Modern Warfare 3 and the Black Ops 6 News Proves Activision are Running Out of Ideas for Call of Duty

Things are not looking up for Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty as a whole.

SUMMARY

  • Modern Warfare 3's release has been more than tumultuous because the game's apparent rushed development makes it seem more like cash grab.
  • The next game in the franchise is reportedly going to be one from the Black Ops series which perhaps be the refresh that the franchise requires.
  • On the other hand, one can argue that the IP is getting stale and running out of ideas.
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Modern Warfare 3‘s release has been more than tumultuous. The game is the lowest-rated game in the franchise by quite some margin. The single player is short and lacks flavor and any kind of depth. The open missions have been mostly disliked by the community. The multiplayer on the other hand, though bearable, is plagued with issues like flawed Skill-Based Matchmaking and players abusing the Riot Shield by mounting it on their backs.

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The game was released after a one-year gap as compared to the gap between Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 which was of three years. All of this naturally induces fans to point fingers at Activision and Sledgehammer games. That is because the game’s apparent rushed development makes it seem more like a shenanigan pulled off to induce cash flow at the cost of quality. From glaringly obvious Skill-Based Matchmaking issues to Sledgehammer ignoring them in their AMA, things cannot seem to go worse for the game.

The game’s successor is supposedly in the works as per insider reports, after Sledgehammer failed to deliver any real quality with Modern Warfare 3. Treyarch has been brought back on board to set things right. The next game in the franchise is reportedly going to be one from the Black Ops series. This could, perhaps be the refresh that the franchise requires.

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On the other hand, Black Ops is the same series that has five titles already. All of this is bound to make one think, is the biggest and by far the most successful FPS IP running out of ideas for its games?

The Train Wreck that is Modern Warfare 3

Can Modern Warfare 3's impending Train Wreck be saved?
Can Modern Warfare 3‘s impending Train Wreck be saved?

It would be redundant to mention the issues that are plaguing the latest CoD. Despite the sales being reasonably good, the content quality has been a major letdown. If anything, the game doesn’t do justice to the Call of Duty name at all. Most elements in the game seem repurposed and there is a serious lack of innovation from the development team.

There were reports that the cycle of development for the game before it went gold was a problematic and misleading one for the workforce, however, the CEO of Sledgehammer shut these rumors down.

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If all of this wasn’t enough, rumors and speculations of the game initially being an expansion to the previous title started surfacing. There were even reports of the developer initially pitching a sequel to Advanced Warfare, another title in the series, but the publisher vetoed the proposition. The only good thing about the game as per reports, reviews, and the outrage sparked by users on social media is perhaps the Zombies mode. That too has a lot of rough edges that need chamfering.

Modern Warfare 3 fans’ woes do not end here. The latest patch (Patch 1.33) was released and like most patches, was meant to fix issues. The patch however worsened things for players as it introduced new issues.

Fans are expecting a massive improvement over the current game when the series does make a return next year. The next game as mentioned earlier is going to continue the Black Ops franchise. The original Black Ops series (Black Ops 1, 2, and Cold War) featuring Alex Mason and Company has been one of the strongest additions to the franchise. Black Ops 3 and 4, however, have not been able to live up to expectations.

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If anything, they were reboots in themselves despite sharing the Black Ops name. The next game is reportedly set during the Gulf War events. All of this while providing some amount of variation to Call of Duty still seems that the IP is getting a little stale. Now that Activision is under the Xbox Game Studios Umbrella, expectations from Call of Duty will only increase.

The community isn’t very happy about the franchise’s current offerings at all. This can be seen with one glance at the Metascores for recent games. The reviews on marketplaces on platforms like Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation store aren’t favorable either. Some massive changes have to be made to the game to save it from going down as the biggest AAA disappointment to release this year. To be fair, the team is working tirelessly to maintain it, with new maps and game modes which have been promised by developers.

What Call of Duty Stood For

The original Black Ops was one of the most iconic titles in the series and was also the best selling one.
The original Black Ops was one of the most iconic titles in the series and was also the best-selling one.

Most gamers from the previous generation will know the top-dog spot Call of Duty rightfully earned in the FPS genre. This was because of a lot of factors. For one, the gameplay provided by the franchise was second to none. The campaign mode used to be strongest among competing FPS games. The multiplayer experience was an extension of that. Not to mention the games were released as finished products with minor patches and hotfixes which were released post-launch for maintenance.

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While it is only natural for the series to undergo significant changes as time goes by, they will more often than not be misaligned with the past entries. Call of Duty now seems to stand for quantity instead of quantity.

The franchise is looked down upon by not just the community of gamers, and series veterans but also developers who are visibly disgusted with the cash-first approach of the series. And while this outlook may seem a little holier than thou on paper, the take isn’t entirely wrong. There isn’t anything wrong with Call of Duty turning into a yearly release, but this will most likely be the end of what Call of Duty was. The franchise has already earned the status of being just a shadow of what it once was. Further marring of its brand image will be lethal to the shareholders.

The Call of Duty community also seems to see through the company’s strategy of not taking risks and merely settling for the revenue from sales and worse, microtransactions. The franchise seems to be earning infamous status for opting for the different name same game approach which is usually given to sports games.

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All of this considered, some huge changes have been made to the Call of Duty IP now that it is being looked down upon by almost everybody in the gaming world. Whether we will get something revolutionary for the series or not is entirely another question. That is because the current formula on which recent Call of Duty games are based might not be decent at putting out quality titles. However, one cannot argue that it brings in revenue.

For instance, a post shared by Call of Duty‘s official handle states that Modern Warfare 3 has largely been successful in terms of engagement. It is obvious that the more the engagement, the more the revenue for the title. While there are no official sales numbers those will probably be revealed in Activision’s next earnings report. Despite the major outrage caused by the game, fans still seem to go back to it. Whether it is because of the game’s quality or because of the lack of a strict competitor is unknown.

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Written by Sparsh Jaimini

Articles Published: 302

Sparsh Jaimini Sharma is a video games enthusiast and a Games Writer. A true white-blooded Madridsta. He is often seen grinding away at EAFC 24's Ultimate team and learning to code when he is not writing. A Batman fan and Arkham Games connoisseur. He is the quintessential DC aficionado.