Call of Duty Franchise Turns 20 This Month

Two Decades of First-Person Shooter Action!

Call of Duty has a strong history dating back to 2003. With a variety of settings, different styles of gameplay, and several memorable entries, the franchise is arguably second to none in the first-person shooter genre.

As Activision gears up to release Modern Warfare 3 next month, the stage is set for Call of Duty to conquer the first-person shooter genre once again. However, before this release, the franchise will celebrate a major milestone soon.

Having debuted in 2003, the Call of Duty franchise is nearly two decades old and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in just over a week on 29 October.

Why it matters: This IP produces the best-selling first-person shooter in the industry each year, showing no signs of slowing down after so many years of games.

Call of Duty 4

In 2003, the first Call of Duty game immediately made a name for itself after receiving unanimous praise from critics and fans.

During its early years, Activision focused on a World War 2 setting for the series, delivering campaigns that rivaled the best offerings of the first-person genre at the time. However, the series exploded in popularity when it finally transitioned to a modern setting in 2007.

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare was a monumental release for Activision that paved the way for several successful entries. This entry redefined the series, laying the groundwork for modern entries of the IP.

Apart from a blockbuster campaign that introduced iconic characters like Captain Price and Soap MacTavish, the 2007 release debuted pillars of Call of Duty multiplayer, like classes, killstreaks, and perks.

Subsequent entries then expanded on this formula, with Treyarch eventually taking the series to a futuristic setting with many sci-fi elements in Black Ops 2. This was another major release for the franchise after it had already stayed at the top for many years.

Black Ops 2 introduced scorestreaks, a new class system, and a new 3-lane approach to multiplayer maps. Such changes were well-received, ensuring this particular entry’s relevance to this day.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Like any franchise, Call of Duty has seen ups and downs. Between 2014 and 2016, the series began to lose steam, with the likes of Infinite Warfare being bombarded with negativity from the initial reveal.

However, despite such releases, the IP rarely failed to break into the best-selling games of a given year. In recent years, Activision and Infinity Ward have managed to revitalize the games, with last year’s Modern Warfare 2 becoming the biggest launch for the series.

Today, Activision has over seven studios engaged in different parts of the blockbuster franchise. Call of Duty is also expected to go through massive changes under the new leadership of Xbox.

Activision believes this franchise is just getting started, and the sky is the limit. With two industry giants coming together to work on even more exciting entries for the future, we cannot wait to see what the first-person shooter IP has in store for us.

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