Article by John Wilkie
I’ve been playing Call of Duty (COD) since day dot effectively and yes my FPS experience predates it. I’m an older man now but I can still establish a respectable KD. Every year I hear cries of COD is shit, COD is over yadda yadda and every year I chuckle to myself knowing full well it isn’t but let’s talk about where COD is at.
Just so we all know our history? The main issue came to pass around MW3 when Infinity Ward said screw you Activision and left to form Respawn Entertainment… Did you ever wonder why the rock glitch on Afghan wasn’t fixed and just a death spot was dropped 10months later? And all the mods were allowed? Well, it’s because technically the Infinity Ward who made the game wasn’t there anymore.
Sledgehammer with Raven software came in to salvage and put together MW3 and for this, we need to thank them as although not as great as the former it held its own. Skip ahead a few years Treyarch Studio came in to add to black ops to the fray and for a time there was peace among the lands, spec ops, extinction, zombies fans all had their fills as did the campaign hunters…multiplayer was great. So let’s start with where the problems came in…
Around Black Ops 2 and then continuing, Skill-based matchmaking was added and has been continued to be turned up and down with every COD title. The idea is to keep it accessible to everyone yet it continues to alienate. Most fans enjoyed the fact you could go from a try hard lobby and sweating to finish on an even KD for the joy of hitting a 25 kill streak in the next, the sheer randomness of the lobbies was a thing of beauty and rage.
Then the fans started the cries of we want something different, we are sick of the same thing. Step into the fresh mix of COD Ghosts with its massive maps, Advanced Warfare with the Exosuits and Infinite Warfare with its super Sci-fi. Then all of a sudden the community ever changing their mind screaming we want to change back, WE WANT BOOTS ON THE GROUND. So the warning signs were there as the casual gamers dropping away with the title changes and the skill-based matchmaking. We could talk about this forever, weapons, glitches, hacks etc. etc. etc. But let’s step to the present day….
2018-2019 With Treyarch now the dominating force in Call of Duty we got Black Ops 4 (which without a campaign isn’t really a sequel and also another problem for gamers) joining the Battle Royale explosion and heavily weighing on microtransactions people are still leaving in droves.
Here’s what is interesting The Black Ops 4 multiplayer that is there now was never meant to be like this and was designed completely different. David Vonderhaar the go-to at Treyarch has completely abandoned the multiplayer all together and now solely working on the blackout mode. It is heavily rumoured that his final year with Treyarch.
2019-2020 is set to be Infinity Wards Call of Duty launching this November; things looked promising with returning staff from Respawn to the studio who had worked on MW2 the true Spartans. Originally rumour mill had this at Modern Warfare 4 it is now supposedly called just Call of Duty Modern Warfare almost like a soft reboot. Massive rumours say we may not see a new Modern Warfare 2 campaign only remaster which again causes rage in the diehard community as the multiplayer was the height of glory.
2020-2021 is where shit is messy and really hitting the fan. As we all know it’s a 3-year cycle and this is Sledgehammer & Raven software year. We are meant to be seeing this title in 18months. Now Here’s what we know Raven Software and Sledgehammer are at massive loggerheads they can’t split a bar bill without an argument.
Sledgehammers Michael Condrey has left to form his own studio and to boot a shit load of Sledgehammer and a few of Raven have downed the Infinity Ward route and pissed off to join him. Treyarch has now been asked to step in and finish this title.
So in the times of dev crunching coming to light Activision have turned to Treyarch and said finish this game for us in 18months…it’s going to be a fucking mess. Supposedly the campaign set in the cold war has been about done before Sledgehammer walked away from the table (remember a name does not make a studio and Sledgehammer are a shell of their former selves) all of this taken with the fact that this is the latest COD has ever waited to even drop a tease to the new title, this leads me to some very loose predictions so take with a pinch of salt while I gaze into my crystal ball:
- We will see a MASSIVE push to the mobile game coming, similar to the Chinese COD: online this free to play title is going to be heavily blocked by paywalls to make its money. This has already started to happen with YouTubers who are in bed with Activision (Driftor) focusing on this more than the upcoming titles. You will also note that some of the more famous old school COD YouTubers (Tmar etc.) were not invited to the reveal because of their critical reviews.
- We will see a year break in the Franchise… Look Sledgehammer and Raven cannot continue, Treyarch have been asked to finish the game in 18months and then produce their own variant… it simply cannot be done at all. COD’s similar to their map designs always have 3 play modes. Treyarch is being asked to make 5 back to back. There will need to be a break which leads me to
- We will see MW2 Multiplayer Remaster…but I don’t think it will be this year as this COD has had full development from an older school, Inifinity Ward. But I think we will see it next year as a bolt on for what is set to be a rushed mess of a game to try to soften the blow.
The Studios at a glance:
Sledgehammer – Name only. Michael Condrey gone and several key members of staff.
Infinity Ward – Looking stronger in the staff room
Raven Software – slightly weakened but their partnership with Sledgehammer is virtually gone
Treyarch – too heavy in the workload, David Vonderhaar leaving.
So that’s where we are currently in COD. Hope you enjoyed the article. If you liked it or if you didn’t and want to argue the toss out of it you can find me on Stoffel Presents Discord or if you have never used discord argue with me in the comment section below.