“Call of Duty” Wannabes: trying to be something they’re not
We are all familiar – even those of us who don’t play video games at all – with the CoD franchise. The ground-breaking success of the game has captured the attention […]
We are all familiar – even those of us who don’t play video games at all – with the CoD franchise. The ground-breaking success of the game has captured the attention of casual gamers and developers alike. But it’s the record-breaking sales that have interested publishers the most. As a result, we find many of the old IPs trying to be like Call of Duty in an effort to break into that share of that market. The reasoning behind this is, ‘if we make a game like Call of Duty, it will translate into Call of Duty sales’.
Unfortunately for publishers and for consumers alike, we know this is not the case. The only game that can do what Call of Duty does best is Call of Duty. The attempt to copy the renowned shooter games and appeal to a broader audience has leaked into every gaming genre, from horror games like Dead Space, to military simulation games like Operation Flashpoint: Red River. Even previously successful games like Medal of Honor have tried to repackage themselves in the CoD-style.
What has the result been? Crappy games. If you didn’t like Call of Duty to begin with, you most certainly won’t like the awful imitation. You’ve effectively reduced the potential audience of a game to the gullible and desperate. Don’t want to take my word for it? Take a look at the sales records of all the Call of Duty imitations out there. In their attempt to beat or be Call of Duty, publishers have mutated franchises that have been successful for their niche-oriented play styles into unplayable caricatures of their former selves. As consumers, we know games are expensive. So when we are online or at the till ready to buy the one game we can afford, do we choose Call of Duty or a knock-off at the same price? I mean, would you buy a fake Rolex for the same price as a real one? Activision isn’t to blame for this knock-off phenomenon. They just do what they do best, and more publishers should understand that philosophy. My recommendation to publishers and developers out there desperate to match Activision’s sales: just make good games, of any kind. Games aren’t rated or sold according to how much they resemble Call of Duty.
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