Since 2003, Activision has been working hard to establish Call of Duty as the number one FPS franchise of all time. With a series spanning thirty-six releases, Call of Duty is easily one of the most iconic and enjoyed titles in modern gaming. However, the franchise has lost something in recent years, and sour opinions mixed with declining player numbers have left people wondering: ‘Is Call of Duty dying?’
From esports tournaments to player feedback, and from the evolution of gaming to the financial side of things, we’re going to break that question down. Once and for all, let’s find out if Call of Duty is dying. There’s no doubt that things are looking up as we inch ever closer to Modern Warfare 2’s imminent release, but will that be enough to keep the entire platform from crashing?
Let’s find out.
As time passes
It is possible to argue that The heyday of Call of Duty it spanned from 2009 to around 2013, from Modern Warfare 2 to Ghosts. This was, according to opinions and statistics, the most popular and exciting period for Call of Duty and the franchise. saw massive growth. While the esports side of Call of Duty has continued to grow over time, the multiplayer experience and overall feel Call of Duty games were much more enjoyable a decade ago.
From this period, some of the most popular Call of Duty titles of all times emerged:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010, 31 million sold)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011, 31 million sold)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012, 30 million sold)
- Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013, 29 million sold)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009, 26 million sold)
These old titles still hold today. For example, in March 2022, a Special MW3 esports tournament was held and, according to escharts.com, garnered a peak audience of 439,000 users. This puts it second overall for the record for the most concurrent viewers for a Call of Duty tournament in esports industry history. So is Call of Duty dying? If we compare what exists today with that ‘heyday’, could be.
Weather 2019 modern warfare was something of a boon for the franchise, as it reinvigorated both the multiplayer scene and the esports community, it quickly died out. There is no doubt that Warzone was a monumental introduction in 2020, but the poor performances of Both the Cold War and the Vanguard drained the energy of the franchise. Now, fans are looking forward to Modern Warfare 2 in 2022, and there is huge potential for this release to become the most popular Call of Duty title to ever exist.
Activision Active Vision
For years, Activision (and Call of Duty’s various developers) have been struggling with the community at large, desperately trying to keep players happy. In the larger debate over whether or not Call of Duty is dying, we can simply look at the numbers that echo the opinions of the players themselves. In the first quarter of 2022, it was revealed that Activision had witnessed a big drop until 2021, losing million monthly active users in titles like Call of Duty: Warzone.
In just one year, the Call of Duty platform had bled to death, losing more than 60 million players.
It is thought that the commercial failure that was Vanguard and the extremely disappointing performance of Warzone led to this drop in players. When Caldera was introduced to Warzone, he brought with him a plethora of issues, bugs, and vulnerabilities, and players were just not happy. Many have left the battle royale platform and moved on to other titles, like Apex Legends, and that included some of the best Call of Duty players the world has ever known.
Here are some of the fan opinions, taken from recent Reddit posts:
Activision’s decisions to focus on battle pass content and cosmetic packages are always met with a mixed reception. For many, they are the blight of the community, but for others, the bright and slick skins and packs are a welcome introduction.
For many fans, Call of Duty Vanguard marked a point to walk away from the franchise.
For now, Call of Duty has established such strong reputation which remains at the top of the charts regardless of how good the actual game is.
Is Call of Duty dying? Not according to CongenitalSlurpees, but it’s only thanks to its sales figures that it isn’t.
Is it time to quit?
According to a GamesIndustry study, Obligations it may simply be suffering from universal franchise burnout.
In streaming platforms like Twitch, Call of Duty has seen a massive decline in viewership. While esports tournaments bring in big numbers, viewers count titles like Warzone, Vanguard, and Cold War have essentially crashed in recent months. As fewer streamers post content and fewer viewers looking at that content, Call of Duty overall gets less exposure, while competing titles steadily grow over time.
According to TwitchTracker.comWarzone’s performance on Twitch has been declining since April 2021, with claims Caldera killed Warzone:
For nearly two decades, the call of duty formula has remained relatively static. There’s a single player story to explore, a multiplayer mode, potentially a Zombies feature, and now, Battle Royale. When Modern Warfare 2 releases, it’s expected to include a PvPvE mode, similar to Escape From Tarkov, but that’s unconfirmed at this time.
If we are asking, ‘Call of Duty is dying’, we can certainly see evidence that it could be. However, the future is nearly impossible to predict, and a groundbreaking title like Modern Warfare 2 could completely reinvigorate the entire franchise. If this title proves to be a hit with fans, it could (and probably will) bring tens of millions of gamers back to the platform. Furthermore, the introduction of Warzone 2.0 in 2022 and beyond will likely offer an injection of excitement to the battle royale community.
And finally, we must point out that in 2023, there will be no new call of duty title. This is the first time in over a decade that Call of Duty’s annual release schedule has changed. That alone might be enough to interest older fans of the franchise. There is also hope that modern warfare 2 will boost the esports scene, bringing a new set of Call of Duty betting opportunities.
Is Call of Duty dying? There are hints that it might have been, and it’s certainly in a lull at the moment, but it will definitely make an appearance again in 2022.