Whether you like the series or not, Call of Duty's next entry in the franchise always sells millions upon millions of units. Thousands of fans anxiously await the announcement of the newest iteration. It always seems to be around this time of year when the leaks, and eventual announcement, take over the gaming world. There are tons of possibilities for Activision's next direction for the franchise. Will they take it back to their origin? Will they stay committed to moving towards the future? We really don't know entirely. There have been a few supposed leaks that aren't necessarily confirmed. However, thanks to a recent earnings call, we now have an indication of the possible direction the Call of Duty franchise is taking.
Call of Duty sits in a very interesting place in relation to its sales numbers. Sales would indicate that it's the most popular and well-liked franchise in the industry, but if you take one look at the ratings and comments on their latest reveal trailer, you'll see otherwise. It's a game people love to hate. The vitriol has absolutely nothing to do with the overall quality of the game, well at least the hefty majority of it. Whether we're thrust into space or traversing through bunkers, we know one thing for certain. The next Call of Duty will be one of the best-selling games of 2017. Let's take a look at some of the tiniest bits of information we've been able to pull together in hopes of getting the slightest indication of what the next Call of Duty game holds.
15 It Will Be Polished
Call of Duty has essentially become the punching bag of the Internet. The reveal trailers tend to receive ludicrous amounts of dislikes and the comments section turns into a festering pit of waste. A lot of this hate comes from people who aren't even taking the time to judge it on its merits. It's simply become a game of seeing how low they can tank the numbers. Whether you like or dislike the Call of Duty games, one thing rings true, they're always highly polished. In an industry filled with snake oil salesmen and constant patches, it's nice to see a franchise that delivers a game that works every single year. The shooting mechanics are some of the best in the industry and the production value is out the roof. Look for this year's reveal to get tanked with dislikes no matter what.
14 Selling Like Hot Cakes
For most games and franchises, it seems like the reception of the project has a direct correlation to the sales numbers upon release. Call of Duty has become a very staggering exception to the rule over the last three or four years. Take a second and look up the reveal trailer for last year's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. It won't take you more than a few seconds to realize how crazy the dislike ratio happens to be. Now, take the same amount of time to look up the sales numbers. Call of Duty may have had a 'down' year in 2016, but it was still the best-selling game of the entire year. It seems that the dislikes come from people who weren't even planning on purchasing the game or an underground group of hypocrites who love watching numbers grow. Either way, look for Call of Duty to sell huge in 2017.
13 Sledgehammer's Turn At Bat
Call of Duty is such a huge franchise the Activision has committed three full game developers to delivering a new iteration of the game each year respectively. Last year was Infinity Ward's turn and it seems like it was an overall success. Sledgehammer's last game release was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Though it wasn't beloved by fans, it wasn't necessarily met with the same backlash as Call of Duty: Ghosts. The three-year development cycle allows the teams to focus on polishing the game and delivering a high-quality product to the consumer. It will be interesting to see what Sledgehammer's been up to since 2014. Some people are assuming that it's going to be Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 2, while others feel that they're going to make a complete pivot. What do you think?
12 Fall In Line
There's a saying that there are only two things certain in this world; death and taxes . They should really think about adding a third. Call of Duty has released in the Fall of every year since 2005. That's more than a decade of continued commitment. Unlike Ubisoft, Activision has seen no reason to stop the yearly iterations and there's no sign of them slowing down. We can probably expect it to release in November considering that's been their target month for the last couple of years. It's impressive to see a franchise take such a foothold every single year. The releases have become like clockwork at this point. The only question this year is going to be how far it's separated from Red Dead Redemption 2. Neither of these games have to worry about sales numbers, but owning mind-share for a significant amount of time could be significantly beneficial.
11 Play Alone Or With Friends
It seems that many games these days either opt for an entirely multiplayer experience or include a sub-par throwaway single player addition. Call of Duty is one of the main franchises that's been committed to delivering quality multiplayer experiences, as well as a dynamic and interesting single player campaign in each of their games, every year. In an industry where games are constantly judged on their worth, Activision delivers games packed to the brim with content. It will be interesting to see if this continues to be Activision's structure for future entries. The number of players who never even start up the campaign must be astronomical. Hopefully, we'll soon get a look at what we'll be doing in the world of Call of Duty in 2017.
10 DLC For Days!
For better or worse, Activision bombards players with a tremendous amount of post-release content. Every Call of Duty entry is followed up by two-three extensive pieces of DLC that are usually specifically themed. Their season pass is an almost instant buy for anyone enthralled in the annual franchise. Players are treated to multiplayer maps, weapons, skins, zombie-type mode maps, and more. A lot of season passes can be scrutinized for lacking content that justify the price point and it seems that Call of Duty's is, at the very least, worth their weight in content. Activision is known for targeting preorders and season pass attachments. Look for a heavy marketing push regarding these exact things when the newest entry is unveiled at some point in the following months.
9 Celebrity Impressions
Every year, it seems to be that Activision has partnered with a huge celebrity to make some type of cameo in their upcoming Call of Duty game. In recent years, players have been treated to the likes of Kit Harington and Kevin Spacey. They've also had a recent trend of making the entire zombie-type game mode comprised of an entire roster of celebrities from different mediums. Unlike movies, it's unproven as to how much a celebrity's appearance lends to the overall sales of the game. Call of Duty is a franchise aimed at a very large and passionate demographic. It seems that adding a celebrity to their game could only extend the yearly net they cast over the gaming world. If I was a betting man, I would guess that this year's guest is Mr. Tom Hanks.
8 You Call That A Zombie?
If there's one thing people definitely love about the Call of Duty games, it's their arcade zombie modes. Whether it's their newer alien invaded versions or their classic Nazi zombie mode, gamers love to see how far they can make it alone or with a group of friends. The game mode allows players to work cooperatively in an attempt to survive as many waves of enemies as possible. This mode went from being an added bonus to arguably one of the series' biggest staples. I wouldn't be surprised if this year's entry leaned heavily into this game mode and was a large part of the marketing plan. With the success of cooperative multiplayer games, it could benefit Activision to pitch the next Call of Duty as a place to come together as a team and destroy evil.
7 Purchasable Packs
Microtransactions have become a major staple of gaming and Activision is at the forefront of implementation. It will be interesting to see how they're utilized and implemented in the next Call of Duty. The best guess is that requisite packs return in full forms. The best way to gain more money from a consumer is by offering a trading card pack opening system in your game. Hearthstone and Overwatch are games that not only feature loot based systems in which you can pay for more boxes and packs, but are also published by Activision. They may not necessarily be called requisite packs, but definitely expect the next Call of Duty to feature a system in which you can pay to open things. It's an easy way for the biggest names in gaming to essentially print money.
6 Seeing Triple
This next bit of information shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has purchased a video game in the last two years. Games these days release with numerous versions at equally numerous price points. Most game releases these days seem to feature three main versions that can be described as the base, deluxe, and collector's editions. The base version speaks for itself, whereas the deluxe and collector's edition feature exclusive items and DLC in exchange for a higher price point. The next Call of Duty may feature more than three skews, but it will certainly and at the very least include these three versions of the game. One can only assume that the collector's edition will feature something you don't need, but most certainly want.
5 Beta Access
Does this even need to be explained at this point? We all know that the moment the next Call of Duty is unveiled and available for pre-order, we're going to be treated to numerous ads asking us to pre-order for Beta access. Players not only want to get their hands on the next Call of Duty as soon as possible, they want to let Activision know exactly how they feel about it. The problem with this is that a Beta should be treated as a way to test the game and provide valuable feedback to the developers. Sadly, the industry has slowly shifted Beta access to mean a paid way to play your most anticipated games early. Though providing early access to your game does imbue the player with a sense of privilege, it could provide an early look at a game they actually won't like.
4 Modern Warfare 2 Remaster Included?
Last year, gamers were treated to the inclusion of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered in the $80 version of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Rumors have been swirling since last year that the follow up would also be remastered and would also be included in the deluxe version of 2017's Call of Duty. This isn't exactly a crazy notion. The real problem with all of this is that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered still hasn't been made available as a standalone version. So if you're planning on waiting for the standalone release of MW2 Remastered, please don't hold your breath. From Activision's perspective, it's not only a great way to have players buy the more expensive version, but it also guarantees that players will have to commit to both games in order to play one.
3 We're Getting Details Soon
Towards the beginning of the second quarter of every year, gamers are treated to the unveiling of Activision's next Call of Duty game. We're currently at the very beginning of the second quarter and are likely less than a month or so from the big reveal event. In light of the numerous leaks that have surfaced lately, we may be closer to a reveal than we actual think. Currently, there are rumors swirling that Project Scorpio's reveal event could happen in the middle of April 2017. Could we possibly see our first look at the future of Call of Duty on Microsoft's 4K Xbox? It's certainly not outside the realm of possibility to believe that a developer would want their first impression to be running at peak performance in front of a live audience. Time will only tell.
2 Boots On The Ground
A lot of Call of Duty players have become disinterested in the direction that the online multiplayer has been heading down. Jetpacks and chaotic movement seem to be the biggest area of criticism when it comes to what players would like to see changed. During a recent earnings call, Activision's head discussed how the Call of Duty franchise is "returning to its roots." This means that players can expect a more boots on the ground approach when it comes to the multiplayer section of the game. It seems that players have become less interested in speeding up the game and want to focus more on the weapons and a slower more methodical pace. If rumors are true, we could see Call of Duty set in a time that fits perfectly well with a slow and strategic gameplay direction.
1 Going Back to World War II
This has to be one of the most interesting, yet unconfirmed pieces of information regarding Sledgehammer's next entry. According to a YouTube video by TheFamilyVideoGamers, we're going to be traveling back to World War II. They were able to show off concept art and materials for the box art of the supposed next Call of Duty game. From a quality perspective, the designs seem to fit in with the overall aesthetic that Activision takes regarding the franchise. People have been vocal about their dislike of the current state of Call of Duty's multiplayer mode. The jetpacks and high-speed nature of combat seem to be the glaring problems. If World War II is the setting for the next game it may fix a ton of people's issues and slow down the game.