What can Activision do to revitalise Call Of Duty on PS4? The Official PlayStation Magazine debate
Call of Duty might still be one of the biggest games in all existence but there’s a cloud looming. Sales maintain their stratospheric numbers but have failed to reach peaks set by previous games, Black Ops in particular. Worse still there seems to be a growing resentment from gamers rebelling against it’s mainstream domination. It even managed to just edge into our 10 worst games on PS3 vote.
So what can Activision do? Ride it out or reinvent its shooty cash cow. Here’s Team OPM to debate the options they think will work best for COD’s future.
What can Activision do to revitalise Call Of Duty?
Jason Killingsworth, former features editor
Soldiers defend freedom, and in videogames, true freedom demands an open-world.
Years ago the real-world shooter genre had the Nazis as a suitably unambiguous evil, but WW2 games quickly saturated the market. COD became a sensation by leaping into modern-day Middle East. But where to next? You can’t blurt out ‘space’ as an easy joke since Ghosts has already followed Mario into the stars. The future? Nah, sci-fi shooters are a Doom a dozen. It’s time for COD to shed its linear structure and go truly open-world, something PS4 can easily handle. C’mon, let us explore not just a ruined battlefield, but a war-torn country at our own pace. It’s time we went rogue.
Leon Hurley, associate editor
Short answer: nothing. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
The main issue is that Acti doesn’t care. I don’t mean that in a bad way, simply that there are millions of casuals that buy a couple of games a year and pick up COD whenever it arrives. Think of something you like but don’t read news sites for daily – books, films, cheese, etc. You don’t know release dates off the top of your head. You just see thing, buy thing. They could gut and rebuild the franchise and 90% of players wouldn’t know. The brand sells, not the content, so why take the risk on relaying a golden egg? If the series ever changes it’ll be via a spin-off – an experiment that won’t threaten the core COD franchise.
Matthew Pellett, editor
Treyarch has already managed to revitalise COD – just nobody realised it yet.
For all its ‘progress’ with branching storylines and RTS levels, Black Ops 2 should be remembered most of all as the game where Treyarch’s zombie side-mode outshone the campaign. World At War’s throwaway Nazi Zombies time-waster has evolved into a full co-op ruckus, and if Treyarch diverts all its focus into expanding and polishing the TranZit concept they’ll have a game ready to shuffle out into the wild on its own. So with The Walking Dead still the biggest show on TV, COD’s Zombie maps already shifting millions and no sign of Left4Dead anytime soon, there’s a gap in the market just begging to be plugged.
Dom Reseigh-Lincoln, production editor
If Activision wants to shake off the tropes of old, Call Of Duty needs to boldly rewrite the FPS formula.
COD’s success hangs on its online experience, and that’s built on a specific makeup – Treyarch and Infinity Ward just need to make it more immersive. I’m talking bigger maps, dynamic weather and special perks awarded on the fly in-game. Think Battlefield wired on Red Bull (minus the ten-mile hikes). On the solo side of things, the devs need to think about taking risks. No more faux-stealth follow missions or slo-mo one shot kills. Stop with the generic American GIs, cease with forgettable villains and seriously, how many times can the United States be invaded in one franchise?