Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty and its Competition
Infinity Ward, the ambitious group that developed Call of Duty, was once a simple start-up that grew to unbelievable proportions. Understanding Call of Duty’s history and challenges can help enlighten those who look down upon the series.
When development company Infinity Ward was founded in 2002, most of the team had already worked on Medal of Honor – a game franchise that was soon to become their biggest competition (Fahs, 2009).During this time, Medal of Honor had already become popular, and was promised to become an annual game for its fans. The video game industry found a new niche when Medal of Honor’s popularity arose. Soon, many game developers wanted to create history-themed first-person-shooter (FPS) games as well. Infinity Ward was one of them.
The first three installments of the Call of Duty franchise dramatically grew a fan-base over its competitor, Medal of Honor. When Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released, many fans were not happy because the franchise was no longer referring to historical wars in the game. However, because of this transition, Call of Duty received many more fans due to its unique setting. Moreover, new game features such as online teamwork dynamics and ranking systems increased the hype of the game. Ultimately, the fun, interactive features of the franchise overtook its rival Medal of Honor.
Call of Duty had sold enough copies to be at the ranks of other popular video game franchises such as Mario and Grand Theft Auto (Fahs, 2009).The media drew attention to the game as well and created many controversies regarding the influence of violence in video games. Call of Duty was heavily affected by this controversy.
Standing Out From The Rest
Although Call of Duty and Medal of Honor were initially comparable to one another, the Call of Duty franchise has branched out to modern settings. Now, Call of Duty games include dystopian settings, and futuristic wars within their franchise. Richard Bailey, Editor-In-Chief of thekoalition.com, claims that the franchise is significantly different than the other two as well. He states,
“Call of Duty is a game that most people play strictly for the multiplayer features. Both Medal of Honor and Battlefield have great multiplayer modes, but are known primarily for their campaigns.”
Moreover, what had set Call of Duty from the rest of the first-person-shooter franchises were its cinematic features within gameplay. However, EA’s Battlefield has achieved this too. On March 26, 2013, EA released a seventeen minute gameplay trailer of the upcoming release of Battlefield 4 (Battlefield, 2013). Anticipation grew, and many fans on forums and aggregator websites created mass excitement for the game.
Image from Battlefield.
In the present day, the Call of Duty franchise is in direct competition with FPS franchises Medal of Honor and Battlefield. With its latest success, Call of Duty: Ghosts, the game series’ popularity seems boundless, but competitors are becoming stronger within the industry.
Do you think the Call of Duty series is forever destined to be the top dog in FPS video games? Let me know!
– Jennie Bharaj
Battlefield. (2013, March 26). Battlefield 4: Official Gameplay Reveal. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://www.battlefield.com/battlefield-4
Fahs, T. (2009, November 6). IGN Presents: The History of Call of Duty. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://ca.ign.com/articles/2009/11/06/ign-presents-the-history-of-call-of-duty