Tuesday, 24 May 2011

New Call of Duty Announced, Sun Rises and Sets, Water Still Wet

So today saw the announcement of Modern Warfare 3, an absolute shocker to about zero people in the world, especially after the massive dump of info kotaku got a hold of (not to mention the entire story of the game).

You’ll have to excuse me for being so cynical but I’m one of the few people in the world who doesn’t get excited for the Call of Duty games. While I’ll admit to enjoying the ride that was the first Modern Warfare, that’s all I felt it was; one big, multimillion dollar ride.

In my personal opinion, you play one Call of Duty, you’ve played them all. I haven’t read MW3’s spoilers but I’m willing to say it goes a little something like “These guys are evil, shoot them! Now shoot them some more! Oh no! Your ally has turned out to be evil and now you should shoot him! Oh wow look! Something totally crazy is happening every five minutes!” and it’s something I don’t have any interest in when I could get the same experience from Call of Duty 4.
However, as much as I may bitch and moan, people will still buy it. With good reason too, it’s an incredibly flashy series. Normally setting a standard for graphics, all while keeping a constant high frame rate that you very rarely see in other games. Not to mention a multiplayer that has a constant “carrot on stick” philosophy to keep people playing nonstop.

I do think people will eventually get bored though. Much like what happened to guitar hero, sales will begin to decrease as Activision’s saturation of the genre increases. People will probably begin to work out the formula and it becomes predictable to everyone, there is also the possibility that the legal action between the original creators and Activision will have an impact, though this is more dependent on how many people know the details, which isn’t that many.

I may be completely wrong about this. If the game ends up being just as good as the rest of the series, people won’t take notice of what happens behind the scenes and rightly so. You should enjoy the game itself, and less what made the game. However, if the game reviews poorly and if more people hear about the ongoing litigation, then sales might not be as high as they used to be and it could mean the slow death of the series. Just in time for Activision to start making money of whatever project Bungie is working on.

Let’s also not forget the competition either. EA has been really pushing Battlefield 3 as something to dethrone Call of Duty from its very high throne. There is also the original creators of Modern Warfare, since leaving Infinity Ward forming a new studio and signing with EA, they have been very silent (Their home page is still pretty empty). It’s possible that they could have something ready for late 2012 or 2013 to truly rival any Call of Duty that Activision can pump out that year, which could really hurt their sales.

You could say that this is make or break for the franchise. Activision has sure pumped a lot of money into this with it being outsourced to a ridiculous number of studios, not to mention how big the marketing budget is going to be. They are sure to make any losses back and more, but I have to wonder if profits will be as high as they were before. Black Ops proved that they don’t need any of the original Infinity Ward guys to make a massive hit, but it is possible that Black Ops was the peak and it’s only downhill from here. We’ll find out later this year.

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