In the last four years, Call of Duty has become a household name in the world of video games. With huge marketing campaigns such as what Infinity Ward and Activision unveiled for the release of Modern Warfare 2, there’s not a male age 18-35 that doesn’t know the Blockbuster franchise. But as we approach the release of Activision and Treyarch’s latest, COD: Black Ops, the question arises, have we had one too many COD games?
In my opinion, we haven’t got there yet; however we are getting close to that breaking point with the franchise. Activision releases one COD game per year, with development either in the hands of Infinity Ward (who created the first COD), or Treyarch. Back in 2007, we Infinity Ward took the franchise into a totally new direction that brought the franchise even more success from what it already had by taking the WWII themed game and putting it into a more modern setting with the release of COD 4: Modern Warfare. Was this a good idea; no. Was this a brilliant idea; yes. At a time when WWII shooters were all over the market, Infinity Ward took a step to the side and peeked its head into a present day play ground. Don’t get me wrong, COD: MW was not the first present day shooter, due to such titles such as the popular Ghost Recon series already being established by that time, however COD: MW took the COD series and made it into a “blockbuster” game. A game that if you were to simply watch it in theaters, you would be blown away. An action packed, on the edge of your seat kind of game. COD: MW was the equivalent of a Die Hard Movie or the recently released The Expendables. What made Modern Warfare unique was that even if you were not a big “gamer”, you could and would still play this game and be considered cool. It was the EA Sports Madden equivalent of a shooting game.
Now everyone knows that for most sequels and extensions of franchises that the end is and will always be near. Activision insists of cashing in on the COD name year after year with releases that do improve on the prior year’s format and scheme but do not make overwhelming changes that push the series progressively forward. Fans of COD now expect a COD game each year, however as the reviews prove, fans are less pleased by each release. I love COD. Everyone of their games have been great, however I do notice, that lately, my anticipation for it has dwindled and I have been less impressed with the latest release MW 2. As many in the entertainment industry know well, releases are dangerous. Releasing a new product in the same series as the prior years will indeed catch up to Activision. I just hope they realize it soon before it’s too late. Especially considering the great competition hat has stepped into the market such as Battlefield 2 and Medal of Honor. Keep in mind both games, from the same developer but too distinct titles. Smart move. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below guys!