Everyone knows by now how the Call of Duty cycle works. Three development studios (Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games) under Activision, cycle every year to push out a new Call of Duty in early November. Most of the time, the game gets solid reviews among critics, and then goes on to be the best-selling title of the year despite releasing so late. It’s a cycle that has been repeated almost to perfection for the last 15 years, and coming into 2022, shows no signs of slowing down. However, one former Infinity Ward developer sees the series in a different light, claiming it needs a major “revitalization.”
Former Creative Strategist at Infinity Ward Robert Bowling helped develop the highly-acclaimed and groundbreaking Modern Warfare trilogy from 2006-2012. Even as someone who has participated in one of, if not the, highest highs of the long-standing series, Bowling admits that it is finally time for the series to go back to the drawing board. Over on Twitter, Bowling responded to a post from ModernWarzone that said the whole Call of Duty series was currently in shambles from Warzone, to Vanguard, to its pro leagues.
Bowling responded by saying that Call of Duty needed to build once again from the ground up, with a focus back on the rock-solid core gameplay that helped to define the series in the mid-2000s. He says that the current business model of Call of Duty is focused on content gateways and sucking as much money as it can from consumers. Bowling claims that the developers used to treat their players like a community, where they would go to them for map feedback. These days, Bowling says, the community is more treated as consumers with which to glean market feedback from.
Call of Duty: Vanguard has already reached the top of the sales charts for November and will likely continue to stay there through most of 2022. While reviews were solid for the title, fans are a little more mixed than normal on the title with some saying it doesn’t do much to stand out. On the Warzone side of things, many streamers have already claimed they dislike the new map that coincides with Vanguard‘s launch and may stop playing the game altogether because of it.
Currently, Activision is embroiled in numerous scandals and it is no doubt Call of Duty was effected by them in some way. With management fluctuating at all times, it’ll be interesting to see where everything lands once the dust settles. While not likely, maybe huge management shakeups will be enough to give Bowling his wish of the “revitalization” to the Call of Duty series.
Call of Duty: Vanguard is available now for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.