Activision's Response to the Call of Duty Crisis
Call of Duty has become a brand, and as such it has to be carefully maintained and consumer corrected - in order of preserving its connection with its overall buyers. Activision is the group, if you will, that owns the right and control for Call of Duty, and until 2013 they were on the mark with relating well to their average buyer.
These days Call of Duty flutters across the video-game market as a sign of market dominance. 50% of the buyers market for Call of Duty will happily, if not eagerly buy the latest title brought under the franchises domineering controlling market share, as another fool to fall prey to the over-abundant marketing tactics utilised by the Activision group.
Lots of Call of Duty buyers fall under the ages of between 12 and 16, and these are extremely social groups of people, and what matters most to these people is entertainment that falls into the meta video-gaming space. Hey, dude, the new Call of Duty is less than 25 days now away from its launch date. Friends response - yeah, it’s going to based during the World War 2 era. Original spoken individuals, response - I know man, there is going to be a well cool War game mode online, and damn, the single player campaign’s trailer has recently come out, and it looks like a cinematic silver screen production. Friends response - hmmm, your right man, I can’t (unspoken: wait to pay £55 for the base game, and £40 on additional DLC maps as the year goes on, and I don’t even care about the micro transactions that see many individuals my age falling prey to paying an additional £60 just to get access to new weapons quicker than their mates) wait. Gonna be fun, right.
Sure, the point gets mismatched amongst different groups of age ranges, reasons for purchasing the game, brand loyalty, and anti-consumerism groups that would condemn a company like Activision for their marketing ploys and stunts. But, everyone has come to the agreement that Call of Duty is simply too powerful as a brand, and therefore gets all sorts of unreasonable support from so many young age group individuals that cannot be argued with.
This is why video-games developers quite often listen to their player-base that has remained current on their activities, but for no apparent reason starts to shift their focus onto the groups of people that are not playing the game. Activision, the publisher (in this case), wants their developers to boost sales and the only way they go about doing this is effortful attempts to appeal to those that may never have lifted up a game from their franchise before in their lives.
Why would Activision focus on the 30-something year olds, as these people will be jam-packed busy with their professional careers, juggling being a good husband with being the perfect father, and then on those quiet moments on a Saturday evening they lock the spare bedroom door to play an hour of Call of Duty. These people can go burn in hell as far as Activision cares, since it is all about appealing to the snotty nosed kids that have driven their own fathers into a rhythmic world where they are too old and too unimportant to play Call of Duty.
All Activision wants is to ignore the 18-25 year olds sending hate messages to their Call of Duty YouTube channel regarding an inexcusable amount of hit and miss releases, so that they can focus on the mismatched game that they have created.
Obviously Activision can’t go on year in and year out releasing new Call of Duty titles that receive negative input from their games community, but they can do it for 3 years before they make any effort to move in a different direction. 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts was the game that had proven that Infinity Ward was no longer capable of making any new titles for the franchise, but the community would eagerly back the studio based on the work that they did in 2011 going backwards. But, this was an Infinity Ward run and made up of all the original developers that formed Call of Duty (2003, if we should point out the obvious), and this is, no more.
2017, and Call of Duty still stands as being the exact same Call of Duty that they were back in 2009, only they are in a worse position because they have been rehashing the same worn out game engine that they used back nearly a decade ago. This engine may have seen simple improvements, but nothing in the shape of innovation has taken place.
You will hear the big YouTube Call of Duty content creators talk trash about how the games multiplayer is so unbelievable fun to play, but if you take a careful look at their prestige it is probably not even into the first prestige. Yet, they hype up the game as though it is the best thing since sliced bread.
These YouTube channels are perfect for making the point, as every clickbait title that they use for these videos talks about how the games developer has screwed up, or the title is simply not what it used to be, and this is all the stuff that is running through the community’s mind as a whole. Reason for this: NO INNOVATION.
Fun on Call of Duty: Yep, everyone still has fun playing Call of Duty’s online multiplayer, but the fact still remains that there is no innovation in the Call of Duty game that you are playing in 2017. Sure, they changed the games mechanics for Advanced Warfare back in 2014, and the sales were dipping whilst this was in effect all the way up until 2017.
Now, Call of Duty: WW2 is on the verge of release, and wow the War game mode online looks like some cool fun. Yes, the War mode online does look like a bit of cool fun, so what we can safely reassure is that Call of Duty is still cool in 2017, but is it going to be enough to keep fans from 2009 here in 2017 without the confirmation of innovation within the games core engine.
Activision Response to What…?
Well, in 2014, Activision gave the green light for Sledgehammer Games to introduce an entirely different set of gaming mechanics into their Advanced Warfare title, and this shook the franchises community, but not at the core. Because, of course, the game engine was still a carbon copy of the one that we had back in 2009.
In 2015 and 2016 we had another reshape and reconfiguration of the Advanced Warfare gaming mechanics that so changed the franchise. Unless they alter the game engine at its core design there is nothing to stop original Call of Duty enthusiasts from back in 2009 to secretly play these futuristic titles, and then lie to their mates so they sound cool about disliking the lacking of the core engine not changing.
No one wants change, and this is the largest reason why Activision would green light mechanics changes for the gameplay, but would sooner decapitate the franchise than except a new game engine, entirely. Yeah, every Call of Duty title has a different game engine, but they are all of the same generation, which is quite frankly upsetting, because they have changed in just about every other way since 2009.
If Call of Duty one day changed the game engine entirely this could cause the top sales of 30 million copies across all gaming platforms to be subtracted by half, and for the next year following the climb downwards would be applicable for occurring in such a self-exposition that it would permanently damage the franchises selling potential. Activision are a successful business, and a vital part of this is their Call of Duty franchise, and the developers behind the last truly innovative game engine design left back in 2009, formed Respawn Entertainment, and made Titanfall.
Call of Duty is the Video-Game Equivalence of Apple’s iPhone
Call of Duty can slip up for a few years and all is immediately forgiven, and heck, tech magazines will still supporting the slipping franchise. The iPhone 6 and 7 were not the best received iPhones, but because they are Apple’s flagship product they did not have to fear, even in the slightest. Sales were on the up and up, and now they have made the Apple iPhone X (10), that is said to rebrand the iPhone brand nearly to the complete extent in that this is the true next generation iPhone, and all of the others were experiments.
Call of Duty, like the iPhone, is in some serious need of rebranding to take the franchise out of the rut that it has found itself in. They can’t remodel the game engine to a complete extent through fears of crashing the sales and burning the franchise forever. But, they can keep remodelling it until they have their opportunity to bring out their version of the iPhone X that can take the series far ahead that it has ever been before. Does anyone even know (or care!) how much the Call of Duty games cost to create? Probably not.
© 2017 Dreammore