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OPINION: Call of Duty remains top dog

Michael French
OPINION: Call of Duty remains top dog

Look at screenshots, videos or even packshots for Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell them apart.

Shadowy men stood in urban landscapes besieged by war. On the cutting edge of video games, it seems the year’s hot ticket titles are fighting a battle to become the most generic, not sell the most. But in the end, despite all the bluster from EA, Call of Duty will remain as victor. 

The Call of Duty XP event last week may have been for American fans but it was a global reminder from Activision that this is the modern market’s top dog. If the publisher is feeling any pressure at all from Battlefield, it certainly wasn’t showing it in Los Angeles. 

Call of Duty is not just your average games franchise. As Activision and many of the series’ developers proudly declare, the brand has moved beyond ‘just’ games. Now it’s a lifestyle. It’s a social network and online service. It’s a mobile app. It’s a weekend away for paintball, off-road Jeep rides and a Kanye West concert. In all, it has every part of the industry covered.

Retail, DLC, social, mobile, and live events. Brand managers, take note. It’s not just about quality, it’s about quantity – have you got everything covered to fully engage your most passionate fans for every single day of the year?


Online and mobile games are no longer the new world – they are established territory in gaming’s daily evolution.

Sure, there’s lots to explore, but the few rules have been written. I’m not sure those rules include age ratings like the ones PEGI and UKIE have so keenly built and enforced so well.

Adding PEGI to Windows Phone games provides consistency between smartphone and console. It even, you could argue, give mobile games some cred. A PEGI rating offers the halo effect of ‘proper’ content found in-store.

But Windows Phone is a minority platform right now. iOS and Android are the big leagues, and they have their own systems for this stuff.In the way nature abhors a vacuum, marketplaces led by creativity and quick-thinking business abhors red tape.

PEGI, no matter how Express, is another layer of administration. Publishers may be built for such paperwork – two-man bedroom coder teams are not.PEGI may want to see its respected ratings applied to the likes of App Store and Android Marketplace.

But I’d wager the shoot-from-the-hip mobile games developers that have defined those platforms are less keen. Let alone the innovative but fiercely independent firms that run them, Apple and Google.Michael French


Tags: Activision , ea , call of duty , battlefield 3 , Modern Warfare 3 , top dog

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I don't play either, but seriously Michael, your opening statement is a complete missfire. Yes they may be war games with very similar themes but to state you can barely tell them apart is nonsense. Next to the frostbite engine Activision's MW3 looks old and creaky with flat textures and ropey animations- practically dated.

Side by side the two games are easy to tell apart, don't give MW3 credit where it's not deserved, its why the rubbish keeps selling by the bucket load each year.

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown INDUSTRY
Sep 9th 2011 at 10:14AM

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I was really only making a broad comment about the overall aesthetics/feeling to get to my bigger point about the two franchise's so-called 'battle' in 2011.

(BTW - if you don't play either, why do you assert for a fact that MW is 'rubbish'? ;)

Michael French

Michael French MCV STAFF
Sep 9th 2011 at 10:20AM

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Because I've reviewed a couple of the last CoD games for a few websites. Can't review or comment on a game if I don't play it. It's called having integrity. ;)

In my, humble, opinion the CoD games are mass market, popcorn fodder rubbish.

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown INDUSTRY
Sep 9th 2011 at 10:28AM

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Though to be air, Black Ops' single player had its moments. So I have played them, I just don't play them. If that makes sense.

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown INDUSTRY
Sep 9th 2011 at 10:33AM

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Regardless of quality (they are both excellent franchises) and gameplay differences, Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 do look aesthetically similar, in marketing and visuals.

Christopher Dring

Christopher Dring MCV STAFF
Sep 9th 2011 at 11:06AM

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'Excellent' isn't a word I'd use to describe a generic, run 'n gun FPS game, certainly not when there are far more deserving games released each year at retail level and via DD.

Reminds me of that Eddie Izzard joke about the improper use of the word 'awesome'.

"The universe is awesome, a cheeseburger is not awesome".

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown INDUSTRY
Sep 9th 2011 at 11:45AM

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COD is totally a run and kill kind of game. You don't feel like you are in a middle of a war. Also considering the choice of making strategic decisions and team play mechanisms, modern warfare series lacks it. Speaking in general terms, MW series gives you a sense of individual achievement and Battlefield series tends towards a team-level achievement. Each game is totally different in their own borders. I would say comparing is not fair. Just some event in LA doesn't put the game on top. But, my vote for perfect satisfied online gaming comes from Battlefield series. This is just my opinion :)... Sorry for my bad English if any!

Abhinav Gargeya

Abhinav Gargeya STUDENT
Sep 9th 2011 at 12:16PM

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