In a recent blog post, I predicted that the next generation of consoles would bring the end of Call of Duty. This is something that currently might be hard to believe, as the franchise shatters records every single year. It's a billion dollar franchise, backed by millions of dollars spent on advertising and promotions. Call of Duty is massive, and that's exactly the way Activision made it.
However, with the next generation of consoles on the horizon, Call of Duty can no longer compete. There are quite a few reasons why I believe franchises like Battlefield, Halo, and TitanFall will surpass the FPS juggernaut. Here are my reasons why I believe Call of Duty is bound to fail:
1) 60 fps just isn't what it used to be: The staple of the Call of Duty franchise has been 60 frames per second; an impressive feat on consoles that Infinity Ward and Treyarch love to brag about. While PC games can typically reach up over 100 fps at times, most 360 and PS3 shooters are locked at 30 fps with often-occurring framerate drops that bring it even lower. Call of Duty is smooth and fast, and that's why people love it.
On next gen consoles ,however, 60 frames per second will become the norm. Battlefield and Halo are already confirmed to be running at 60 fps, and you can bet that other shooters will as well. With so much power in thew new consoles, it isn't impressive that Call of Duty will have a solid framerate. The franchise's competition will boast the same smooth experience while also delivering much better graphics. I mean, come on. Battlefield 4 looks almost life-like, while Call of Duty is still using the same old engine as it was over ten years ago.
2) Dedicated servers are a big deal: For years Call of Duty fans have asked for dedicated servers on consoles, something that Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Activision refuse to do. Of course with sometimes millions of players on at one time, dedicated servers would be extremely expensive, and you know that Activision isn't willing to lose any money. If people continue to buy Call of Duty every year, there is no reason for them to offer expensive dedicated servers.
However, on next gen consoles, dedicated servers will be a big deal. Battlefield has already offered them on consoles for a few years now, and it is a terrific experience. There isn't any host migration or dropped connections, and there's a lot less lag compensation. Everyone is playing on even grounds. Halo will also be offering dedicated servers on Xbox One as they transition to the future, and bring the best experience possible. People will not continue to except host-advantage, lag compensation, invisible bullets, and a noticeable delay on Call of Duty. It's the most frustrating thing in gaming to fire six empty shots right into another play and not get a single hit marker because of the terrible connection.
3) Activision has already killed Tony Hawk and Guiter Hero: Remember Tony Hawk's Pro Skater? Yeah, those were terrific games. Remember Guitar Hero? Of course, it was a lot of fun with friends and family. Remember how boring, repetitive, and unnecessary those games became at the end of their life span? Yup, of course. Activision followed a similar model with those games that they do now with Call of Duty. They sink tons of money into advertising in order to hype them up every year, and then quickly dump it when their next big franchise comes along. In 2014, Activision will be bringing us Bungie's Destiny, an epic MMO shooter from the makers of Halo. When that releases, you will see them begin to phase out Call of Duty. They only have room to spend on advertising for one franchise at a time, and Destiny is the next big thing.
4) People are tired of old, repetitive franchises: With the upcoming release of the Xbox One and PS4 comes brand new expectations and desires from gamers. Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and other frequently-released titles are becoming boring and way too familiar. It's time for Watch Dogs, Destiny, and TitanFall to usher in a new era. You know what they say: Out with the old, in with the new.