It turns out, the Call of Duty series' biggest task in the beginning was stepping out of the shadow of EA's Medal of Honor games. Scott Dodkins, ex-Activision VP, explained that the original Call of Duty was developed as a response to Medal of Honor. "EA had games like FIFA, which we couldn't compete with," Dodkins told MCV. "But Medal of Honor was a genre we thought we could enter. So we were looking for a product that could emulate and beat it, and we came up with Call of Duty."
It was Justin Thomas, an ex-Infinity Ward artist, who revealed Call of Duty's project name to MCV. "The project was actually named 'MOH killer' until an official name could be found," Thomas said. "We were focused more on fun than success, with the idea that if it was fun, it would be successful."
Four years ago, then-CEO of EA John Riccitiello said that he wanted the leadership position in the FPS market back. The more things change, the more they stay the same.