If you’re going to promote an American-style game like Call of Duty Online in China, what better way to do it than with “Captain America” himself, Chris Evans. Activision enlisted the actor to save the day in a live-action commercial for the online PC shooter that is hosted by China’s mega-social network, Tencent.
Call of Duty Online is a free-to-play multiplayer game that has been in open beta in China since 2013. A poster shared recently by JustJared reveals that the game is now set for a full release on January 11.
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The live-action commercial for Call of Duty Online is extremely short at only 15 seconds. It opens with a group of Chinese soldiers running from an attacking helicopter until they find themselves pinned down. That’s when Evans steps in with a rocket launcher to presumably save the day. There’s no actual shot of the launcher being fired to bring the helicopter down in what was likely a money-saving move. The promo then cuts quickly to an assault-rifle-wielding Evans asking in English, “You guys ready?”
It’s typical for popular western actors to appear in commercials for Asian products, particularly in Japan. Additionally, the Call of Duty series is known for its live-action commercials featuring Hollywood stars such as Jonah Hill, Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Black, Sam Worthington, and many more. It’s a nice nod to continue the tradition, even if abruptly, with Call of Duty Online.
The game itself is free-to-play, supported by micro-transactions and only available for the PC in China. The country recently received the Xbox One and will see the PlayStation 4 soon, but Chinese censors are known for keeping violent video games from appearing on home consoles. The PC genre is slightly different, however, and Tencent and Activision have used their influence and made changes to Call of Duty to appease the censors.
Call of Duty Online brings in multiplayer maps and features from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops to fill out the content. It also features the Survival co-op mode and a Cyborg Zombies mode versus a regular Zombies mode. The game is largely bloodless, so the use of cyborg zombies allows for the use of blue blood to get past the censors.
There’s no word on if Call of Duty Online will find its way outside of the Chinese market. The series year over year sales are down for the second year in a row with the release of Advanced Warfare, but it was still the top-selling game of 2014.
What do you think of Evan’s appearance in the Call of Duty Online trailer? Sound off in the comments below.