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Infinity Ward Talks Call of Duty: MW3 Content Collection 1 – and Double XP

Dan Amrich's Avatar Posted by Dan Amrich on Apr 19, 2012 // Community Manager, Ubisoft

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection 1 arrives in the PlayStation Store today, and it brings with it a whole weekend of double XP. This is the biggest DLC collection in franchise history, offering four multiplayer/Survival mode maps – Piazza, Liberation, Overwatch, and Black Box – as well as two all-new Special Ops missions, Black Ice and Negotiator. That kind of content doesn’t just make itself, so I asked Mark Rubin, Executive Producer at Infinity Ward, for some insight into how the studio approaches making add-on content for MW3.

Dan Amrich: Everybody has different tastes in maps. When you put together a collection, are you trying to please different groups of fans with specific maps, or do you try to make every map have something for everyone in it?

Mark Rubin: Any map can come up at any time in any game mode, so we never want to make a map that leaves players thinking “this isn’t for me.” Even when we design a map like Liberation, which snipers enjoy with its long sight-lines, we still create areas for players who enjoy, say, close-quarter combat. The central bridge and underground bunker in Liberation are a great example of this. It’s something for everyone, but we try to really offer something of value to each subset of players.

The locales represented in Collection 1 are literally all over the map – a seaside village in Italy, a swanky neighborhood in California, and the heart of Manhattan. How do you choose where a map will be located, and does that location determine what kind of gameplay works best there?

It’s a brainstorming process. Sometimes we think about the single-player campaign and ask “What’s going on a few blocks over? What’s happening that we aren’t currently seeing?” Other times, it’s dreaming up environments that offer the most tension and danger; it’s hard to beat Overwatch for that in Collection 1 – gun battles on a skyscraper are definitely dangerous. Other times we go for locales we’ve never seen before, or something that the art team wants to try out. I’m really proud of them on this collection; it’s worth stopping and looking around a map like Piazza to appreciate just what a good job all the art teams have been doing. And every now and then, someone will go to a great vacation spot somewhere around the globe and think, “This is gorgeous – and it would be a great CTF arena!”

I know each map goes through a revision process. How long does it take to make a map, generally? And with constant iterations, how do you know when you’re done?

We start a level by prototyping the map geometry. Before we decide on a final theme or setting, it’s more important that we get the level layout locked down – it needs to flow correctly, it needs to offer a lot of interesting engagement points. And that can take several months, with playtesting and polishing. As for how to know when it’s done…it just feels right. When the team agrees, from playing it, that things feel balanced, we know it’s ready.

What makes a map fun?

Player interaction and variety. When you spawn on the map, you want to run into other people – that’s the interaction. Maps with interesting choke points and clear pathways feel very satisfying to most players, because they know they’re going to get into battles in those areas. The tight corridors of Air Force One in Black Box are a good example. Yet elsewhere in Black Box, you have completely different environments – inside fancy mansions, a few construction areas. They look and feel different from the airplane sections, and that’s where variety comes in.

Which map in Collection 1 is your favorite to play, and why?

This is like asking someone to choose between their children, and I won’t fall into that trap. I hope everybody enjoys all four of the multiplayer maps. That’s why we made them.

Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer, and Raven Software all square off in a MW3 lobby. Which studio wins?

Do you even have to ask?

Somehow I knew the answer to that last one. Content Collection 1 is available now in the PlayStation Store for $14.99, and double XP kicks in on Friday – all players, all modes. Enjoy it!

//Add Your Own

142 Comments   44 Replies


+ KiLLaDoNDaDDa on April 19th, 2012 at 8:01 pm said:

to update my last post… the activision assist rep. said that i could download the BLUS-80838 version of the MW3 collection 1 pack & no extra charge if i purchesed the wrong version, yet when i try to download the correct version it trys to charge me $14.99+tax again.. im not paying for it twice.. can someone please unlock the correct version to download for this PS account..


+ drakenbutch on April 19th, 2012 at 10:50 pm said:

hi dan do u know when mw3 be available in psn store?


+ Trlgga_Jay on April 19th, 2012 at 10:55 pm said:

activation cant make games every game i played from them is just trash. no one makes games like they use to unless you’re activation then you never made good games in the first place lol. what happen to games like rainbow six 3 ravens shield, area 51, battlefield modern combat 2.


+ Death8u4u on April 20th, 2012 at 1:13 am said:

“I’m afraid the majority buys the packs for the multiplayer maps.”

Always found these types of comments a bit amusing. Call of Duty World at War made the vast majority of their sales for map packs because of the Nazi Zombie map additions. The same was actually true for Black Ops.

I have never purchased one of the add-ons from Infinity Ward and never even bothered to gank one from a friend when they bought them. Extra multiplayer maps just isn’t really worth it at the end of the day because you’re still doing the same thing you were doing in the previous set maps, with probably more problems in the new ones. The main difference being that with the normal experience you don’t pay anything extra and really don’t miss out on anything drastic, while the other leaves you missing $15 and still playing the same game.

I’m glad Infinity Ward finally got around to making a map pack I contemplated buying. For some reason I can’t get into the multiplayer at all for this game, but I’ve got over a day put into Spec Ops oddly enough.


+ vpriya on April 20th, 2012 at 1:34 am said:



+ Hooligantuan on April 20th, 2012 at 2:00 am said:

The maps I enjoyed were the downed helicopter and the uhh… maybe it was a train terminal?

I particularly hated the one with the bridge overhead, or whatever.

The two biggest problem with Call of Duty games: weapon damage and the random spawns.

If the guns are too damaging, players die too fast. That rewards ambushing and almost penalizes actually aiming at folks because, seriously, what’s a headshot when spraying three shots into a guy’s thighs will do the trick?

Random spawns, if you just drop people on the street with no advance knowledge of where they land, you’re dropping them into a meat grinder. Why not show a player where he’s dropping while he’s waiting out the respawn timer? My guess is so that you can drop him into a meat grinder where he has to suddenly assess where the crap he is and run for it.

I gave it another shot on Steam during the free multiplayer weekend, but the servers were loaded with cheaters. Seriously every other match. Guys with rapidfire, golden sniper rifles, shredding guys through buildings. Not a PS3 iteration issue, sure, but it it was a tour of CoD’s problems.

Won’t be returning until there’s a significant overhaul to the design philosophy.


+ Alex_Lives on April 20th, 2012 at 2:19 am said:

People are mad that a game that literally recycles itself year after year is the best selling game right now, while it is a sad picture it should not affect people who don´t like COD, they can just play other games BUT here is the funny part, because COD is so popular, other publishers are demading their existing franchises to be dumbed down to the COD level trying to get that “mass appeal” COD has, games with more cerebral and methodical gameplay being reduced to a “action oriented instant gratificaton”, “scripted events” and “linear” experiences which im sure sounds familiar. That is the reason people hate COD, not because its popular itself but because its presence affects the “games that makes us happy”

I just saw this article but i hope this comment gets to Mr Dan Amrich if he is still around.


+ iqbalanwer on April 20th, 2012 at 5:57 am said:

Dear Dan, What about poor connectivity and Lag issue what we face everyday. You guys making billion buck from game but don’t care about us(gamers). Its take long time to reach on prestige 14 but due to your best server-host-lag issue, the game ruined my KDR, play skill, sometime i found like i am a beginner. Your customer care officer don’t have good solution. Plz save million of gamers from this issue. PLZ fix this issue what make this game unplayable. If your answer is Choose other game then I will ask you plz return back all the time i spent on this game, return back my money what i spent on this game and elite….. But a consumer I ask you to give us a good solution and promise us to solve this evil Lag issue….


+ SNAKE-EYES73 on April 20th, 2012 at 8:16 am said:

Who cares when you ruined my relationship with my friends! kids ruined MW3! but I really don’t care anymore this game went to the deep’s of hell! Infinitely Ward was only pat of the team and Sledge Hammer games didn’t use any creative idea’s with this game in the first place! This genre will die soon with nothing new or original! Pay for a hacker’s paradise? $50.00 bucks for junk! They didn’t use there God given brain! Where is custom sound tracks,online trophies,And a way better way to ban cheaters in MW3! “Omg seriously what does it take to screw a light bulb in the socket!” You idiots in the video game industry! Modern Warfare 3 is the last dying breed for this generation!


+ SNAKE-EYES73 on April 20th, 2012 at 8:17 am said:

Who cares when you ruined my relationship with my friends! kids ruined MW3! but I really don’t care anymore this game went to the deep’s of hell! Infinitely Ward was only part of the team and Sledge Hammer games didn’t use any creative idea’s with this game in the first place! This genre will die soon with nothing new or original! Pay for a hacker’s paradise? $50.00 bucks for junk! They didn’t use there God given brain! Where is custom sound tracks,online trophies,And a way better way to ban cheaters in MW3! “Omg seriously what does it take to screw a light bulb in the socket!” You idiots in the video game industry! Modern Warfare 3 is the last dying breed for this generation!


+ KiLLaDoNDaDDa on April 20th, 2012 at 8:54 am said:

well i just finished talking to sony support on the phone… & what a joke…hackers have more access to there network then these guys do!…

A tip to all… if u purchese this map pack make sure u purchese the correct version.. there is 2 versions of collection 1 mp pack on PS Store that correspond with the BLUS code on the side of the game case…if u download the wrong version like i did it will give u error when trying to play in collection 1 playlists…sony support & activision assist will give u the run around, like they did me, then in the end ull have to wait 7-10 bussiness days for a refund to ur wallet…very stupid..


+ Palmettopride on April 20th, 2012 at 10:07 am said:

Have elite membership and havent played since release week. Two words: lag compensation.


+ eastavenge on April 20th, 2012 at 10:42 am said:

Get a hair cut.


+ a_BabyPanda on April 20th, 2012 at 11:25 am said:

i really cant wait to get these new maps and play but i am having the issue of getting on to the online it keeps giving me the error code 332 and saying that the server is not available at this time….these maps look great, but it does nothing for me if i cant get on to play….any ideas how to fix this problem?


+ Menaus on April 20th, 2012 at 11:47 am said:

Dan please riddle me this:

Why does MW3 have the same sounds as every MW game from the first? Why is the blood on the screen from when you are hit the same? Why is running the same? Why are there the SAME glitches? Why are graphics almost the same? If the graphics are almost the same, that means that the game runs on the same engine.

If the game runs on the same engine, that means the maps for ALL CoD games past CoD4 are compatible with each and every game, with little tweaking. Which means Activision is selling people the same maps that they already paid money for in the last game.

You might say, developers need to make a living. But do you see Atlas doing this? Atlas games aren’t as huge as any Activision title. They don’t have to put all these exaggerated prices on their games, yet they still make money. Valve doesn’t do this, in fact they dish out DLC FOR FREE. You know they are successful.

Dan, don’t you study history? Video gaming history? The exact same thing that caused the gaming crash of the 80s was companies milking gamers for their money. And I guarantee you, if you don’t stop, it will happen again, it just is a matter of time.


+ Ryuzaki57 on April 20th, 2012 at 2:10 pm said:

The problem I have with MW3 is that the sniper gameplay has been totally ruined since MW2 :

– Most of the (base) maps are terrible for sniping, I can’t have fun out of Mission, Village, Bakaara and Fallen
– Automatic weapon having been powered-up makes it impossible for snipers to defend themselves
– Auto-aim nullifies the range advantage snipers (should) benefit of
– The flawed respawn doesn’t help

The Elite maps look really interesting but given the current gameplay balance I’m really thinking of buying back MW2 which was near perfect. And yeah, I know it has been discussed already but the delay we have on PS3 for DLCs is really annoying…

Thanks for replying to us anyway :)


+ blackstar1807 on April 21st, 2012 at 5:13 am said:

Awsome!!! Damn i love cod!


+ blackstar1807 on April 21st, 2012 at 5:15 am said:

Even though mw2 is a lot better then mw3


+ xX-DyNaMiiK-Oo on April 21st, 2012 at 9:37 am said:

The maps are pretty good, I enjoy Overwatch the best. There is some issues with MW3, but that doesn’t disturb me. I don’t think people should be complaining.


+ hehateme1996 on April 21st, 2012 at 9:49 am said:

can anyone else connect to psn right now? or is it just me?


+ drakenbutch on April 21st, 2012 at 10:44 pm said:



+ Clayton80s on April 22nd, 2012 at 1:37 am said:

When will the new maps be playable on all game types? I have paid for the DLC but hardly played because I can’t stand Domination.


+ THATguyWITHaBONG on April 23rd, 2012 at 6:33 am said:

Dan, if I buy a 50$ PSN card, can I use that to buy an Elite member ship?


+ hardluckhero on April 26th, 2012 at 4:45 pm said:

doublexp was a joke nothing but lag had a 1.06 ratio on saturday now .93 empty clips on them with no kills only got assists what a joke !!!!! Was inthe red allways like 9 kills 20 deaths thats BS !!!! Iam better than that most of the time !!!


+ AgitoKoyoto on April 19th, 2012 at 10:55 am said:

Never got to play the maps yet, only because I don’t have the money for it right now. Hopefully I will later on.


+ DrPhiill on April 19th, 2012 at 11:05 am said:

Cheers Dan for responding to the “haters”!
I will say that CoD isnt my cup of tea, but i still admire the brand you guys have build up!


+ aaron1606 on April 19th, 2012 at 11:09 am said:

Having ELITE premium, I’ve had the chance to play the new maps for a while on PS3 (Black Box not included, only released a few days ago!)
Liberation is a solid map. I don’t agree that it caters to all play styles – if you go on the central bridge, you will be sniped quickly. Also, the underground bunker is very small and only really beneficial to corner camping. But for a long range sniper battle, its well made.
Overwatch is more well-rounded. Long sight lines both sides of the map + horizontally across the middle with lots of narrower, shorter passages for close range gunfights. It is extremely wide though, so I never remember I’m on top of a building site and could fall off – and am yet to fall off.
I don’t like Piazza. It’s easily the best looking map, but I just can’t cope with all the different levels. It feels like wherever you are, you can be shot from in front, to the side, behind, above or below.
Early impressions of Black Box is that it’s incredibly open. The middle of the map is a no-go as far as I’m concerned, several buildings overlook it so circling the edge is essential for a run and gunner IMO.
Overall, an improvement on the standard maps which I found incredibly underwhelming on the whole

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 11:26 am said:

    It’s funny, because of the maps in this collection, Piazza is my favorite. I find the blind corners and verticality really challening and exciting — I’m just as paranoid, but for some reason, I like that. I like using SMGs in those tight passageways too.

    Black Box is quite open, watch for snipers in the mansion near the nose of the plane — they have sightlines almost to the other end of the map.


+ PARTEE on April 19th, 2012 at 11:09 am said:

No offense Dan, but the majority of the players consider it to be 4 maps at $3.75 a piece. While there is appreciation out there for the design and dedication of the spec ops missions, I’m afraid the majority buys the packs for the multiplayer maps.

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 11:27 am said:

    Well, every player has to decide whether any game, content, or DLC is worth it to them. Elite premium members get all that stuff at a discount (and still can), but six pieces of content is still six pieces of content.


+ x_NiiGHTMARE_x on April 19th, 2012 at 11:10 am said:

People still play this?! ahahhaa pass SMH


+ SuperScorpion on April 19th, 2012 at 11:15 am said:

LOL people complaining about how much the maps cost lol. If price is to much for you why not pay $50 a year for Elite and save a few bucks .

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 11:28 am said:

    I’m more than a little biased on this point, but I agree. :) The math does work out in your favor.


+ nYcFrEeWiLL82 on April 19th, 2012 at 11:18 am said:

i just want to say that Modern Warfare looks and is amazing but BF3 is just better in the aspect of variety of gameplay. To be able to ride tanks, jeeps and fly planes in a a huge map…is way better than just running around in a small location trying to hide from the uav’s and all the other mordern cheesy ways to get kills..but thats just me. So in othere words im just going to pass on this and save my money for the new BF3 DLC’s..:)


+ unworthyBOZO on April 19th, 2012 at 11:20 am said:

I’ll pass way to pricy and the way infinity ward treat PS3 gamers is simply awful, they don’t care about PS3 gamers never have never will, I bought MW3 used at gamestop to ensure they receive zero profits because they don’t deserve it. Treat PS3 gamers like second rate customers and thats what you get.


+ MPaullin on April 19th, 2012 at 10:13 am said:

I anticipate a lot of negative comments about the delay between release on different platforms, but let me start it off nicely by saying I can’t wait to check out the new maps when I get home. It was a long wait being a Non elite member on PS3, but it’ll be worth it I’m sure.


+ MP_is_for_Chumps on April 19th, 2012 at 10:19 am said:

call of duty sucks

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 10:54 am said:

    Play whatever makes you happy. :)


+ thebigb82 on April 19th, 2012 at 10:19 am said:

maps are terribly designed, double xp should be ps3 exclusive as repayment for lying to us about the contract and the ms arse kissing

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 10:46 am said:

    Which maps did you not enjoy?


+ comeradealexi on April 19th, 2012 at 10:19 am said:

Full information on Content Collection 1 can be found here ya’ll :) My favourite map so far is Overwatch :) Big highrise fan from mw2!


+ Hooligantuan on April 19th, 2012 at 10:35 am said:

Call of Duty is popcorn tactical shooting for the jack-in-the-box scrub looking for free kills from killstreak rewards. Horribly broken multiplayer and poorly designed, albeit good looking maps.

I enjoyed all of two maps from MW3’s launch. Won’t be going back, I don’t expect.

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 10:47 am said:

    Same question — which two maps worked for you and why? What didn’t you like about the other 14 maps?


+ ne_plus_ultra on April 19th, 2012 at 10:48 am said:

Millions of people play and enjoy this game every day. Why is it always only the haters who decide to vote and comment?

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 10:59 am said:

    I don’t know, but my guess is that the people who do enjoy Call of Duty are out playing it, rather than commenting here. I would have thought the people who didn’t like it would simply spend their time playing games they liked more.


+ BossmanCCrowder1 on April 19th, 2012 at 10:49 am said:

Thanks for the update Dan. I borrowed MW3 from a friend a couple weeks ago and got all the way up to prestige 2! I’ll go over to my friends house in the coming week to check out the new maps.

I’ll get the game eventually ha.


+ KC-alpha-14 on April 19th, 2012 at 10:52 am said:

For how much I play it, it’s a little pricey for a few maps. Heard good things about them none-the-less. Any news on Call of Duty on the Vita?

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 11:00 am said:

    Six maps for $15 equals $2.50 a map. Ultimately that’s up to you as to whether it’s worth it, of course, but I’ve seen other games charge $3 or more per map. No news on Vita yet, but I am told it’s still in development and really will exist. :) Maybe we’ll hear something at E3.


+ shungokusatsu on April 19th, 2012 at 11:20 am said:

Hi Dan,

With the maps now available to all PS3 players, does this mean the DLC maps will be added to the normal playlists now?

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 11:29 am said:

    Not sure. There is an Elite playlist which has been rotating these maps since they were released; that playlist will likely continue so you can always pop in there and check out the new content. I’m not sure if the DLC maps will be added to full rotation today or not.


+ aaron1606 on April 19th, 2012 at 11:21 am said:


they already are, from about 11AM GMT today.


+ LokeSTL on April 19th, 2012 at 11:21 am said:

Double XP? Heck yeah!

@Dan Amrich – Any chance you can flip me a token. Like to get my double-double xp on!

***The HIT clan is looking for adult players that like to play the modes as a group. If you like to group up and BS while you are dominating a map, jump in with us. We play a lot of Domination, Drop Zone and Kill Confirmed with a little of whatever else people want to play at any given time.***


+ EdDieSoUL on April 19th, 2012 at 11:22 am said:

I was wondering if the new maps will be included in Standard Playlists? I would like to play TDM only with both new and original maps….Is it possible?


+ EdDieSoUL on April 19th, 2012 at 11:23 am said:


Am I doing something wrong then? I’ve been playing for more than an hour and I haven’t seen 1 new map yet…


+ PARTEE on April 19th, 2012 at 11:23 am said:

Some things should be pointed out about map designs for domination for future reference. In Mission, the team that spawns at C has an obvious advantage. In Fallen, why does one team spawn at the B flag? In my opinion, B should be placed in that center area, and teams should spawn at A and C. Those are just a few examples, but there are more maps in the game where one spawn has an advantage over the other.


+ LokeSTL on April 19th, 2012 at 11:25 am said:

@Dan Amrich – Oh, and do you have the time frame for the Double XP? How about 5 pm CST today. That’s when I get home from work…..

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 11:35 am said:

    Double XP kicks off Friday morning. It is a double XP weekend, so they are aiming for it to start Friday, as they usually do. You don’t need to rush home from work. :)


+ aaron1606 on April 19th, 2012 at 11:26 am said:

EdDieSoul, before you find a game, you should be able to toggle between DLC Disabled and Enabled using Select. It says on the left hand side under Barracks etc if you have it disabled. Otherwise I have no idea. But they are definitely available in the normal playlists now, I had a vote between Downturn and Black Box earlier (Downturn won, bizarrely!)


+ steamone06 on April 19th, 2012 at 11:29 am said:

Can u guys please put maps in regular rotation for teamdeathmatch ..I been elite since day one but Havnt played new maps because I hate dom and kill confirm …if so when ?


+ ToKKeNbL00dMoNeY on April 19th, 2012 at 11:30 am said:

YEAH…… a crappy add-on for a crappy $60 add-on XD CAlL OF DUTY BLOWS!!!!!!

    Dan Amrich's Avatar


    + Dan Amrich on April 19th, 2012 at 11:46 am said:

    So…play something you like more. :) You could be championing a game you like more instead of slagging this one and the people who have fun with it. Why waste your time complaining about a game you don’t enjoy, you know?

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