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Why Call of Duty WW2 bosses won't 'shy away' from history

By Steffan Powell
Newsbeat gaming reporter

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  • World War Two
image copyrightActivision

Bosses of the new Call of Duty game say they "touch on some really dark subject matter" in the new release.

The makers say creating a title based on a conflict that claimed about 60 million lives has been a challenge.

It's been 10 years since the Call of Duty franchise based a game during World War Two.

"In no way do you want to glorify violence, but at the same time you can't ignore it," says Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey.

"We spent a lot of time working on the right balance."

image copyrightActivision
image captionAfter a lukewarm reaction to last year's entry in the series, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, fans have been excited by a return to a historical setting

"When you talk about Nazi Germany and the atrocities committed by Hitler's regime, how do you honour the cause?

"How do you respect the loss of life that happened?"

The answer, the team decided, was detailed research and a decision not to shy away from what was happening.

To do that historian Marty Morgan, who's worked on Band of Brothers, was asked to help advise the team.

Newsbeat played a preview of the game at the E3 gaming convention over the summer.

"It would be insincere not to touch on what was really happening," Michael explains.

"From the politics at the time, segregation among the allies, the role of women, to the Holocaust.

"By turning away from them we would not have brought the right level of awareness or be able to honour what was really happening.

"We saw a chance to tell a story that hadn't been told in video games in almost a decade. It's the most profound and personal subject matter we've ever touched on."

image copyrightActivision

It's particularly personal for Glen Schofield, another co-founder of Sledgehammer games, whose grandfather fought in WW2.

"He had a Purple Heart and Bronze Star," he tells Newsbeat.

"My father would tell his stories, and my dad died as we were making the game - so we named the main character after him.

"So for us getting the details right is important. We want people to walk away entertained and learn something at the same time."

That's something Michael agrees with.

"This is more important now than ever," he believes.

"Having this platform, which is entertainment but also has a chance to tell this story to millions and millions of people, is very rewarding."

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