Modern Warfare 3 Shows Call of Duty Is Too Big To Die

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Call of Duty Seems Immune To Failure!

Story Highlight
  • Modern Warfare 3 received a negative reception, yet it ended up as one of last year’s best-selling games.
  • This release has proven that even the worst-rated game in the franchise is practically immune to failure.
  • Call of Duty has become too big to be taken down at this point.

Call of Duty is the biggest and best-selling first-person shooter series in the industry. The franchise has sold over 400 million copies and is still going strong with each new annual release.

I have been playing this series for as long as I can remember. While I still cherish fond memories of time spent playing the best this IP has to offer, I have found myself pushed away from Call of Duty recently.

It is no surprise that Modern Warfare 3 didn’t meet expectations. From a disappointingly short and anti-climactic campaign to the recycled multiplayer, the game had every reason to fail on the market.

In many ways, it did. This release is Call of Duty’s worst critically-rated entry, but more than anything, Modern Warfare 3 shows that Call of Duty has reached a point where it is too big to die.

Why it matters: The gaming industry has become famous as a risky business. However, a few IPs, including Call of Duty, are big enough to where they are not part of this debate.

Modern Warfare 3
Captain Price And Ghost

As someone who likes Call of Duty campaigns more than most, I was cautiously optimistic about Modern Warfare 3, yet it failed to impress in nearly every way possible.

The narrative was poorly written, open-combat missions felt half-baked, and Sledgehammer Games failed to make this iteration of Makarov compelling. Perhaps the ending was the worst part, though I will avoid going into spoilers.

However, despite a poor story and nearly indistinguishable core gameplay from its predecessor, the game sold millions of copies in just a week. It launched as the best-selling game on consoles and eventually became the biggest game of November in the US.

This proves that Call of Duty, even at its worst, can go unharmed. Modern Warfare 3 is not the first game to show this phenomenon since the likes of Call of Duty Vanguard and World War 2 were in a similar position.

However, Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest example of the IP’s staying power.

Modern Warfare 3
Ghost And Soap

Over the years, the concept of a Call of Duty killer has become a popular talking point in the industry. Since this series exploded with the original Modern Warfare, games like Halo, Titanfall, and the upcoming XDefiant have been dubbed the Call of Duty killer.

Many franchises have come and gone, but the current state of Activision’s golden goose shows that it will keep going as long as the publisher continues to release a game each year.

As a fan of Pokemon, I find both franchises in a similar position. Pokemon’s quality has degraded a lot in recent years, but Scarlet and Violet became the IP’s fastest-selling titles, with the entire series selling 480 million units.

For all the criticism these IPs have received in recent years, they are thriving on the market.

The launch of Modern Warfare 3 was so massive it even led to record traffic for UK internet providers. It also set a new record for player engagement in the franchise.

With the next game in the franchise adopting a similar strategy of pandering to nostalgic players and the iconic Black Ops name, I reckon we will see another massive success for Activision and Xbox.

However, I hope that Microsoft’s control over the IP will lead to positive changes, bringing it closer to its innovative and game-changing roots.

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