Call of Duty (CoD) is a household name in the world of gaming, a mega-brand that transcends the boundaries of the gaming community, making its presence felt for the past two decades. Its remarkable success over the years has elevated its owner, Activision Blizzard, to a position of prominence within the global gaming industry.
The recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, in a $67.8 billion deal, sparked considerable speculation. The gaming community eagerly anticipated the possibility of CoD’s entire catalogue becoming available on Game Pass, Microsoft’s subscription service akin to Netflix. Xbox’s Phil Spencer has clarified that any CoD content on Game Pass won’t materialize until at least next year. However, this development underscores how the CoD franchise has evolved significantly since its inception in 2003.
Over the years, Call of Duty has maintained a consistent annual release schedule, with alternating lead developers. In total, 23 games have been published in the main series, and sales have remained robust. The multiplayer mode, a core element of CoD, continues to enjoy massive popularity. Nevertheless, criticism has emerged, particularly regarding the lack of substantial differentiation between new releases and their predecessors.
The most recent installment, Modern Warfare III, faced these allegations. Call of Duty’s expansion into the mobile gaming market, the introduction of the free-to-play battle royale title Warzone, and the establishment of two official global esports competitions have transformed it into a continuously active and colossal entity.
Johanna Faries, the brand’s global manager, acknowledges that Call of Duty is a “constant, always-on behemoth.” However, she remains confident that the franchise possesses the potential for continued growth and relevance over the next two decades. The challenges and opportunities ahead for Call of Duty will be closely monitored by both gamers and the gaming industry at large.