The Call of Duty franchise has been in our game charts for 20 years now and is without doubt one of the best-selling and most played game series available.
Games have come a very long way since Call of Duty’s first edition was released and at the time, Call of Duty was battling closely for top spot among games like Medal of Honour, Halo and Gears of War.
The defining year for Call of Duty was when the initial instalment of Modern Warfare was released. Introducing a wider variety of weapons, killstreaks and equipment alongside a deep, immersive storyline to bring players closer to the war experience than ever seen before.
Online play on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is still looked on as one of the founding games that started the sensational online gaming community there is today.
Today, gaming is a much broader subject and with such a wide range in games to play, from role-playing games to survival games and even down to playing poker.
With such variation in game types and features, playing winning poker hands with friends now ranks amongst one of the most popular social games, thanks to high-quality technology, an easy registration process, and attractive cryptocurrency bonuses.
So, in such competitive and diverse gaming industry, franchises need to come up with new ways to elevate the gaming experience in order to keep up with the times.
Where did it all go wrong for the CoD franchise?
When avid players and life-long fans of the franchise are asked this question, the answer seems to differ more often than not and the reason behind this is that there are a number of reasons for the decline of the Call of Duty games.
When World at War was released, this was a game that was in the making for a number of years, but the zombies mode was a new introduction and it goes without saying, zombies was a mode that gave the ultimate edge, while giving the developers another direction to work with.
The Zombies craze
The zombies mode was basic at first, not much depth or variation, it was a handful of small maps with a ‘mystery box’ where you could get a random gun from the game with one standout weapon, the ray gun.
The ray gun then became a fan-favourite and was in each instalment of zombies since, of which there’s been 10. The ‘Pack a punch’ machine came in the next edition in Call of Duty Black Ops, which was arguably the best all-round Call of Duty game to date.
The support for zombies grew stronger with Black Ops with maps which offered much more in terms of space, variation, weapons and equipment and finally ‘Easter Eggs’ whereby developers would include secret missions to showcase part of the storyline or a secret cutscene.
As the mode didn’t technically include a way to beat the game, people across the globe began competing for the highest round and quickly the talk in the gaming community often revolved around zombies.
As the franchise evolved and continually attracted more players year on year, the zombies side of the game began slowly dying and the gaming developers didn’t listen to players in their criticism of the newer editions of the zombies mode.
The ‘Jet Pack’ era
Many today from the gaming community believe that the ‘Jet Pack’ era of Call of Duty is the main reason for the series to be losing trust and players.
What this era consisted of is games with added maneuverability in the form of jet-packs, or booster packs, giving players the ability to dodge, duck, dive and fly away from danger, introducing a more futuristic style of warfare.
The trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is still today the CoD video with the most dislikes for any game trailer ever, so it’s safe to assume the community was enraged by the decision to stray so far from the CoD that was so well-loved.
This is where the ‘loot boxes’ were introduced also, which played a huge part in the amount of criticism received.
The introduction to Loot Boxes
Loot boxes are still a highly sensitive subject in the gaming community and in order to have this in a game and be universally liked, the content in loot boxes mustn’t affect in-game activities or give the holder an unfair advantage.
If they did, the phrase ‘Pay to Win’ was thrown around and for gamers that pay full price for a game, they don’t like to be at a disadvantage should another player be able to buy better gear and weapons through microtransactions.
While the Call of Duty creators have continued to keep loot boxes, they are purely cosmetic these days with extremely minimal effect in-game and while many still dislike the in-store bundles, you’re still able to dominate in the free-to-play modes without having to spend a penny.
Despite the latest game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 coming under extreme scrutiny, for straying too far from the previous edition which was supposedly near to perfect, there is a lot of potential still from the game. Many standalone features are being re-added to the game and will certainly keep players interested.