll be sparing no expense -- either in terms of resources, or dedication or drive.

We’ll be giving our fans everything we've got and they will not be disappointed.

What we won’t be doing is spending

time tearing down competitors. In fact, we're pulling for them.


This is a time for creative excellence. This is a time for both craftsmen, and pioneers. This is a

time for us to embrace change, while never forgetting that this industry knows how to create

interactive experiences better than anyone else. No matter how they are delivered, no matter

what size or shape the screen, the audience for what we do is bigger, and more engaged than

ever before. It’s up to us to continue to dazzle them.


- Eric Hirshberg

Written by Michael Condrey

Categories Question of the Week


Legal     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy

© 2010 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision and Sledgehammer Games are registered trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights Reserved