I strongly dislike the Call of Duty franchise. Not because they’re bad games, because of what they have done to the genre and industry. Yearly releases of FPS games shouldn’t be common place. Look at the longevity of stellar titles from the past like Unreal Tournament, Doom, and the Quake series. All of those franchise had 2-3 releases spread across 5-6 years (sometimes much more).
With the success of CoD4 and it’s direct sequel Modern Warfare 2, Activision did the dirty and made it a yearly release, splitting development duties between two studios working in a two year development cycle. Since this two year cycle began I’ve noticed a common trend among series faithfuls: New game comes out - buy it, trade it in a couple of weeks later complaining about how they fucked it up only to come in 4 months later and buy the newest one again because, “shit’s been fixed”. It’s asinine, yet proving to be a good model for second hand stores (*wink*).
That changed with Ghosts… sorta. By that I mean the first half of the trade-buy-trade-buy cycle; players despise Ghosts. Shortly after its release we saw an influx of Ghosts trade ins. More than usual. In fact, I look over at the shelf they’re sitting on now and there is a fat stack of Ghosts, yet no Black Ops 2 to be found. Ghosts broke the cycle, but not in the way Activision may have wanted.
It’s actually a bit refreshing as someone who can’t stand what the series has become, that the vast majority of fucktards that play only CoD (there’s a whole world of video games that are generally more engaging, just open your minds!) dislike the newest entry in their favorite series. Welcome to video games, where what you love isn’t sacred and is always on the verge of becoming shitty. Deal with it.
I did the same with Assassin’s Creed III. I was really disappointed with the story, and the gameplay had a few too many tweeks for my liking, and because of that I haven’t invested in the series since (I hear AC IV is solid, but I just haven’t found the time to play it).
This years Call of Duty is subtitled Advanced Warfare and is likely to change the way we view the franchise. I like this. Really, I do. I hope that a new life can be given to a franchise that’s run relatively stale. I hope that it isn’t a lot of pre-release fluff (although I wouldn’t be too surprised if that was the case) and that Activision is can be successful with the title without abusing it.
I look forward to seeing the sales numbers. I suspect it will be slightly smaller than previous years and then stay stable over the course of the next year. I doubt we’ll see too many trade ins, but the CoD crowd is fickle and I could be astronomically wrong.