clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Captain America Fights Zombies in New Call of Duty Online Trailer (Video)

"Who does he think he is? Some kind of Hollywood action hero?" This ad really puts the B in subtle.

Hey, look, it’s Captain America — in China?

While not exactly reprising his role from the Avengers films, it should be pretty obvious why Chris Evans is in the latest trailer for the Activision-Tencent joint venture Call of Duty Online, a free-to-play game only available in China. The trailer even calls out the fact that he’s “some kind of Hollywood action hero.”

Evans is not the first Avenger to appear in a Call of Duty ad. Three years ago, Activision tapped Iron Man portrayer Robert Downey, Jr. to advertise Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

The differences between the two ads, though, are actually sort of interesting, and speak to the differences between the two games.

The Downey ad is more about showing lone players how badass they supposedly could be in the game, with a series of individuals using things like drones, horses and robot turrets to dispatch each other. The new Call of Duty: Online trailer, by contrast, is all about teamwork, featuring four young friends who get rescued by Evans, and who then rescue him in return.

Like its predecessors, Call of Duty: Online features a single-player mode, but this is an important distinction. For free-to-play online games in particular, and online games more generally, it’s easier to keep players coming back if they feel attached to a group of friends within the game. As SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen said in a recent Q&A, when a game is built to “promote social interaction,” it’s hard for players to say, “Oh, a new game came out, I’m going to surrender all my friends and find me 20 new ones.”

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.