The Wrath of CoD

Ever since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the CoD franchise has become a worldwide sensation. CoD games have become the basis for multiplayer gaming in all standards. Ever since the first Modern Warfare, many other franchises have tried their luck at the multiplayer gaming industry and failed. The latest addition to the series, Modern Warfare 3, has been a lasting hit. Infinity Ward recorded that 7 million multiplayer hours were logged on MW3 multiplayer by the end of launch day on the Xbox. Imagine that. 7 million hours total worldwide on the release date of the game. To put that into perspective, that means 3.3 million users played at the same time all on launch day. This proved to be a 19% increase of hours played on launch date compared to Call of Duty: Black Ops. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 resulted in $775 million during the first five days of release. The CoD Franchise has risen to become one of the most valuable entertainment properties worldwide because retail sales have exceeded $6 billion. My question is: why are so many gamers obsessed with Call of Duty and why, after ten CoD games, are gamers so hitched onto the Call of Duty experience?

I myself own three CoD games: Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, and Modern Warfare 3. All of these games are different in their own ways. For example, MW2 had Spec Ops, which was a new feature which allowed exciting co-op missions which you could play with your friends. Black Ops offered Zombies Mode, which was a feature where you could play with friends to get to the farthest round possible, with more zombies piling on you every round. Of course, these games also had many minor differences. Some multiplayer features and the story modes obviously weren’t the same. For example, many First-Person Shooter gamers will agree that MW2’s multiplayer had many problems of its own. When Black Ops intended to fix these problems, gamers quickly found flaws in Black Ops’ multiplayer system. And then comes Modern Warfare 3. Unlike Black Ops and MW2, which introduced two totally different playing styles (Spec Ops and Zombies Mode), MW3 failed to reveal any unique game mode. Spec Ops remained, and campaign continued on from MW2. Though many people thought that Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer system would be the best of the franchise’s, gamers immediately found problems with MW3’s game style. This process has been going on every since the original CoD: Modern Warfare. Players expect the next game in the series to be 10 times better than the current version, and they end up mindlessly buying the game. But they quickly find problems with that game and end up waiting for the next game. This process goes on and on and on, and this explains the majority of the Call of Duty franchise’s success in terms of players and money.

The CoD franchise has often been discriminated against because of it’s annual game releases. Ever since the first Modern Warfare, there has been another Call of Duty game the following year. Many think that Call of Duty’s flaws come about because the game producers cannot sit tight and produce a game that’s worth playing. Obviously, Call of Duty’s annual releases are a business strategy to attract more customers. Like I explained in the previous paragraph, gamers will always want the next version of the game to find out what the next game improved on. If you compare the Call of Duty franchise with a franchise like Uncharted, you’ll see that the Uncharted series releases a new game 2 to 3 years apart. You might not think 2 to 3 years is much to affect gameplay, but playing Uncharted 3 and Modern Warfare 3, I can see the difference immediately. The Uncharted franchise has won numerous Game of the Year awards among others and they even achieved a rare 10/10 on IGN’s game reviewing network.

To sum it up, Call of Duty producers are getting lazy. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was a game like no other. It involved multiplayer for the first time and involved custom weapon classes. That is what creativity is about. But the CoD games that followed didn’t risk changing their playing style after Modern Warfare’s major success. Modern Warfare 3 is the indisputable example for this tradition. As I said early on, MW3 had rarely anything unique to offer that differed from the previous three CoD games. Spec Ops stayed the same with new missions, Story Mode continued on from MW2, and multiplayer had overhyped details that made people want to buy the game. If MW2 and MW3 screenshots are put side by side, you will not be able to tell them apart at first glance, mostly because Infinity Ward didn’t even bother to use a new game engine to create Modern Warfare 3:

Can you see the difference?

CoD games have been clones of each other year after year, so why do so many people buy the games? Well, one of the reasons is the reason I already explained above. But another reason is the companys’ business strategies. Activision and Infinity Ward both overhype tiny details in their game to make it seem like they are producing a totally new game. They deceive people into thinking they are buying a brand new game. And once a group of people buy a game, another group of people will be influenced to buy the game. And once that group buys the game, people everywhere will crack under pressure and buy the latest game. That’s how the Call of Duty Franchise works. It’s all about tricks and cheats, not about the actual gameplay.

Basically, I want people who are annually buying CoD games to rethink and realize that each CoD game does not get better every year. It’s just repeat after repeat after repeat. There are tons of games on the market that you can get so much more worthy playing time from like Arkham City, Uncharted, and inFamous. Try them out! Now, I know that I stated that I have three CoD games myself. So, yes, I was one of those Call of Duty gamers who got deceived by Activision and Infinity Ward into buying their games year after year, but I know better now. I know what the Franchise is trying to do to us and I’m trying to warn you of what they could do to you. Just think about this before you buy your next Call of Duty game.

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