Call of Duty Infinite Warfare?
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Debate Rounds (5)
Then, over the next few years people started to complain that every year"s Call of Duty release was the same rehashed, over-hyped garbage. We got Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3 and people wanted to see something new, something different. With Black Ops III Activision and Treyarch tiptoed out of the "modern" warfare and into the near future. Then, with Ghosts they hopped just a bit further into the future still. Finally, with Sledgehammer"s release of Advanced Warfare, Call of Duty fully embraced near-future-war with gusto.
After all, gamers wanted something new and something different. Maybe giving them what they were asking for would stem some of the complaints. On some level, it did.
But Activision probably made a mistake also having Black Ops III set so far into the future, rather than have it mirror the first two games" narrative approach. In Black Ops II, for instance, we had a modern (or very, very near future of 2025) as one of the main stories, while the past story took place in the late 80R42;s. I was hoping Black Ops III would take place in the future"maybe 2050 or so"and the present, blending both futuristic and modern warfare.
So by the time Infinite Warfare was announced, Call of Duty fans had played Black Ops II, Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, and Black Ops III and each game took place either in the near future or somewhat more distant future. Ghosts was pretty modern, but had a far-fetched story of America"s downfall at the hands of a South American Federation, and a whole segment in space. So even though it lacked the future tech of the other games, it still didn"t feel very modern. And it just wasn"t as good as the Modern Warfare trilogy, which left a lot of gamers with a bad taste in their mouth, and maybe a mix of concern and high hopes for whatever developer Infinity Ward would come up with next.
The same fatigue gamers felt with "modern warfare" is now being felt toward "future warfare." Activision has three teams developing Call of Duty games, and Infinity Ward started work on Infinite Warfare over two years ago at this point, before real "future war" fatigue had set in. But Activision still probably should have anticipated this, and had at least one of its three development teams working on a modern or past warfare game. No doubt the hype over Battlefield 1R42;s WWI setting illustrates just how much the market is craving alternatives to sci-fi. Hell, I was arguing this pretty recently, before we learned of Infinite Warfare or Battlefield 1. As I said at the time, "After all, there are three studios making these games. Surely not all of them need to go back to the future." But here we are, in outer space.
Still, the hate we"re seeing over Infinite Warfare is a bit extreme. As I just noted, Infinity Ward had no way to really know that there would be such a strong desire for non-space-age games a couple years ago. They were probably excited to try their hands at a full-blown space game. And quite frankly, a FPS in space sounds pretty cool.
Of course, the hate directed at Infinite Warfare right now is also largely a product of the fact that the Modern Warfare remaster is available as a bundled game only. It"s $20 for the remaster, but you can only get it if you buy Infinite Warfare. Activision certainly could have done it differently. They could have sold it as a stand-alone for $39.99 a couple months before the release of Infinite Warfare. Anyone who bought it could have gotten some sort of bonus, or access to a beta, for that release. That might have staved off some of the anger. But honestly, offering it as an add-on for $20 is hardly the end of the world, and hardly justifies the sheer level of anger and upset we"re seeing right now.
I do think Activision should either release it as a more expensive stand-alone ($20 as part of the bundle, $40 stand-alone) or next year. And if they"re planning on remastering Black Ops I, I hope they"re watching the fan reaction closely and taking notes.
Finally, I just have to say this: A lot of people are actually excited about a Call of Duty set in space. A lot of gamers love space stuff, and this is a great opportunity for them to get a mainstream FPS set not in some distant galaxy, but in near-space.
The criticism shown for Infinity Ward"s latest offering continues a trend we"ve seen over the past number of years, where the community complains of rehashed graphics, similar gameplay and a heavy emphasis on the use of microtransactions. The hate has hit a boiling point and comes as a very strong indicator to Activision that something in the series has to change.
The reveal of Battlefield 1 earlier this week certainly didn"t help the cause, with many applauding DICE and Electronic Arts for their ballsy move bringing the series back to the First World War. That move is exactly what Call of Duty fans have been itching for, a return to the past, yet Activision has failed to deliver that over the past number of years.
Yet again we see the series trust into the future, where advanced weaponry and spaceships take center stage.The release of Call of Duty: Ghosts began a precedent, where games like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3 fed off and onwards to Infinite Warfare.
On paper, it doesn"t look good for Call of Duty from a creative standpoint, with their market performance always up to scratch, but recent events could be enough of an eye-opener for Activision to re-evaluate their position in the first-person shooter genre.The publisher can almost use Battlefield 1 as a guinea pig, see how the gaming community welcomes a drastic change from modern/futuristic war to a more stripped back era.
The publisher can almost use Battlefield 1 as a guinea pig, see how the gaming community welcomes a drastic change from modern/futuristic war to a more stripped back era. Needless to say, change needs to happen and Activision needs to start thinking about bringing back the boots-to-ground gameplay that made the Modern Warfare series so popular.
The first step to regaining that trust is listening to what the community want, give them something void of robots, lasers, and spaceships, just don"t be lazy and throw in a remaster.
What do you think the Call of Duty series needs? Leave any thoughts you have in the comments below and make sure to follow us on Facebook for more of today"s gaming news as it happens.
In the online gaming community, every perceived industry mistake is greeted with a tsunami of rage .
They"ve seen things you people wouldn"t believe. Attack ships on fire in Earth"s outer orbit. Cities blasted to rubble by invading battle craft. And how have they reacted to these precious moments? By down-voting the absolute crap out of them on YouTube.
Yes, this is the news that the trailer for the latest Call of Duty title " the modestly named Infinite Warfare " has received a record number of dislikes on the video-sharing platform. Right now the figure stands at 1,689,649, a hate benchmark that social scientists are calling "well into Justin Bieber territory".
How? Why? What has this hugely successful, multi million dollar series of military shooting games done to upset people? Well, here are five possibilities.
1) Familiarity breeds contempt
Call of Duty has been around since 2003, which is about a century in games industry terms, so this could just be about veteran gamers getting tired of the annual franchise. It"s also been ridiculously successful, which sometimes annoys people. The series has sold more than 250m copies worldwide, making billions of dollars for its publisher Activation, a company that has not always been immensely popular among games forum dwellers, owing mostly to the fact that it likes making money out of video games.
2) The nostalgia factor
Ever since Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 started nudging the series toward a futuristic sci-fi setting, series fans have been yearning for a return to the origins of the franchise, as a big bombastic Second World War drama. Although 2007"s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was the first to make the leap away from that historical conflict, fans forgave it because it was really good. And while the last two titles Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3 have been critically well-received, a growing number of outspoken fans have made it clear that they absolutely do not want to shoot robots, or drones, or robots controlling drones.
3) The battle with Battlefield
Video game fans like an industry in-fight; they like to back a side. Whether that"s Commodore 64 v Spectrum, Sega v Nintendo or Spyro the Dragon v Crash Bandicoot, fans often see their preference as part of their identity and therefore defend it with extreme prejudice. Battlefield v Call of Duty has been a feature of the games business for over a decade, with EA Dice"s more gritty, in-depth and authentic shooter going up against what Call of Duty offers: speed, bombast and Kevin Spacey. In video game fandom you must pick a side and do what you can to ensure your preferred multi million dollar entertainment franchise is the victor. And if that means sending a bot army to artificially inflate the dislikes below a trailer, goddamn so be it.
4) The Infinity Ward controversy
The studio behind Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is also the studio that created the whole series and is responsible for arguably its finest moment, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. However, in 2010, the co-founders of Infinity Ward Vince Zampella and Jason West were fired by Activation for "breaches of contract and insubordination", prompting a bitter legal dispute that would last two years.
The popular interpretation of what happened is that Zampella and West were keen to take Call of Duty in a new direction, while Activision wanted more Modern Warfare. Tensions simmered and finally Activision claimed the duo were planning to leave Infinity Ward, take senior staff with them, and work on a new title for Electronic Arts. Fans were absolutely outraged by this terrible accusation " And then West and Zampella took senior staff with them to work on a new title for Electronic Arts. Ironically, the game they wanted to make, and indeed did make, was Titanfall, a sci-fi shooter " the very thing fans are upset about now. But anyway forget that " this was a classic David v Goliath story and the fans were always going to be on the side of David, the plucky upstart who just wanted to make the space games that they hate. Wait, what?
5) Gamers will be gamers
Look, gamers just do this sort of stuff. When Activision executives were asked about the record down-voting during a recent investor call, CEO Eric Hirshberg laughed, "you got to love the passion of gamers. This is an industry like no other, and a fan base like no other and we love that our fans treat this franchise like it"s their own and have such strong points of view about it." Eric has totally been here before, Activision has been threatened with more boycotts than the Olympics and it"s still doing okay.
In the cauldron-like atmosphere of the online gaming community, every perceived industry mistake, misdemeanour or misunderstanding is greeted with a tsunami of rage so purposeful and unremitting that, if properly channelled, it could conceivably end world poverty in a matter of days. The people who are jamming their righteous fists on that dislike button may well be the same "engaged consumers" who have spent the last week fiercely accusing game sites IGN and Videogamer of corruption and bias for awarding Uncharted 4 what they saw as a despicably low score. Videogamer gave it 8/10; IGN gave it 8.8/10.
6) It has a scene with astronauts fighting in space. Literally fighting while floating about in space.
Oh yeah, there is that.
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