I can’t help but chuckle even thinking about the headline. After all the fuss and all the banter going on in the industry Activision still seems to be moving ahead with milking a cow that seems to produce billion dollar milk for them.
Shacknews is reporting that Treyarch is once again hiring for what could be their upcoming installment of Call of Duty, which will be primed and ready for release next year, no doubt. Their job listing page suggests that they're looking for a lead multiplayer designer, senior lighting artist, and a game designer. Now there's no real proof that they're actually hiring specifically for a new Call of Duty, it could just be for additional DLC...but let's be honest, Activision's motto is "If you sell it, they will buy it". And 2012 would put the franchise back into the hands of Treyarch, given that every other year Infinity Ward and Treyarch take turns with the Call of Duty games ever since Call of Duty 3.
A lot of non-casual gamers have become a bit disgruntled at the way the Call of Duty franchise has been handled, and even EA says that CoD will go the way of Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk if Activision keeps force-feeding the industry annual releases of the first-person shooter with little more than new maps, re-skinned textures and slight weapon modifications.
Many fans of the series believe that if the formula works Activision should stick with it. I’m sure that’s not such a bad concept when it works, except paying for new maps and a slightly different single-player experience for $60 seems a little much, especially when you compare what you get for $60 in a game like Battlefield 3, which includes fully destructible environments, vehicles, 64 players and realistic weapon physics.
But even though Infinity Ward admitted Modern Warfare 3 wasn’t going to be as technical as Battlefield 3 there are plenty of CoD fans out there who don’t mind. It’s $60 a year to play something that they enjoy and so long as Activision can get away with feeding gamers the same old, gamers will continue to buy into it.
Innovation? Pfft, we don’t need it. Originality? No thanks. Something different? Please, get real. A brand new interactive entertainment experience? That’s certainly not something the gaming community at large wants.