It seems that the 2017 installment into the extremely popular Call of Duty series will finally be going back to its roots. This information was revealed in Activision’s 2016 fourth quarter earnings report, in which the performance and future of the publisher’s best-selling franchises was discussed.
In the meeting, it was acknowledged that the future setting of the 2016 installment into the series, #CallofDuty: Infinite Warfare, did not really resonate all that well with fans. The title failed to live up to expectations, with its first week sales only amounting to about half the number of units that Call of Duty: #BlackOps3 (the 2015 entry into the series) sold in its first week.
So, what does this actually all mean for the next entry into the series? Does it mean that we may actually be getting the ‘boots on the ground’ title that most gamers were hoping #InfiniteWarfare would be?
Although there is very little information to go on at the moment, a few broad speculations on what the 2017 entry into the Call of Duty franchise will look like and be can be made. It’s important to remember that none of the facts regarding the upcoming title, but ONLY speculations.
The New Title Might Have A Past War Setting
Prior to the release of Activision’s earning report, some were already speculating thatCall of Duty 2017 would be set in Vietnam. If one remembers correctly, the series has already set a title in that time period, most namely, the first #BlackOps title.
It is rather debatable whether returning to the setting of the seventh entry into the series can be really be dubbed ‘returning to its roots’, but it must be stated that Black Ops remains the second highest selling installment in the series. It is not exactly unbelievable as to why Activision may (if they indeed do) would want to return to this period in the series.
‘Returning to its roots’ could also refer going back to a Second World War setting. It is widely known that the Call of Duty series started during this time period and started moving forward into the future after #gamers began asking for settings in more modern periods.
There has been a call from many fans for #Activision to take the series back to the #WorldWar2 era, particularly after the success of #Battlefield1, which has a First World War setting and somewhat reinvigorated mass interest into the series after the poor performance of Battlefield 4.
It is important, however, to remember that the Call of Duty series does have a three-year production cycle and thus important decisions about the new title, which could include the setting, were most likely made around 2015. It thus may be very difficult to implement any severe changes to the upcoming title at this point, particularly a change in setting, if one is indeed warranted.
It May Have A Stronger Single Player Campaign
It seems that there are many gamers who are annoyed at the general lack of good campaign experience within war-based FPS titles. FPS campaigns within titles that have a strong multiplayer focus don’t necessarily need to be long, but they do need to be worth playing.
The importance of a FPS campaign was shown when #EA neglected to include one inStar Wars: Battlefront as well as Titanfall. Although both of these titles didn’t perform all that badly, they perhaps would have sold even better if they had included campaigns.
However, to include a campaign is not to have one for the sake of having one to appease fans. The campaigns modes included in both Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare seem to be examples of this as they are both highly disappointing and highly disengaging. The player doesn’t care for the narrative or gameplay at all and thus doesn’t really care for the campaign.
I have stated before that part of the reason Call of Duty grew into the franchise that it is today is not only due to the strong innovations that they made in their own multiplayer experience early into the life of the franchise, but also due to the fact that people cared for the campaign, its gameplay and largely wanted to know what was going to happen next within the story.
Hopefully, the sub-standard performance of Infinite Warfare will result in more careful attention being paid to creating a more worthwhile campaign. A new Call of Duty World War 2 campaign with a narrative that one actually cares about would be a dream for a 2017 release.
It Will Attempt To Preserve The Strong Co-Op Experience (But It Might Not Be Zombies)
There is no denying that the one game mode that many critics praised in Infinite Warfare is Zombies. Fans of the mode were excited to see where #InfinityWard would take the mode with their first crack at it and were not disappointed.
Most Call of Duty titles have maintained a strong co-op mode that has been greeted by gamers with differing levels of excitement, but there is no denying that they have always provided a fun experience for those who play them (unless, you die right before you finish the Easter Egg that is).
The inclusion of the highly popular Zombies mode in Advanced Warfare and Infinite Warfare, despite not being #Treyarch titles, was a clear suggestion that Activision is committed to maintaining a strong co-op mode within the franchise.
Reasons as to why it may not be a Zombies mode in the 2017 title is basically that Zombies has already been done three years in a row and #SledgehammerGames (the developers of the 2017 Call of Duty installment) may want to try something new, but who knows? Gamers may have to buy season pass just to play zombies again.
Well, this is the direction I think that Activision is going to take Call of Duty in 2017. I guess all that is left to do is wait in strong anticipation until the first teaser is released.
What do you think? Is there a specific area or direction that you think they should take the series in? Do you have any speculations about the new title? Please share in the comments down below.