Breaking the Call of Duty: Help for Everyone

Annualized games are almost always low-effort cash grabs designed to separate a fool from his money. For the most part, annualized franchises get stale pretty quickly, and while they may have been able to take a pretty lucrative position on the initial wave of success, their thrones are almost always sitting in the sand superior. Ultimately, annualized games almost always fail, but somehow Call of Duty bucks that trend year after year. Call of Duty’s long annual release cycle was starting to tire out the game, and all three of the designated CoD development studios were going all out. The series has reached a point where less is more, and while it has been the right time for a shift to a semi-annual release schedule for years, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision may finally make that shift financially viable.

The current development cycle for the Call of Duty franchise is spread across three major studios, each producing a new game every three years. This three-year three-studio cycle resulted in a stifling and unimaginative series of games.Ironically, the only signs of ingenuity and enthusiasm over the past few years have come from the past: in 2017, when Sledgehammer unapologetically retro Call of Duty WW2and in 2019 with modern war reboot. As is, the series cycled through Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer. To improve the Call of Duty franchise, Microsoft will have to fundamentally rethink how future CoD games are developed and distributed. By dismantling Sledgehammer and allowing the development team to be equally absorbed by Infinity Ward and Treyarch, the series will be free to enter a semi-annual release cycle, allowing each game to spend the same amount of time in the oven and significantly increasing post-launch time from a larger and more focused Team support. But the only way that Call of Duty can break away from annualization is financially viable, which also happens to be Xbox’s biggest game right now, Game Pass.

Great developers make great games, but while raw talent almost never equals quality of life, quality of life often morphs into talent. At the heart of every game is the developer, and happy and healthy developers are more likely to produce high-quality games. By disbanding Sledgehammer and moving to a semi-annual release schedule, the remaining two development studios will handle less work while significantly increasing the workforce. Intuitively, a larger development team putting out half of the games is bad for the business, but given the physical and mental health of the teams developing the aforementioned games, the Game Pass model could support a quality over quantity approach. Disbanding the Sledgehammer game will not only benefit the development team by reducing stress by increasing the workforce, but it will also give developers more freedom to try out new ideas, making each subsequent game more innovative. In addition to each entry being higher quality and more innovative, the team will be allocated an additional year to support the latest version. So, for a full year, the team can focus on balancing changes and post-launch content.

For example, Infinity Ward is currently wrapping up development Modern Warfare 2. In the proposed system, they would be near the end of the third year of the four-year cycle.when Modern Warfare 2 The release of Infinity Ward will begin the fourth year of a four-year cycle.If a four-year cycle is adopted, the fourth year will be spent on tinkering and balancing the game to optimize the multiplayer experience, while also developing post-launch content, which will be released as the latest CoD game within two years. So, Fall 2022 to 2023 This fall will be Infinity Ward’s fourth year, and in the fall of 2023, they’ll be able to get the majority of the team to work, whether or not the next title will leave a backbone to maintain Modern Warfare 2 And the loop will repeat.

The role that publishers will play in the restructuring and revitalization of the Call of Duty franchise is key. Assuming Microsoft’s ongoing acquisition is approved, all future Call of Duty games will presumably launch on Gamepass on day one. Microsoft has the unique ability to refine and improve the Call of Duty formula by monetizing each individual game more efficiently. Despite what a more dedicated gaming audience might think, there are still a large number of gamers who buy consoles every year for the sole purpose of playing Call of Duty. Adding Call of Duty to Gamepass essentially makes the game most accessible on the Xbox platform, which naturally leads to the largest player base playing on the Xbox. Because such a large player base will be playing on Xbox, those who buy a console just to play Call of Duty will be drawn to Xbox and Gamepass. When released in November 2021, call of duty pioneer The Standard Edition is $60, the Cross-Generation Bundle is $70, and the Ultimate Edition is $100. If all post-launch content was included in Gamepass, and Call of Duty engagement could stay at $15 per month for two years, you might get $360 per game instead of $360 per game in both games The final version of the model is $200. The time frame in the existing annualized model. of duty pioneer
Image: Activision

Not only does Gamepass potentially more than double the annual revenue of each Call of Duty game, but it also serves as a drug-type experience that exposes viewers to all the other games available on the service.Players who originally subscribed to Gamepass to play Call of Duty can take the time to check Halo Infinite, Doom Eternal, or Wolfenstein.Eventually, these same players can expand into other genres and experience things like Ori and the Forest of the Blind, quantum breakor outer wilderness. Switching to a biennial release cycle will drive Call of Duty engagement as it allows Microsoft to monetize less aggressively than Call of Duty has historically, which in turn will drive engagement in the Xbox ecosystem as a whole, while Also to make room for other first parties every other year, Microsoft fills the flagship resort.

Changing Call of Duty’s release schedule will obviously benefit developers, and possibly publishers if done right, but also benefit consumers making for the elusive “win-win” scenario. As mentioned above, giving development teams more time to create games that we all love to spend so much time playing will create better, more innovative games, which is actually the definition of what’s good for consumers.As we all know, most viewers don’t, especially likepioneer or Black Ops: Cold War, but go back 10 to 15 years and we’re making Call of Duty games every year.At this point, the series is still able to deliver as good a game as it was in 2019 modern war But after nearly 20 years of climbing, franchise fatigue has taken its toll. So the renewed focus on quality coupled with some deliberate absences will undoubtedly lead our hearts to love what’s to come.

If a four-year cycle is adopted, not only will the quality of each game potentially improve, but the Call of Duty community will finally have the opportunity to thrive in unprecedented ways. Annual release cycles mean the community is whipping around between adopting the latest game, balancing patches, and marketing for the next game, with each game only in the spotlight for about five months after it finds its marine leg. The biennial Call of Duty game and intentional focus on post-launch content will give the community more time to build real metadata around things outside of Warzone, which will also drive long-term engagement in the series. An extra year per game will allow for a better and more complete experience at launch, followed by two years of dedicated and intentional support and post-launch content, which is a major win for a community, frankly , has experienced some of its worst highs and industry lows of the past decade. of duty
Image: Activision

Finally, a shift in the Call of Duty release cycle could mean more games and better games from other Microsoft first-party studios. Even if Call of Duty isn’t your jam, the series launched by Gamepass drives subscriptions, giving everything under Microsoft’s first-party umbrella more financial resources to experiment with.If the game likes Psychologist 2 or Ori and the Will of the Elf With less pressure to be seen as successful as the seemingly never-ending Call of Duty content is subsidized, then non-Call of Duty studios might get more freedom to experiment, knowing that Microsoft will know they have Call tax money to fall back on. So even if you’ve never played Call of Duty, changes in the release cycle can definitely have an impact on the games you play on Gamepass.

Foolproof situations are extremely rare, and there’s no denying that there’s a lot that could go wrong with Microsoft’s approach to making Call of Duty games a biennial release. But done right, it could be good for everyone involved, even some developers and players who aren’t involved with Call of Duty at all. Microsoft and their Gamepass service is the basis for the success of this particular model, and the only way the whole thing is economically viable. So while Microsoft’s approach with the other development studios they’ve acquired has been largely hands-off, hopefully that won’t be the case with Activision, as Call of Duty isn’t the only big revamp the company needs.

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