Call of Duty is a series that is well known to gamers and it is hard to think of an example that is more well-known. Call of Duty is one of those staple games that people will buy every year just because everyone else does, and they might as well too because their friends all have it. However, there have been many questionable releases over the last few years that many have called bad. Installments such as WWII, Black Ops 4, and Cold War come to mind. Essentially, Call of Duty no longer feels like Call of Duty, and gone is the modern warfare setting that was responsible for blowing the game up.
The only real success that the franchise has managed to enjoy was the reboot of Modern Warfare, a game that was already released more than ten years ago. It is clear that Activision is now relying on the strength of the name of the series to sell copies instead of focusing on developing quality, fun games to enjoy.
What many call the ‘Golden Age of Call of Duty’ is long again, and it is easy to see how we are now in a different era where quality games are characterized by records sold, rather than the number of people having fun with it. Activision is a business, so it makes sense that they are concerned with profits. However, Activision has become blinded with profits and forgot about its customers, the people that make them money. This has resulted in the most recent release, Call of Duty Vanguard, which has been released to near-universal criticism.
The criticism that the game is receiving is deserved too. It is hard to think of a Call of Duty that has been released in a poorer state. In essence, the game is virtually unfinished, and yet it is still being sold at a full, triple-A price as if gamers will get a triple-A experience. In reality, the game is nothing that we haven’t seen before, and genuinely raises the question of whether a Call of Duty game this year was necessary. Reports have suggested that the game has been through developmental hell, and this shows. Those who usually rely on Call of Duty as their main form of entertainment will have more fun ejecting the disc and going online to play on sites like BetMGM to win money. That, or they should simply continue to play last year’s Call of Duty, which is infinitely better.
Now more than ever, the series has reached a point where it has stagnated. There are no innovations, no reasons to continue playing or purchase the game. Activision should take a leaf out of Ubisoft’s book and give the series a break for a year, and truly evaluate what the series identity is, and apply this to what fans want. That said, this is no easy task. The community is indecisive, but as Activision is one of the biggest companies in gaming, they will need to work it out or face people losing interest in their biggest IP.