With the release of Call of Duty WW2, the history of the series and annual releases hit number thirteen. We have had a new Call of Duty game each year since the release of Call of Duty 2. So, my question is, who else is sick of this model? My next question is, are any of you still playing Call of Duty Black Ops 3? Didn’t think so.
So, why bring any of this up? Easy, Rainbow Six: Siege released in December of 2015, around the same time as Call of Duty Black Ops 3. However, unlike Black Ops 3, Siege is still being played to this day, in fact the Siege’s popularity has grown since launch.
The game has grown so much that just in December of last year the game surpassed 25 million players, a game that turns 3 years old this year, has surpassed 25 million players. To compare, the latest Call of Duty, WW2 has only passed 12 million on PS4 it’s highest selling console and not even 1 million on Steam. What’s Call of Duty doing wrong? Better yet, what’s Rainbow Six: Siege been doing that is such a success? I’m here to answer such a question.
Before I get into it, I am a Call of Duty fan. I’ve enjoyed a good majority of the games up to this point, but something about WW2 is off and I believe a big contributing factor to be the fact that it’s just the same game, with a new coat of paint each year, and I’m just fatigued.
Much like with the Assassin’s Creed series, you can only pump out the same game with slight variations so many times. Call of Duty needs to adapt, and I think Rainbow Six: Siege is the perfect game to take a good look at. Siege has replaced Call of Duty as my first-person shooter of choice and that’s because the base game is a solid experience and the season passes just keep the game from going stale.
Having new operators every few months means the community has ample time to adjust and adapt the original maps with new operators whilst also including new, free maps. It means each time a new season comes out, it’s a great learning experience and keeps everyone on a level playing field for a week or so. The game continues to evolve and that’s what keeps myself and many others coming back.
So, how can Call of Duty learn from this? It’s simple. They need to start off with a solid base game, a game easily built upon and improved, without making it too simple. If the game has a solid base game, that is fun and entertaining to play from the get go, you’ve got a great start for success. But, a solid base game isn’t going to be enough sadly.
Their downloadable content packs will need a serious change in direction. Activision has released 4 multiplayer maps and a new zombies map now for years. Charging the same price each year with a hefty season pass price point. It needs to go. What I am proposing is seasons, again like Rainbow Six Siege. And instead of having multiplayer and zombies’ maps be only for people willing to pay, make them free with updates, or payable with in game currency, again like in Siege.
Siege’s operators aren’t locked behind pay walls, you can use in game currency from playing the game to unlock these new dlc operators and this makes the game go from what could be considered pay to win, to a great incentive for players to push themselves and keep on playing.
However, I don’t believe Activision would ever consider making their dlc’s free so what I am suggesting is varied maps. Picking a time period for a years’ worth of seasonal content and creating variety. The base game could be a modern warfare era, then the next year’s dlc content could be Vietnam based and the year after, world war based or future based. This would eliminate the feeling that I’m buying the game with a new coat of paint each year and give people a reason to stick around for longer than just a year until the next game.
I’m not saying Rainbow Six: Siege has a perfect model, having to pay real money to boost your in-game currency is a bit shady. But as a game in the same genre as Call of Duty, that potentially has made the greatest comeback of this generation in gaming. I feel Call of Duty could learn a lot from Siege. Plus, if you don’t think different periods of time is possible.
Battlefield Bad Company 2 already did this, going from the modern era to Vietnam with a hugely successful expansion. It has been done before and if Call of Duty doesn’t take a break from annual releases, it won’t be a series that lasts the test of time.