(Editor’s Note: Usually, my Tuesday morning opinion column would appear in this space. However, this time, I’m turning it over to Orion, who has something to say about the way game companies make their money these days. –JM)
Can we take a moment to just say what needs to be said? Who actually cares about Call of Duty anymore? Or all of these boring sequels, for that matter.
I mean, if you’ve just discovered the wonderment of staying up past 11 PM and not talking to your friends on Club Penguin, I can understand this. I cannot, however, imagine anyone being seriously excited about something that’s already been done. I mean, we’ve all played Titanfall — why is BLOPS III taking us back to it? Maybe they watched a little too much Terminator II or got stuck at the respawn. How anyone could find the series entertaining at this point would baffle me.
Call of Duty has been bleeding out for years, and unfortunately, no one seems to want to euthanize this dying giant. Call of Duty used to be great; fantastic gameplay, with a story and co-op that actually mattered. You know, when it wasn’t a black hole of money that only cared about how much it could bleed you for by adding senseless content like gun skins, dog shields and doing the same thing over and over again. I’ll admit I have enjoyed a round of zombies or three, but when the game’s main selling feature is a rinse and repeat of the same damn thing, they really need to rethink what they’re actually doing.
The last good Call of Duty was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and here is where the series should have stopped and rebooted as something else. Like “Fate of The Licentious Larry Wilson: The Final Showdown” — because naming a game attached to Call of Duty is basically pointless at this point. We can easily predict, and with a 9/10 chance be right, that there will be Season Pass-exclusive unlockable DLC that allows you to buy DLC to unlock a name change of the game back to COD for a low COD console exclusive price of $99.99…
However, this is not the only game that has been bled beyond dry and is now a flopping money carcass in a desert of unimaginative torture.
Halo 5, for one. Come on, guys. Halo 3‘s literal marketing campaign was “Finish the Fight” — what’s coming from Halo 5: Guardians? More testosterone-replicating, energy-drank-promoting, chip bag deal/frozen-ice-beverage-littered gameplay with broken plot holes only to be filled by companion books and tag lines ranging to but not limited to “Finish the fight, again… again”?
Here: check out this mini-series campaign that literally makes everything from Halo 4 onward a complete waste of time and meaningless. Even trying to justify why Halo 4 should have never happened is a waste of time; the evidence and video is out there, the fight ended with 3. A true Halo fan knows that the fight was finished chronologically with Halo 3 and that’s that. This abomination that’s coming from 343 is nothing more than the equivalent to the Flood. It just needs to not exist. Let’s not even get started on the disappointment that the Halo: Master Chief Collection was; it was nothing but a nightmare, and worse, it only recently got fixed.
This only takes me back to the issue of sequels being pumped out every year for the sake of more money and little to no shits given about the fans.
Yes, this is a money-driven industry that focuses on market share and keeping shareholders happy. And yes, it is obviously a product in demand. However, developers seem to be playing a game of producing second-rate games, releasing them buggy as hell, charging through the ass for lackluster Season Passes and exclusive content — and then, they have the GALL to think apologizing for the game being buggy and offering free DLC as “Sorry we dropped the ball” compensation is acceptable.
Yeah. I’m looking at you, Ubisoft. We all remember Assassins Creed: Unity, and I can only expect Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate to be the same, bug-ridden, predictable story that you can read from a year away (with, of course, massive amounts of DLC and patches). I’m going to call it now: the brother/sister duo gets betrayed, one becomes a Templar, the other an Assassin, one has to kill the other. Don’t forget the generic love interest and pointless missions of running to pigeon coops. In the end the Assassin comes out on top, their sibling dies, everyone’s happy, but wait! There’s more! Act now and we’ll throw in 12 bonus missions that have no effect on the story at all!
I’m just done with disappointing sequels, I guess you could say. I just want a developer to to give an actual shit and not drown us in DLC as an incentive. I just want a developer to want me to play their game based off their passion and hard work… kinda like CD Projekt Red. These guys get their fans, they get what we want, and they don’t deliver disappointment. I mean, they gave 16 free DLCs as a thank-you for supporting the game, they didn’t drown us in a $119.99 digital edition… like Blops III and Batman: Arkham Knight. Why is it that a single developer and publisher can deliver a premium product at the same cost, but with less bullshit?
I’ll let you all sit on that.
Orion is an AYB Field Correspondent. A lover of cats, buttons, and firm handshakes, his opinions are his own.