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Question Of The Generation: Is Call Of Duty Just A Fad?

Some analysts claim they're seeing signs of slowing in the Call of Duty franchise, despite another gigantic billion-dollar installment this year.

For the record, a "fad" doesn't have a limit to its popularity; it merely has a time limit. So the big question Activision should ask themselves is this- Is Cod a legitimate, lasting phenomenon (like Mario or something) or is it merely a passing fad?

There was another billion-dollar franchise that, as it turns out, was just a fad. It was called Guitar Hero. However, the series itself wasn't exactly the fad; the rhythm/dance/music genre with all the plastic instruments turned out to be surprisingly short-lived, although it hasn't completely disappeared. And of course, first-person shooters aren't going anywhere, so we're not asking if FPSs are a fad; we're asking about Call of Duty. Are its days numbered? Has this world-sweeping series already started a downward spiral? Will it be recognizable in ten years? Five years?

Fads come and go in all walks of life, but especially in our entertainment. There are very few enduring hits; for instance, one could argue that James Bond will never disappear from the movie world, and they'll probably keep making games based on Nintendo's timeless mascots forever. But will we always see Call of Duty titles? That's the question, really. Is it just a giant fad? Fads can rake in ridiculous amount of money and then suddenly, you turn around and they're gone. Perhaps one could look at the target audience for CoD and make a reasonable determination...will they stick with what they love, or will they just leap on board with the next big thing?

In other words- Are they actually loyal? I say it's a tough question.

Tags: call of duty, cod, call of duty games, activision, gaming industry

12/17/2012 11:47:29 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (23 posts)

jugheadjones
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 12:02:25 AM
Reply

I think all games are a fad - they come and they go. Some of the franchises reinvent themselves and extend their shelf life, but all games run their course eventually.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 12:10:32 AM
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It's only a matter of time, but for CoD, I don't see it dying anytime soon, not for the next 8 years.

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godsman
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 12:27:47 AM

I think the only way the COD trend will change is when a new game genre overtakes it. As United States shifts to more Western RPG and Open World games. Maybe when Rockstar comes up with a smoother multiplayer gameplay. I think they have a shot to bringing down FPS franchise for the consoles and knock them back to PC.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 1:20:45 AM

FPS at the moment is the best selling genre, won't be easy though, like you said, Rockstar has a chance and I also think that Ubisoft have what it takes.

AC franchise is strong too.

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godsman
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 4:00:58 AM

Unfortunately the fact that COD sells well is that the majority of gamers do not care about plots and story. Gameplay is all they care, don't know if that is necessarily a good thing. Games like angry birds and WOW. Now COD. AC has good story, but gameplay gets repetitive, especially after annual releases. I don't think it has the formula to be this big.

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godsman
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 12:18:43 AM
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Well, we have to see if this franchise can survive the next generation. As the 20 year olds become 30. We eventually lose time to game. The future sales will have to come from the current 10-year olds that will be buying the PS4 & Xbox720. The current trend shows that the teenagers are getting more violent. I don't see COD to lose any sales.

Guitar Hero died because Activision sell the game bundles with plastic instruments and then DLC. I can't see the majority of the gamers owning more than 200 songs. Each game disc already includes 60-80 songs. We probablu just buy 2-3 game disc at most and DL the specific songs you like. When Activision and EA flushes the industry with 10 game disc in 3 years, it's over.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 12:25:04 AM
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While I think CoD may possibly fall from the number one position in sales at some point in time, possibly during a generational jump, I think the nature of FPS is intrinsically attractive to humans, particularly males.

I suspect we wont see a change from this popular form of competitive entertainment for quite some time. So until socio-economic circumstances happen to alter the distribution and reception of this entertainment, or the Federal government deems "murder simulators" harmful to mankind, FPS will be here to stay for quite some time.

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xenris
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 9:17:40 AM

Well said.

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Twistedfloyd
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 12:56:11 AM
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I loved COD when it was good. COD4 was awesome. WAW was solid, MW2 was very good. But it was here that it got too ridiculous with the kill streaks, level design wasn't as good. Perks were absurd. The campaign was still really good even though the story got lost at times.

Black Ops was where I drew the line. Poor level design for multiplayer, bad spawn points, absurd kill streaks.

MW3 blew to me. Even worse level design, call streaks, horrid SP. Borrowed this one, didn't buy.

Same with BO2 borrowed from my friend and wanted to slit my wrists. The MP is so stale, and the levels were just so bad.

So I don't think it's really a fad, I think it's here to stay. For me it's just degrading quality. COD4 was great game design in all respects. Broke some barriers in the MP department with a fantastic SP experience. I think COD was great in it's prime, but now, it's nothing more than a cash cow to me. So you can say it's developing into one, but when it was pure, it was awesome.

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Nestore
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 2:36:04 AM
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Nothing lasts forever, but there is a (subjective) difference between a fad and a trend. The former is shorter and more novelty driven. The latter carries more lasting significance in hindsight.

CoD and the whole dodge/aim/shoot genre has passed it's peak, but IMO they qualify as full trends and not merely fads, like Guitar Hero or motion wand gaming.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 3:00:12 AM
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All it takes is a tweak in the general thought process of a certain young age group. What we play now is a reflection of their world whether we like it or not.

The public could turn against CoD for many reasons, not the least of which is over-saturation. Nothing common is special.

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___________
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 5:22:01 AM
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is the pope old?
is water wet?
do cows go moo?
of course COD is a gimmick!
i have problems with people comparing this to GH though.
GH was not a fad, it was popular because it was so f*cking awesome!
and is still 100000000000000 times better than every music game out there combined!
COD though is the complete opposite, its not even close to the best game of its genre.
its popular simply because it was the first game to really capitalize on the modern futuristic setting in war games and all the droans flocked to it.
a great test for this, take every COD game back to its WW2 setting and lets see how long those record breaking sales last!
COD IS a fad!

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rogers71
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 3:21:33 PM

Let's see.....The best COD game was World at War. Remind me, what war was that again?

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___________
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 7:14:57 AM

right, THE best COD game was W@W.
remind me what are you smoking again?

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Dante399
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 7:10:52 AM
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I believe CoD will fade away when there is a significant "shift" in technology provided that some other game steps in and takes its place. For example, just imagine a technology that allows the brain to control the game; and there is a specific game that excels in that technology. It'll rule the world of video gaming. If you take for example Mario ruled the 2D world and now CoD ruled the 2nd Gen 3D world. The world is changing so are the world of games.

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xenris
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 9:20:53 AM
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I think it is definitely a fad. It will fall when the people playing it wake up a bit and realize that they are paying for the same stuff on a dated engine year after year.

Of course there are the people who defend it saying it gives me value and content and for 100 bucks I have entertainment for the year and its fun etc. and those people will always be playing it most likely.

But I think once the fans and regular players start wanting something more the game will start to fall. Activision will either keep the game the same, or they will do an overhaul and change everything from gun physics, to character movement and mechanics.

It will fall but it is only a matter of time.

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CrusaderForever
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 9:37:47 AM
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No, if so it's a really long fad! CoD will slow down but the formula is what shooter fans crave. I honestly believe they could do re-release of CoD 4 with all the same maps with a few added in and it would sell very well. CoD MW 4 HD on the PS4! LOL! I love the formula so I am hoping I am right and that this is not just a fad.

Rock Band is still going strong as well. Maybe we won't see a Rock Band 4 but at least they are still releasing songs for it. I still play Rock Band at least once a month. Not to mention the untapped 80 bands like Scorpions, RATT, Van Halen (Rock Band), Motley Crue, Metallica, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin (60s/70s) and so on. Hopefully we will see these bands before they put an end to Rock Band. I for cannot stand Guitar Hero so I was happy to see GH bow out. I would love to see some more disc/PSN 20-30 song track packs as well.

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ulsterscot
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 11:14:08 AM
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I think the current model will be replaced with COD free to play - they are currently testing this model in Asia with COD4 and MW2 maps and by all accounts things are going rather well.

So long as COD continues to provide the supreme online experience with those crisp controls and fast paced action in afraid all the haters are going to be SOL

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rogers71
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 3:19:34 PM
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This is why most people on this site were blindsided by The Walking Dead winning GOTY. You spend waaaaay too much time negatively talking about MOH and COD and hoping it is on the downswing. COD is not going anywhere so move on and try out The Walking Dead. You might see why it won.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 4:05:35 PM

Nobody at PSXE "hopes" CoD or MoH or any FPS is on the downswing. That's just plain wrong. I was massively disappointed with Warfighter; it was one of my most anticipated game of the year.

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Draguss
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 9:24:07 PM
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I don't think call of duty will ever disappear, although it will likely at least get somewhat less popular over time. I do hope the obsession with gritty "realistic" modern warfare style FPS will go the way of the WWII games eventually, though.

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COD_death
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 10:41:31 PM
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COD as already has been around long enough that it is not a fad. Nevertheless all games will die at one point and another will take it's place. I guess the question is what length of time in the gaming world does a game need to be produced that it is not a fad.

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PharaohJR
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 10:27:59 PM
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mmm... good question. unlike GTA that gives a gamer endless possibilities of ways to cause violence, COD focus is based on the system of top ranking. without internet available GTA selling COD numbers everytime. COD needs internet multiplayer to do numbers.

this is why i say no matter how much we advance with games i hope developers/ artist never forget the core concept & stories of the craft for popularity & sales. i cant knock COD & say they didnt make a good recipe cause i still make time rarely for some sprees with my folks online or Co-op.

if multiplayer is available every generation of games then yuh COD here to stay.

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