How Modern Warfare III devs brought new Operator Lockpick to life

PlayStation players, it’s almost time to crack the code with Lockpick, a PlayStation-exclusive* Operator coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. As announced at Call of Duty: Next a few weeks ago, the Lockpick Operator Pack will be available starting November 10 for anyone who pre-orders Modern Warfare III at PlayStation Store. With the game’s launch around the corner, we wanted to share some in-depth details on the inspiration for this cunning character and a couple of the tools she’ll have at her disposal.

Élodie “Lockpick” Michaux’s backstory

Like Oni in 2022’s Modern Warfare II, Lockpick was a combined creative effort between the PlayStation team and the Call of Duty development team, this time Sledgehammer Games. There was quick alignment on the type of personality each team was looking for, and thus the backstory for Élodie “Lockpick” Michaux came to be.

Born in Paris, Élodie was raised by her mother and four streetwise older brothers. As she idolized them and tried to imitate them, she developed tough skin and light fingers.​

She went from stealing fruits from local stands to higher-level robberies. Any time she got caught (a rarity), she was able to charm her way out of serious consequences.​

Her brothers straightened out as they got older, but Élodie was up to the same tricks… until her crimes – and the police – caught up with her. Élodie’s brothers bailed her out and staged an intervention. Out of love for them, Élodie gave up her criminal ways, and eventually followed them into the army where she quickly proved herself and entered the Special Forces, specializing in demolitions.

Over the next five years, three brothers died in action, and one brother was severely disabled. After her third brother died, she became disillusioned with army life and left.​

With her mother and remaining brother to care for, she turned to friends from the old days on the streets, who asked for help with an art heist. Élodie, with skills in disarmament, explosives, and thievery, agreed. They succeeded, and she became well-off. ​

This became what she did to support her family from then on. And the more jobs she does, the more others hear about her skills, and the better the jobs become.

The inspiration for Lockpick

As Sledgehammer Games thought about the operator they were creating, there were some themes that definitely stood out.

As Dana Shaw, senior narrative designer, says “We wanted to make someone who felt mischievous and playful and a little arrogant. We drew from some of our favorite heist movies to nail down the personality and worldview. For the backstory we liked the idea that she had tried to not be a criminal and things just didn’t go as planned. Everything followed around that.”

Lockpick’s visual design draws on the art thief narrative with a colorful camo suit, decked out with her tactical gear needed to do the job. And although her signature blonde braid gives a hint of her identity, her mask is a pivotal part of her outfit. Per Shaw, “no thief wants to be recognized outside the job.”

From her roguish quips as she interacts with her competitors and teammates in MP, to her forceful finishing move, Lockpick’s personality comes through in several aspects of her character’s design. But two of the tools at her disposal also lean into the art heist theme. Élodie comes with the Starry Knife Melee Blueprint and the AMRican Gothic SMG Weapon Blueprint, also unlocked as part of the Lockpick Operator Pack and usable with any operator in Modern Warfare III.

When stealth is key, there’s no better weapon than the Knife blueprint to take down opponents before they even know you were there. But if a situation does get sticky at close range, this SMG Blueprint is the right tool for the job, being light but packing a major punch. As Shaw emphasizes, Élodie “always knows the right tool for the job. No matter what the job is.” Both of these weapons also draw from the artistic design of Lockpick herself, leveraging her blue camo with gold accents. The SMG Blueprint even comes with a blue tracer effect, allowing players to colorfully work their way through their objectives.

What’s next for Lockpick and Modern Warfare III

For players who have pre-ordered at PlayStation Store, the Lockpick Operator Pack will be playable in both Modern Warfare III’s Multiplayer and Zombies game modes starting November 10, and then in Call of Duty: Warzone starting at season 1. She will also be the inspiration for Call of Duty: Warzone PlayStation Combat Packs starting in season 1 as well, so be on the lookout for more information on those soon.

This benefit for MP, Zombies, and Call of Duty: Warzone is not the only reason to pre-order Modern Warfare III, though. In addition to additional content benefits beyond the Lockpick Operator Pack, players can play the game’s blockbuster Campaign before the game’s official release. Pre-orders at PlayStation Store unlock Campaign Early Access, starting November 2**. Don’t get caught flat footed – unlock Lockpick, play the Campaign early, and get ready for the upcoming launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III here.

*PlayStation players receive select bonus content not available on other platforms until November 9, 2024
**One week based on estimated access; Actual play time subject to possible outages and applicable time zone differences.

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