Does Call of Duty’s Future Depend on Black Ops II?

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With the multiplayer reveal of Black Ops II just a few days away, I think it’s safe to say that the hype surrounding Call of Duty is about to hit its highest point yet this year.  But is that enough to keep Call of Duty the mammoth success it’s become?  We all know BOII is going to be the next best-selling COD ever, it’s almost guaranteed considering the kind of money Activision has to throw behind its PR campaign.  But is hype enough to keep COD alive after BOII has been sitting in your console for 6 months?  Don’t get me wrong or take me for some BF3 fanboy, my humble ELITE stats should prove I play the hell out of some COD. It’s just that I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared for the franchise right now and upset with the direction Activision has taken it.

Maybe it’s just that MW3 was a disappointment for so many hardcore players, but it feels like a lot, as in the future of COD, is riding on BOII.  For me, each COD up until BOII has felt like it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Sure each new entry in the franchise has been exciting and fun, but it’s never felt like “if this COD doesn’t do well, COD is screwed,” until now.  It probably has something to do with the growing success of BF3 and the competition EA is looking to throw at COD over the next few years, but COD sure feels like it’s supremacy is hanging by a thread right now.

What happens if BOII is a really great game, but we’ve just gotten tired of annual COD of games?  Or even worse, what if BOII is genuinely bad?  What if the lag is worse than ever?  What if there’s a game-breaking balance issue that never gets fixed?  What if MORE noobs get their hands on BOII and camp even harder than they did in the last COD?  All these things have reared their ugly heads before, but have we had enough?

MW3 was probably the first COD to really cause a backlash post-release (aside from MW2 once the OMA+Noobtubes thing was figured out).  Many Youtubers refused to post it with the same frequency as they had pervious COD games, and some Youtubers even stopped posting MW3/COD altogether out of frustration with the game and it’s community of players (Ipwnstar4hire, LeftyOx, 402THUNDER402, etc).  There was even the MW3 Blackout movement, the first major “fix COD” movement to ever gain real traction with the community.  Can COD survive another MW3-scale backlash?  Fingers crossed!

Personally, I think Treyarch is going to release their most ambitious, well made, and successful COD title yet.   Maybe you don’t have much faith in Treyarch or the COD franchise as a whole, which is perfectly reasonable.  It’s a franchise that has been plagued with issues since it’s very beginnings.  But based on the kind of development that went into BO1; maps with interactivity (a first in COD history), probably the most balanced guns ever in COD since COD4 (post FAMAS nerf), excellent DLC, and an improved Zombies experience to name the highlights, I think Treyarch has the ability and the ok from Activision to make a very solid if not great COD game.  Maybe the execution of BO1 left a little (or a lot) to be desired, but there’s no doubt that Treyarch at least tried to do something cool.

There is also no doubt that an overbearing demand from Activision to meet a deadline, incorporate ELITE functionality, and design more noob-friendly game mechanics (Assassin, Support Strike Packages, OP sniper rifles, etc.) made MW3 the mediocre game that some think it is.  Do you think Activsion has eased up on its developers after seeing the mess that MW3 caused?  Do you think that the future of the COD franchise depends on the quality/success of BOII?

I think COD needs an overhaul on the scale of BF3’s, to really keep it going for the next few years.  Something tells me that the next batch of consoles is going to make or break a lot of franchises, but if Activsion doesn’t do something soon, COD and Guitar Hero are going to be sharing a grave in the used games bargain bin at Best Buy.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Be sure to stick around MP1st come August 7th.  The Black Ops II multiplayer reveal will be getting a lot of hype and dumping a lot of info for us COD players to soak up.  The staff here are among the most dedicated folks I’ve ever worked with and I can guarantee MP1st will be one of the best places to find the full monty on whatever happens this Tuesday.

Thank you for reading.