Call of Duty was my go-to game during the Modern Warfare Trilogy. From the campaign to the multiplayer it was at its best between 2007 and 2011. While I agree that there were decent titles released by Treyarch in the time between these releases, MW was my favorite experience altogether.
By the time Activision (the publisher and owner of the Call of Duty series) decided to part ways (unceremoniously fire) the main brains behind the Modern Warfare trilogy it had become obvious that two things were happening. Call of Duty was still growing at an incredible rate and Activision was going to milk/destroy the game for every drop of money they could get.
Now that we are firmly into the new generation of consoles (PS4 and XBox One) it is easy to see what their strategy has become. Cosmetic changes to weapons, loot boxes, and everything else that can be made into a micro-transaction in order to milk every last dime out of your bedazzled wallet.
The days of playing some of the coolest games with your friends are long gone. Sure, you can still party up with your buds and wreck some lobbies if you want. However, a lot of the focus has turned to two things – replicating the success of Fortnite, PUBG, & the concept of ‘Battle Royale’ in general and pandering to the streaming crowd on YouTube and Twitch.
Black Ops 4 won’t have a typical campaign, which isn’t something COD has really focused on since MW (sorry, but Black Ops 3 was one of the most insulting campaigns from a story perspective, maybe ever… until I played Infinite Warfare, anyway). It feels like Activision’s new motto is ‘Call of Duty, we know you’ll buy it anyway…’.
While Battlefield 5 will be including their own type of Battle Royale, I must say EA DICE has impressed me with their move to not only open accessibility by simply including playable female characters but they have also announced that they will not have a season pass or maps that you have to purchase separately. You can still option your way to buying bedazzled gear, but it isn’t being forced on you like COD.
It seems to me that Call of Duty has decided that they don’t need a rather large group of gamers. While I have fond memories of the old titles and the MW Trilogy in particular I must say that at this point the feeling of not wanting eachother is mutual.
Now that we are firmly into the high speed internet age and online functionality has become almost synonymous with every game on the market (including the ubiquitous ‘patching’ of games). The issue many sports gamers are running into is that they are pouring $60+ into games that come out every year with minor improvements/changes and roster updates. This has caused sports gamers to generally ask on occasion why developers like EA and 2K won’t simply release a cheaper update to the game every other year or so instead of requiring the purchase of new software every single year.
The most obvious responses are ‘…because people are buying the games in droves” and “Why would you stop milking your cash cow when it is obviously still producing results?”
The issue at hand in the coming generation of consoles is that they will be largely focused on digital content more-so than even these current consoles seem to be. While the PlayStation Store and XBox Marketplace are doing well and provide services to subscribers/gamers it seems like only a matter of time before you will have to start buying certain content by sections rather than a full-fledged title.
Some games like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Halo could potentially be sold in three different ways.
Offline Story Mode/Campaign
Full Game (Online and Offline Content)
This isn’t the first time that something like this has been suggested. You can go to virtually any rumor mill site for gaming and read about an industry analyst talking about the likelihood of a game like Call of Duty charging people to play online. The issue that gamers should be considering is whether or not they are happy with the current state of games. Whether or not you are paying extra for maps, add-ons or even avatar clothing you have to appreciate how smooth the transition has been between the PS2/XBox to the PS3 and 360 in terms of online interactivity and microtransactions like coins for Madden Ultimate Team.
We will soon be entering a new realm of digital content distribution. Considering the actions of developers in the last 18 months, you shouldn’t be surprised if you will have options to buy games by piecemeal or some sort of full-game combo.
If you disagree about the outlook or attitude towards some aspects of games (such as story mode/campaign) you should ask Battlefield or Call of Duty gamers if they have played more than 45 minutes of the campaign mode.
The fact that Battlefield has a disc for campaign mode on 360 says a lot (even if it is simply due to space)… my campaign disc has been in the system for less than two hours – total.