When I say, “yearly instalments”, what game first springs to mind? ‘Call of Duty’. What else? A new game within this blockbuster of a game series is guaranteed to release each November, and sell in their millions. Many people use this as ammunition to fuel the fires of their argument against yearly instalments, claiming they are ruining the gaming industry.
Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with yearly instalments, as long as each instalment is well-crafted and thought about. The ‘Assassin’s Creed’ series is a great example of this, as each game since the original has been highly rated by both critics and fans the world over (the exception being, of course, the average ‘Assassin’s Creed III’). ‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’ (the most recent game in the series) more than picked up the pieces from the previous game and shows great potential for the Assassin’s Creed name.
Unfortunately for the aforementioned Call of Duty, things have not panned out quite so well. Over the past few years (and, therefore, over the past few iterations), the series is showing signs of deteriorating, and this is reflected in both official and user reviews. Ideas and trends are repeated, sequels use the same storyline and characters, and the multiplayer has barely changed in recent memory with the same game modes reappearing in both Infinity Ward and Treyarch’s version of everyone’s most loved-to-hate first-person shooter. These feelings are only increased when EA release their beloved ‘Battlefield’ multiplayer-based FPS title every other year, directly competing with Call of Duty… and it always wins.
However, things are set to change for Call of Duty. Activision has recently announced plans (effective now) to change the usual two-year developer cycle to a three-year cycle. This now means that Sledgehammer Games (who collaborated with Infinity Ward and Raven Software for 2011’s ‘Modern Warfare 3’) is joining in on Infinity Ward and Treyarch’s fun, and that they are making this year’s Call of Duty, as opposed to Treyarch. So, what does this mean for the series as a whole? Well, now each developer has three years to create their new addition to the franchise, meaning that standards can be expected to rise once again for the brand. With this being said, I wouldn’t hold my breath just yet.
How do you feel about yearly instalments and the new, three-year Call of Duty developer cycle? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: These are my own thoughts on the matter of yearly instalments. You do not have to agree with me (although it would be nice). I hope you enjoyed the article.
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