Chance Glasco

Senior Animator

"I'm so blessed to have gone from that to this. All these numbers, the amount of people playing it, the popularity of the game – I feel humbled."

Credits

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

As one of the founding members of the Call of Duty franchise's team, senior animator Chance Glasco has had a profound impact on the last decade of video games. Since launching in 2002, the series has grown into one of those rare titles to break out of the confines of its medium and become a cultural touchstone on a mass scale. After over a decade working on the series, that fact still seems to be sinking in for Chance.

"When you work on it you don’t realize how well known your game is," he says. "You hear these numbers – like millions of people bought it – but you can't really visualize that. It really set in when we started breaking records. Like when we beat out Avatar for the fastest-selling entertainment product. That’s when you’re like 'Whoa.'"

Even with well over 100 million copies sold, and countless hours logged by its global fan base in online multiplayer matches, Call of Duty's evolution – and the story of Chance's career – become all the more impressive when you realize how humbly they both began.

After graduating from Full Sail's Computer Animation program in 2001, Chance drove out to Los Angeles in an '88 Honda Accord to see what prospects he could find. Not knowing anybody in the area, he spent some time sleeping in the back of the car, using towels to block out the sun, before eventually returning to his home in Florida to reevaluate his game plan. That's where things got interesting.

"On my way back I stopped in Oklahoma where I had family," he says. "A friend of mine there had gotten an internship working on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. So I emailed the animation director [at the company], said 'I'm straight out of school, but I'll do anything.' So he gave me an internship for a few weeks, and it just kind of worked out into me getting hired as an animator."

Allied Assault was released in 2001 to widespread critical acclaim for its intense portrayal of World War II – a notable achievement for your first game credit out of school. Following that success, Chance took a gamble and joined a group of co-workers as they splintered off to start their own studio, Infinity Ward. Determined to create their own version of the definitive WWII shooter, they put together a debut that would go on to change the genre, and eventually the industry.

"We made a mass exodus to start Infinity Ward, and then had to come up with something – that's how we created Call of Duty," he says. "Eventually we had Call of Duty 2, and our team kept growing and growing, and we got to a point where we were kind of sick of World War II, so we moved to modern day, and that was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. That’s when the franchise really took off. Before we were doing well, people liked it, but when Modern Warfare came out, it was innovative and got very popular very quickly."

Chance's specialty from the start has been creating the animations for the arsenal of weapons players use during the games. Their level of realism is among the highlights of the Call of Duty experience, but he’s quick to cite the collected talents of the Infinity Ward team for the innovative features that have elevated the games to the level of an interactive action movie.

"It's our success, a group of people's success," he says. "If I would have been working for another company on some other franchise, I might have the same quality of work, but that franchise might not have done that well without the same kind of talented people."

Today, the release of a new Call of Duty title is a major media event, with the games attracting celebrity endorsements, being shown off on late night talk shows, and breaking retail pre-order records. Just one example of its reach, in only 24 hours of release Modern Warfare 3 sold over 6.5 million copies in the United States and United Kingdom alone.

For Chance, it’s still a pretty surreal thought, having gone from a student learning how to animate video games at Full Sail, to working on an industry phenomenon, and he's admittedly as surprised as anyone how his life in the industry has unfolded.

"I honestly didn’t think I’d work on something this popular," he says. "Looking back, starting by coming out to California, sleeping in my car, and then going to where we are now – on a franchise that's the biggest in the world right now ... it’s amazing. I'm so blessed to have gone from that to this. All these numbers, the amount of people playing it, the popularity of the game – I feel humbled."

Full Sail University
As one of the founding members of the Call of Duty franchise's team, senior animator Chance Glasco has had a profound impact on the last decade of video games.
Full Sail University
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