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Activision: Annual CoD Releases Simply Meet Player Demand

Many gamers often condemn Activision for their annual release plans for Call of Duty. The belief is that this limits potential creative growth and critical innovation.

However, in response to this, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg spoke about the benefit of having two talented development teams working on the same franchise. Furthermore, during his Eurogamer interview, Hirshberg said they're simply meeting player demand:

"The cadence of the releases seems to have found a nice equilibrium with people's appetite. There's demand and excitement each and every time out. Then people are playing throughout the year."

He added that more people are playing CoD in 2013 than ever before, and reminds us that the dual-studio approach leads to internal competition. While there are some definite similarities between IW and Treyarch, there are also different personalities within each group and as a result, this helps to battle stagnation. Said Hirshberg:

"Having alternating studios is one of the secrets to the franchise's success. You have different creative people who are strong-willed and have minds of their own. Everyone gets what makes a great Call of Duty game. Treyarch and IW are the masters, and have built this thing. So, there's a lot of common DNA from year to year.

But then people come in and want to top each other," he added. "There's some healthy competition. There's a desire within the creative team to not do the same thing and not be stagnant, the same way there is in the player community."

And besides, it's true that the release of a new CoD entry has become a "pop culture event," as Hirshberg claims. He gave the example of a lot of non-hardcore sci-fi fans going to see "Avatar" when it released, because it was, of course, an event. Well, I suppose you could look at it that way. When I do, I see what a shepherd must see on a daily basis from his protective position- lots and lots of fleece.

But when you successfully have the masses under your belt, that's always what you see. And the money sure does flow, doesn't it?

Tags: call of duty, call of duty sequel, activision, infinity ward, treyarch

8/28/2013 11:29:48 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (31 posts)

Masszt3r
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 11:57:01 AM
Reply

"There's some healthy competition. There's a desire within the creative team to not do the same thing and not be stagnant, the same way there is in the player community." Well this doesn't fit my description of the franchise. I've seen the same thing in MW1, 2 and 3, just as I've seen the same with BO 1 and 2. And I see the same thing with Ghosts: an aging engine with nothing new or at least relevant. I don't think other shooter franchises are always innovating with each sequel either, but CoD just seems the same to me with every iteration.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

AcHiLLiA
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 3:24:27 PM

As it stands my favotite is MW1>W@W>BO so far.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 8/28/2013 3:26:59 PM

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Masszt3r
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 3:25:42 PM

W@W was actually quite enjoyable.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 4:10:38 PM

Yup, it was the last great Call of Duty in my opinion. Both the campaign and MP were fun. Blops 2 has pretty fun MP but the campaign was god awful. And I think the only reason I do enjoy Blops 2 as little as I do is because of the Wii U features. Love using the Wiimote for shooters and having the option for off TV play is great too.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 7:44:30 PM

MW1 was amazing. I played that game to death.

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ulsterscot
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 11:57:51 AM
Reply

Give the people what they want. And we want more COD.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 1:15:42 PM

WHY!?

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ulsterscot
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 2:24:44 PM

WHY?, WHY???

No idea mate - you got me

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Jawknee
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 2:25:30 PM

Because mediocrity reigns in today's culture.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 4:13:54 PM

^^^

This.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Caanimal
Thursday, August 29, 2013 @ 4:50:16 PM

Jawknee, you make me wish I could vote thumbs up MULTIPLE times...

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Temjin001
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 11:58:26 AM
Reply

Yah, it's a mass appeal thing.
The problem here is that for gamers who value significant experiences that help broaden the definition of the form, CoD can and is looked at as a bloated goat gobbling up too much of the spotlight. It hinders the visibility and reception of other more inventive creations.

I'm pretty much of the thought process that two games of a single franchise is all that's usually needed within a single console generation. I feel more than that devalues the existence of a franchise's individualized greatness. As much as I like Assassin's Creed, I would've been perfectly happy with two games, fully realized and produced without massive patchwork design teams, within this generation.

The only exception I can really think of are the Final Fantasy titles from the PSX era. Each of those were crafted from the ground up. All new characters, all new assets, all new everything.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/28/2013 11:59:17 AM

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MrAnonymity
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 12:54:36 PM
Reply

If it wasn't for the internet, I'd question the relevance of the CoD franchise anymore. There was a time where even I was curious, but now the series doesn't even enter my mind until I see some article/review/preview/etc. Though I can't stand the games, their continuation or even lack thereof has absolutely no bearing on me. Now, if their sales were absolutely necessary to the buoyancy of, say, the PS4 I might actually care. However, that will not be the case.

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MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 1:40:21 PM
Reply

Person A: My friends and friends of friends are buying Call of Duty so therefore it's a good game I should buy it as well.

As gamers we need less followers.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 2:26:21 PM

"As gamers we need less followers."

This.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 2:27:08 PM
Reply

I agree with the Avatar comparison, both are big budget simplistic mainstream trash.

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Masszt3r
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 3:20:42 PM

World, I disagree with your comment on Avatar. I do agree that Avatar is a predictable movie filled with big budget cliches and simplistic storytelling, but it is by no means bad. You have to look at the big picture: it is superbly directed, has excellent cinematography, decent supporting cast (wasn't a fan of Worthington) a noble message, a vivid musical score and an overall technical breakthrough. There were a lot of things that I didn't care for, including the dialogue, but the production values were great and the film was overall enjoyable. Keyword "enjoyable"; It's not a film you are going to praise as you would do in "The Goodfellas" or "Taxi Driver", but it is enjoyable. But I'm getting off-topic. CoD, on the other hand, has nothing that really interests me. It just feels so tiring to see the same game over and over again with nothing changing but the campaign, weapons and maps.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 4:08:37 PM

What I thought was interesting about Avatar was how bad it looked comapred to District 9. Avatar with its huge budget and Hollywood backing maganed to look like a color saturated video game. Where District 9 was nearly photorealistic with is smaller budget and small CGI team.

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ulsterscot
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 5:05:36 PM

haven't eaten a prawn since !

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Akuma07
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 7:45:28 PM

Wow.

I have never seen a group of people trash Avatar so much.

It's a great movie.

Please don't start saying the word predictable. You can predict how most movies will end, if you're smart enough.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 8:40:23 PM

It was tree hugging nonsense wrapped in 3D and over produced CGI. World is right, Avatar is trash.

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Masszt3r
Thursday, August 29, 2013 @ 8:32:16 AM

Jaswknee, I respect your opinion, but I didn't consider it overproduced at all. Like I mentioned previously, the film was filled with big budget cliches and a very simple storyline, but it was enjoyable. I would not put it in any of my list of favorite movies at all, nor do I consider it a work of art, but I thought it was a good blockbuster film. The guys at Weta Digital outdid themselves (that's no surprise) with creating an alien environment with such fresh colors, fauna and forests. I don't know why you say it looked saturated. An environment like that (Pandora) doesn't exist on Earth and it will obviously offer a different atmosphere and visuals, so saying it was saturated wouldn't really apply to something you have never seen or even known existed. The motion capture was also great. What's wrong with loving nature anyway?

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ulsterscot
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 2:32:22 PM
Reply

so even though I personally get far more enjoyment playing COD Deathmatch than playing critically acclaimed games like TLOU and Skyrim (both great games I enjoyed) - I'm just a follower?

I buy plenty of other games - but none hold my attention the way COD does. Im old and set in my ways I guess. The only campaign game in recent times that even came close to interrupting my COD fix was Mass Effect 2.

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Masszt3r
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 3:22:27 PM

ME2's campaign was superb.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 4:14:58 PM

I wouldn't say you're a "follower." Obviously, a great many people love the games.

The problem is that with such mainstream attention, OTHER games are trying to go mainstream and sacrificing hardcore elements and in turn, hardcore gamers. So it's just a bit of bitterness getting thrown your way. ;)

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ulsterscot
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 4:57:37 PM

i'll cry myself to sleep tonight ....

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Clamedeus
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 6:07:47 PM
Reply

Once PS4 comes out I'm selling all of my CoD games, not bothering with Ghosts or anymore CoD games. Time for me to move on.

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Balian Axel
Thursday, August 29, 2013 @ 5:01:28 PM

I am in the same boat as you. I will freely admit to playing more than my share of cod in the past but enough is enough. I always find myself angry after playing it and that is just unacceptable. Games are made to be fun not irritating. BF4 will be my first purchase for the PS4 (and marvel legos for my son of course)

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Clamedeus
Thursday, August 29, 2013 @ 7:41:41 PM

Same, the only CoD game i have not played is World at War. I have played a lot of CoD games heavily with friends. I just can't stand the game anymore, and I don't feel like Ghosts will be an improvement either.

That's one of the reasons why I am moving on and not bothering with the game. BF4 looks really good, not sure when i'll get it, so many games coming out. >.<

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PlatformGamerNZ
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 @ 9:14:15 PM
Reply

i'd say i'm tired of it but then my friend was trying to tell me yesterday i sud give it a try bit idki said i'll make a callafter i see him play it and wat is like.

happy gaming =)

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Lunar_Miyuki
Thursday, August 29, 2013 @ 5:01:15 PM
Reply

the real problem with COD is that every publisher Now wants a COD selling game and their willing to Force their Ideas on Devs alot of publishers want Devs to take their best selling games and turn them into the Next COD

what Publishers don't realise is that is almost impossible because COD litterally has Non Gamers playing COD

i know a few people in RL that only bought COD and a 360 because their friends bugged the hell out of them and now thats the only game they buy

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