The Future of Call of Duty Games: What to Expect from the Next Installment
Call of Duty is an American video game series and media franchise published by Activision. Starting in 2003, the games were first developed by Infinity Ward, then also by Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. Several spin-off and handheld games were made by other developers. The most recent title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, was released on October 28, 2022.
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The series originally focused on the World War II setting, with Infinity Ward developing the first (2003) and second (2005) titles in the series and Treyarch developing the third (2006). Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) introduced a new, modern setting, and proved to be the breakthrough title for the series, creating the Modern Warfare sub-series. The game's legacy also influenced the creation of a remastered version, released in 2016. Two other entries, Modern Warfare 2 (2009) and Modern Warfare 3 (2011), were made. The sub-series received a reboot with Modern Warfare in 2019, with a sequel released in 2022. Infinity Ward have also developed two games outside of the Modern Warfare sub-series, Ghosts (2013) and Infinite Warfare (2016). Treyarch made one last World War II-based game, World at War (2008), before releasing Black Ops (2010) and subsequently creating the Black Ops sub-series. Four other entries, Black Ops II (2012), III (2015), 4 (2018), and Cold War (2020) were made, the latter in conjunction with Raven Software. Sledgehammer Games, who were co-developers for Modern Warfare 3, have also developed three titles, Advanced Warfare (2014), WWII (2017), and Vanguard (2021).
As of April 2021[update], the series has sold over 400 million copies. Meanwhile, the games in the series have consistently released annually to blockbuster-level sales, the series is verified by the Guinness World Records as the best-selling first-person shooter game series. It is also the most successful video game franchise created in the United States and the fourth best-selling video game franchise of all time. Other products in the franchise include a line of action figures designed by Plan B Toys, a card game created by Upper Deck Company, Mega Bloks sets by Mega Brands, and a comic book miniseries published by WildStorm Productions, and a feature film in development.
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game based on id Tech 3, and was released on October 29, 2003. The game was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. The game simulates the infantry and combined arms warfare of World War II. An expansion pack, Call of Duty: United Offensive, was developed by Gray Matter Studios with contributions from Pi Studios and produced by Activision. The game follows American and British paratroopers and the Red Army. The Mac OS X version of the game was ported by Aspyr Media. In late 2004, the N-Gage version was developed by Nokia and published by Activision. Other versions were released for PC, including Collector's Edition (with soundtrack and strategy guide), Game of the Year Edition (includes game updates), and the Deluxe Edition (which contains the United Offensive expansion and soundtrack; in Europe the soundtrack was not included). On September 22, 2006, Call of Duty, United Offensive, and Call of Duty 2 were released together as Call of Duty: War Chest for PC. Since November 12, 2007, Call of Duty games have been available for purchase via Valve's content delivery platform Steam.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the sixteenth entry in the Call of Duty series and is also a reboot of the Modern Warfare series. The story has been described to be darker and more realistic than previous Call of Duty games. It is set in the Black Ops timeline, separate from the other Modern Warfare games (however, characters such as Captain Price and other fan favorites from the series make a return). The game was officially revealed on May 30, 2019, and released on October 25, 2019.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the fifteenth main installment in the series. It was developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. The game was released on October 12, 2018. It was the first featured Call of Duty game to forgo a single-player campaign game mode, focusing only at the multiplayer aspect of the game. The game also introduced an entirely new battle royale game mode, called Blackout, in addition to multiplayer and zombies co-op mode.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the seventeenth main installment in the series. It was developed by Treyarch and Raven Software,and published by Activision. The game was released on November 13, 2020. Set during the 1980s and focusing on Soviet and American espionage during the Cold War, the game is chronologically set between Call of Duty: Black Ops and Black Ops II.
On November 6, 2015, upon the release of Black Ops III, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Activision Blizzard launched a production studio called Activision Blizzard Studios and are planning a live action Call of Duty cinematic universe in 2019. On February 16, 2018, it was announced that Stefano Sollima will direct the film. Days later, he told Metro UK that he is considering having both Tom Hardy and Chris Pine as the leads for the film. In an interview with FilmSlash, Sollima stated that the film will be a real soldier movie, not a war movie. On November 27, 2018, it was announced that Joe Robert Cole will be writing the sequel. Filming on the first film was supposed to start filming in Spring 2019 for a 2020 or 2021 release. In February 2020, Sollima revealed in an interview that the film is put on hold saying that it's not Activision's priority.
The Call of Duty games were used in esports, starting in 2006, alongside the game released at the time, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Over the years, the series has extended with releases such as Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Call of Duty: Mobile. Games are played in leagues like Major League Gaming.
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AM General, the manufacturer of the Humvee, sued Activision in 2017 for using the Humvee in multiple Call of Duty games. A federal district judge gave Activision a summary motion in its favor to dismiss the case in April 2020, stating that the purpose of the use of the Humvee in the games, to provide military realism, was quite different from the trademark purpose that AM General had established, for selling to the military.
The series was published by Activision and most of the games have been developed by Infinity Ward and Treyarch, though some were developed by Amaze Entertainment and Gray Matter Interactive Studios. Newer entries have been released on a yearly basis with Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Treyarch interchanging as producers each year.
Call of Duty, the first installment in the series, won over eighty Game of the Year awards in 2003. In 2005, Call of Duty 2 was the first Xbox 360 title to sell one million copies and was the bestselling game of that year. In 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a critical and commercial success, being the bestselling game of 2007 and having sold 10 million copies by June 2008. In 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 broke the record for highest gross from a form of media's first day on the market, bringing in $310 million in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia alone, beating Grand Theft Auto IV's record of $310 million worldwide. However, the highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours is now held by Grand Theft Auto V at $800 million, $300 million more than Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Call of Duty: Ghosts was predicted by Activision to surpass this record, although did not succeed. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the first Call of Duty solely developed by Sledgehammer Games, broke new ground in the franchise by introducing a setting far into the the future with a futuristic movement system, and was highly acclaimed and was the top selling game of the year. Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the biggest entertainment launch of 2015. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare took the franchise to space and was released along with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, and became the top-grossing game of 2016, with both games receiving acclaim by critics and fans alike.
The series has been referred to and parodied by many television shows, including Chuck, NCIS, The Whitest Kids U' Know, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Breaking Bad, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (in two episodes), Helix, Outsiders, House of Cards, Sons of Anarchy, and Mr. Sark of X-Play listed it as his second favorite shooter series, saying "I like war movies, so I like Call of Duty." It has also been referenced in some movies, such as The A-Team and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Additionally, video games such as Battlefield Hardline have referenced it too. Plus, it has been mentioned in some commercials, such as in a commercial for the Samsung SUHD television.
Dan Western is the founder of Gaming Gorilla, as well as several other infotainment blogs. When he's not working on his business, he's likely in the gym or playing video games. Dan's current setup is a PS5/Nintendo Switch living room setup, and a custom RTX 3090, I9-10850K inside the Lian Li 011D Mini for his office setup.