Usually, a publisher wants to be very much in the loop, especially where massive blockbuster projects are concerned.
But it seems they put a lot of faith in developer Infinity Ward, as the studio was actually able to keep Modern Warfare 2 secret for quite some time. According to what community manager Robert Bowling told OXM, Activision only laid eyes on the game once development "was well under way." Bowling said he wanted the team to remain "focused," and better yet, "the only opinion we care about is what our fans think." You may remember when Infinity Ward reached out to the community and asked what they wanted to see in the sequel:
"So that's why very early on, we got in touch with our fans via Twitter and Facebook and said 'what's the one thing you wanted to see in the game?' So we got all that feedback and later on we asked a few more questions, and as we're designing, we have all these boards in the office that we can gut check ourselves and say, 'this is what they'd like to see, this is what we have planned and this is what we already have, and let's try to get those more in synch.'
That's really what's important, our relationship with us and our fans, and not so much us and Activision, or us and retailers or anything like that."
Some people aren't the biggest fans of Activision but it'd be a mistake to lump Infinity Ward into your hostile feelings toward the publisher. It's clear that IW went their own way with this one, and bear in mind that we're talking about the same developer that defied Activision's wish to keep the Call of Duty franchise in a World War II setting. See, this is why we care most about how the game makers operate.
Related Game(s): Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2