Eurogamer: Why do you think Modern Warfare has connected with so many gamers around the world?
Jesse Stern: I wish I knew. I wish I was responsible for more of it. I think a hell of a lot of it has to do with that team of people over there at Infinity Ward. I think they're just incredibly talented, gifted, and work harder than anyone I've ever been associated with. They work around the clock for two years getting these games ready to go.
I think some of it can be attributed to a very solid, very strong, very entertaining single-player campaign, but I think the bulk of it is really they made the best multiplayer experience that there is. Single-player offers you a chance to get into the world and into the characters and connect with them and feel related to them and really ground all the world, the levels, and the weapons and the missions that are presented to you.
But then that multiplayer is incredible. It's incredibly detailed. The gameplay is phenomenal and I've just recently gotten addicted to it myself. The way it's designed it keeps rewarding you for playing it. It just keeps improving. So I would say it's a combination of appealing to anything that anybody wants to play in a videogame. They're gonna find it there. They'll find it's good single-player. They'll find it good multiplayer online.
There are some games I've picked up recently and if you want to play multiplayer in the same room with a buddy of yours, it's almost impossible. I love that this game has split-screen. Infinity Ward is all about giving people what it is they're looking for in a videogame and trying to think of the things that people don't know how to ask for yet and give them that too.
Eurogamer: How have you seen Hollywood's acceptance of videogames evolve over the years?
Jesse Stern: Well, I hadn't until this last week, in all honesty. My only previous experience with it is I've had a few friends who've written some crossover games and titles that are based on movies or TV shows. And I've had a few conversations with people who've worked for LucasArts or some of these other companies that use WGA writers.
This, I think, is something of a turning point in Modern Warfare 2, because I've gotten more calls and letters and emails the past week from people I've worked with in television and features who seem more excited by this videogame than anything else they've experienced all year.
I think at this point, Hollywood is pretty much obligated to stand up and take notice that videogames are here to stay. It's not just entertainment but narrative, storytelling.
Eurogamer: What are your thoughts on games as the new comics for movie adaptations?
Jesse Stern: I grew up a giant comic book fan and a lot of those titles I was always just chomping up, waiting to see them happen on screen. And I never really thought I'd get to see the day where there was X-Men movies and Iron Man movies and all the Marvel comics I grew up with and I love that. I think that they've done a great job with most of them.
I think the success rate with adapting videogames in the past has not been nearly as high, but obviously the people know that these are commodities. People spend an awful lot of time in these worlds and now they get really tied to these characters. I wouldn't be surprised to see all the videogames start coming to the big screen in the next few years. They're licensing boardgames right now, so it makes a lot of sense that videogames would follow.
I don't know that there's one that I'm dreaming of seeing other than Call of Duty.