Every year a new Call of Duty.
Visit Reddit, YouTube or Twitter and you’ll see a plethora of varying opinions on the FPS franchise. From fans stating that its amazing to its critic saying its overrated, you will never see a more divided crowd in all of gaming. But, for all its shortcomings, Call of Duty is an overall solid franchise and a cash making machine. No way in hell does Activision stop this train because there isn’t another franchise that can meet its commercial success. Even its biggest competitor in the FPS market, Battlefield, doesn’t even come close to the numbers that Call of Duty gets yearly. Which begs the question.
Why make Black Ops 4?
Recently, Call of Duty has been doing a little soul-searching in regards to its setting. Players have been placed in every known theater of war, World War 2, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, if there has been a conflict of any sort in the past 100 years, Call of Duty has you covered. It even experimented with fictional conflicts set in the near future, with Infinite Warfare being set in space where you get to visit the moon of Titan and even Mars. Last year, Call of Duty jumped back into World War II where it played out like an episode of Band of Brothers. This year, Call of Duty will be returning to the world of Black Ops. Now, let me be clear, I loved Black Ops 1 and 2 because of how their narratives were interconnected and there was some type of freedom in relation to player choice. Black Ops 3 went off the rails completely, its narrative was a mess and there was almost no real payoff in regards to its finale. It was trying to hard to be intellectual but ended up being unintelligible. It had practically no connection to the previous titles, which made it feel like its own self-contained story.
By all means, Black Ops 3 should have been a quiet end to the series.
Now, Black Ops 4 is slated to release this October and while there is hope for a return to competency, there is more reason for doubt. There is so much room for creative freedom within the franchise that they can literally create a new series and hardcore fans would probably still be excited. Those on the fence would be more enticed for a new series than a sequel to an existing one. It makes you wonder if Activision is tired of experimentation. Their futuristic entries didn’t sell the way last year’s WWII did, but that was mainly due to the nostalgic nature of that entry. No wall running or double jumping, just tight corridor action. But can you really move your franchise forward by going backwards? Eventually, Call of Duty will find itself in taking criticism for not advancing the series. But who knows, maybe Black Ops 4 will push the envelope and bring something new and exciting to the franchise or it will be just another Call of Duty entry with no new tricks.
No pressure Activision.