Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Cash Cows

So, apparently Activision have announced that the next Call of Duty game is to be released this year. Yeah, yeah, I'm a bit late to the party.

I have to admit, I'm not surprised - this seems to be how they operate now. Surely they would have learned their lesson, though, especially considering this information comes to light so soon after they cancelled Guitar Hero. It's particularly annoying when you consider that Guitar Hero was cancelled due to an over-saturated "rythm-action" market, which was primarily caused by Activision releasing a new game every few months! Their business strategy that's allowing them to bathe in profits - release a new game at least once a year, with as few technical changes as possible to cut down on costs, and then charge too much for pointless DLC - is the same reason they are both so reviled by gamers, and so likely to face major backlash some time in the near future.

They do it with practically every series they are involved with. Rather than take time to create a polished product, they rush it out in a year, with nice new graphics and fuck-all in the way of actual gameplay improvements or (whisper it) innovation. Then, once a series is well past its peak, you can sense them grasping at straws - Warriors of Rock's 'back to basics' approach, or Tony Hawk's failed experiments in skateboard peripherals, for instance. I don't think Kotick, or his cronies, understand that mediocrity and complacency do not breed long term success.

So, back to the original topic, a new COD game. Personally, I don't care. I played Modern Warfare and enjoyed it a bit, Modern Warfare 2 was sort of meh and I didn't care much for the other games in the series. The series definitely doesn't deserve to be the biggest videogame series in existence. The storylines are generally B-movie schlock, the gameplay never changes and is completely bereft of anything unique, the community consists mainly of idiots who are more prone to swear than to breathe, and the company who oversees its creation are tyrannical, greedy, pricks.

I really don't like Activision (though I have a soft spot for stating the obvious). The people who run the company are helping to damage the public opinion of videogames, making it seem, through their pointless tirades of hype and the nonsensical action found in the games themselves, that they are simply toys, without any potential for artistic merit or emotional involvement. They keep franchises alive, slowly destroying them (I am totally not bitter over the destruction of the Tony Hawk series, nope, not at all), then discarding the barren corpses once the cash cow runs dry. Even their approach to downloadable content is infuriating - they had the audacity to admit that they plan on removing content from the next game to sell as DLC. What. Surely that is reason alone to demand their heads on pikes?

I... I guess this rant was less about Call of Duty, and more about by undying hate for Activision. I had originally planned to be less... spiteful towards the company, and focus on the series instead, but we can all see how well that turned out. I don't know how to feel about that, frankly.


  1. Amen.

    Seriously, I agree with you 110%. Activision is merely in the business for the money, and as far as I'm concerned, they destroy every game they touch. I simply never buy their games. WoW account canceled, playing Eve now. (better game anyways imo). And I just plain won't buy aything else of there's as long as they have the current leadership.

  2. I agree with this. These bastards are killing creativity, and just pumping out whatever is making money.

  3. I enjoy the other titles, but its nothing I can't do without. I do want to see more games like Bulletstorm though.

  4. I really enjoyed Modern Warfare 1 and 2, I thought two was actually very well done and had a fun story. I agree, they don't expand much on the genre except maybe in multiplayer.