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Activision Doesn't Expect New CoD To Top Black Ops

Outside of the mammoth Call of Duty series, things have been pretty rough for Activision lately.

Amidst big cancellations - including the disbanding of the once-invaluable Guitar Hero business unit - Activision now says they have "lower expectations" for this year's Call of Duty installment, which might be Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 3. According to what Activision Chief Financial Officer Thomas Tippl said during a conference call, this is mostly due to the unbelievable popularity of Black Ops. Said Tippl:

"In order to be prudent and given the enormous success of Black Ops, at this point, we have still planned a retail release in the fall below the levels of success that we have seen with Black Ops. So that's very consistent with how we treated that last year."

It's "consistent" because the publisher said the same about Treyarch's production; they didn't expect it to top Modern Warfare 2, so the conservative predictions continue. Of course, Black Ops did end up topping MW2 as the most popular video game of the generation, outselling MW2 by 16% its first week and raking in more money and sales in the first 4-6 weeks. Of course, and as you might expect, the conservative estimate doesn't mean Activision isn't confident.

"Now having said all of that, I think we have a blockbuster retail release lined up for the fall that we are extremely excited about, which will be hopefully again the biggest game of the year."

Well, obviously. But we still have to get official confirmation on MW3, and whatever that new CoD title is that is in development at Sledgehammer Games. Who's up for two Calls of Duty in 2011...?

Tags: activision, call of duty, black ops, modern warfare 3

2/10/2011 10:01:42 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (62 posts)

Deleted User []
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:19:50 AM
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I dont expect any cods topping any more games

Agree with this comment 2 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Kiryu
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:20:20 AM
Reply

Finally COD is going down.

Killzone 3 Single Player Demo is Epic!

Agree with this comment 7 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 1:19:53 AM

in your dreams!

Agree with this comment 1 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

shootu
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:54:07 PM

Killzone control and game play sucks hard just like MAG

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maxpontiac
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:22:31 AM
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Well, considering I swore that MW2 would be my last COD, I have little care for this series unless something drastic is done.

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Killa Tequilla
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:24:59 AM
Reply

I think im up for another Call Of Duty! If you can't beat em' join em'!

Last edited by Killa Tequilla on 2/10/2011 10:25:53 AM

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CrusaderForever
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:56:46 AM

I hear you, I love CoD! Played them all and loved them all. Looking forward to First Strike in March. Keep 'em coming and I will keep buying them. Hopefully the bar will be raised yet again with MW3 this year. I am really interested in the Sledgehammer release as well.

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Underdog15
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 11:59:17 AM

I agree with one thing... Hopefully the bar will be raised. I dunno about the "yet again" bit, though.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:09:33 PM

It's good to have a stream of games you love, but aren't you guys the slightest bit worried they will squeeze your fave series to death at this rate?

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CrusaderForever
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 4:02:11 PM

Yeah, I am actually worried since they announced SledgeHammer is working on another CoD title for 2011. I was very happy with 1 per year. Not sure what SH is working no so it may be something different entirely! Maybe something like Company of Heroes but with the CoD name? Who knows.

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Dancemachine55
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 12:38:42 AM

I see very little difference between MW1 and MW2 in terms of multiplayer. Black Ops had a lot of improvements which is not surprising that it sold well.

Don't you think that your money is being wasted in a way, buying the same type of game with the same mechanics, graphics and style of gameplay every year?

At least Battlefield differs quite vastly from Call of Duty, Killzone is completely different altogether.

Honestly, I found Black Ops and MW2 to be no more enjoyable than CoD4. Almost exactly the same to me.

I only got the other CoDs simply cos it was all my friends played, and I have one CoD for each system, MW2 on PS3, Black Ops on 360, so my split screen death match parties with friends are covered.

I can see why there are fans out there, it is certainly polished and very intuitive with controls. I just don't see much changing between MW2 and MW3 personally.

Feel free to enlighten me with your opinion on why new CoD games continue to rock, as I just don't see any difference between this and CoD4 apart from a few new guns.

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city96
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:31:09 AM
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I'm really hoping BattleField 3 will dominate CoD.

It seems to me that over 60% of CoD sales are on the XBox 360 platform because they don't have enough of their own exclusive games.

WE have enough for the next year and SONY are giving us at most 20 exclusives in 2011

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CrusaderForever
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 11:01:17 AM

Battlefield 3 will be epic! I loved BFBC2 but didn't like Vietnam. BF3 will be a day 1 purchase as well. I just love these types of games and BF3 adds vehicles which I miss when playing CoD. What an incredible year 2011 is going to be. Hope my marriage survives! :)

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FM23
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 2:06:00 PM

Spoken by a true PS3 lover. Seriously, exclusives are exclusives and that's it. Only people who truly love exclusives are those who need a reason to back up their purchase. Personally I love every PS3 exclusive minus a few, but I wouldn't go so far as to say all CoD sales are due to Xbox having no exclusives. Fact is, more kids own Xbox's thus they will buy every crappy CoD b/c it's mainstream. If you paid attention, CoD outsells every exclusives on PS3 as well. As much as people think exclusives sell consoles, to most...exclusives are a luxury that I will take.

With that said...PS3 exclusives all the way.

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shootu
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:57:13 PM

BF1 and 2 were awesome but the bad company game play and control was shit

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The Doom
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:32:34 AM
Reply

Oh dear...
Here comes Cock Of Doody: Modern Crapfare 3...

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AraykuBlu
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:42:44 AM
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If you guys saw the amount of complaints on the PS Blog under the New Maps announcement, I can see why the next CoD wont be as popular. Think a lot of people are tired of being burned by Activision and a buggy black ops didnt help any.

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Clamedeus
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 7:08:09 PM

I was one of them ranting as well.

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slugga_status
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 10:53:57 AM
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Meh...Call of Duty will still sell b/c the 360 fan base is so large. The PS3 fan base is high but not nearly as high as the 360 fan base for the franchise.

I think they're factoring in that there are many shooters coming out and a handful of them are exclusive to the PS3 which could have some form of impact on the sales.

Last edited by slugga_status on 2/10/2011 11:28:07 AM

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CrusaderForever
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 11:05:39 AM

That's a good point! I have KZ3 preordered and I have played the both demos and it is BLISS! I hope to get many months out of it. However we are talking many months after KZ3 is released. I will probably move on to a different game come the beginning of May. Maybe jump back in in August and then November comes along and I am ready for a new MP experience in CoD. I really doubt KZ3 will effect the sales of CoD in any way.

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Alienange
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:47:34 PM

There is only a million units difference between the PS3 and 360. Why are you only blaming 360 when it's pretty clear that there are equal amounts of CoD fans on both systems.

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slugga_status
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 1:42:20 PM

@Alienage

I'm not blaming the 360 at all..Not sure were you got that from..All I'm saying is that the 360 fan base is far more loyal to the franchise. All one has to do is go to the MP. In my experience when I played it on 360 there were MILLIONS of people online literally as indicated in the globe section of the lobby. I log in to the PS3 during prime hours and only 600k to 900k are online. Not talking about sales I'm talking about people who play the game.

@ Crusader

I'll probably be the same way man. I just honestly can't keep getting CoD to play with friends. Thankfully I can play KZ3, MAG, and mix in some Black Ops until Resistance and Uncharted come out

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godsman
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 11:32:06 AM
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It just means that Activision will plan on spending less money on advertising on MW3. Black OPS's success was built on top of a big pile of money.

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Ole_Gunner
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 11:32:49 AM
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Hmmm. Sounds like they're already worried about over-saturation of the COD franchise like GH. I personally intend to skip whatever COD we get this year. It's ridiculous with the way Activision are pumping these out right now
Sure Black Ops was cool but man,can't we get a break or something innovative Kotick??

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Underdog15
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:06:52 PM
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I wonder what would happen if they released the next Call of Duty but called it something else... I feel like it would score low 8's and a common complaint would be "It feels too much like CoD".

If they made it PS3 exclusive, it'd score an average of 7 or 6.5. But... make that exact same game multiplat and give it the CoD title? Boom.... 9.0+ scores and multi-million sales!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:12:27 PM

That's why they forced Infinity Ward to reinstall the Call of Duty moniker in Modern Warfare 2. They wanted to drop it and just call it Modern Warfare 2.

And I agree with you on scores, could you imagine a game as poorly made as that as an exclusive to PS3? It would be massacred in the reviews.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/10/2011 12:13:31 PM

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FM23
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 2:18:13 PM

OMG...Both of you are spitting some hardcore facts right there. KZ2 puts any recent CoD to shame easily. Reviews tend to dismiss their campaigns knowing their crap, but praise the MP which to me isn't great or addictive. Preference. But then I read reviews for KZ3 that say the MP is beyond great, but the story is wack without truly appreciating the game for what it is and more.

CoD stories suck, the storytelling is beyond terrible, and I never a true understanding of the story. Black Ops did a better job at storytelling than confusing MW2, but it was still terrible. And CoD looks cheap, I mean very cheap. Those 9's and 10's are all based on outdated memories of CoD4 which I never played. But I played MW2 and Black Ops and I always walk away confused, but I had a blast. CoD's are fun, I will give them that, but critics need to give credit where credit is due and stop choosing which games to critique one way so they can critique another blindly. KZ3 review complaints seem like the missing complaints that are better versed for CoD reviews.

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johnld
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 5:12:36 PM

@world
i think they actually succeeded in trying to distance themselves from call of duty and activision, which could be seen as a blow against activision in their court battle. i mean, other than the regular edition and gamediscs (which noone really looks at), call of duty and activision were being phased out. the hardened and prestige edition didnt have the words call of duty anywhere, i dont remember if it had activision on it. the activision logo on start up was also gone, all they had is that paragraph. i also dont remember the call of duty tag on the main menu either.

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Lord carlos
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:14:20 PM
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Having got the platinum on COD classic(very hard due to the save system working whenever the fork it felt like it)and MW2(echo in spec ops took 4ever)i decided to give BLOPS a go,i got about 30 mins in and turned it off before the game gave me a scizoid embolizim.
I really enjoyed the story in the modern warfare series,i know alot of folks give the campaign in MW2 a hard time(i was on the edge of my seat the whole time & loved it)but treyarch cant seem to do a story thats actually happens in real time,its all flashback crap.
And whats with all the noise? like i'm trying(very funking hard)to get into the story but there's all these unnecessary loud noises that rips me out off the emersion,that coupled with the second rate story telling killed the game for me.
With infinity ward pretty much half dead i'm afraid MW3 will be a big pile of bantha droppings which is a shame cause cpt.price is hard core.

PS.i'm not really into the online aspect of fps,i prefer the campaigns(co op hell yeah)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:18:41 PM

One thing that turns me off about Cod is how schizophrenic it is, always jumping around. I attribute it to the current generation of youth. You know, the people who can do one thing for a very brief time and then it's "What's that over there?"

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Alienange
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 1:00:03 PM

The jumping around didn't bother me in the least. In fact it made things more interesting because you could see what was going on in different areas of the battlefield. As Carlos says though, the BO campaign is just sloppy. It's a mish-mash of levels tied together with a sad attempt at mystery.

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Lord carlos
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 1:02:00 PM

yeah IF i have kids i'm gonna bring them up 1870's style.
'Get out there and plant those carrots,then milk the cows'
While i play NPG and sip homemade lemonade.

Last edited by Lord carlos on 2/10/2011 1:03:27 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 2:45:29 PM

You're gonna raise your kids in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"?

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Lord carlos
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 7:17:32 PM

Ha never saw that flick.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 8:22:13 PM

It's actually not bad.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:16:00 PM
Reply

Hedging, that's all. They know they have to keep doing this so that they aren't ever wrong when the milking starts to show in sales. And now that Beachhead is creating an online (possibly subscription based) CoD depot you can bet even the die hard CoD kids are gonna start to revise their opinions.

Have a look around the net, I see very few positive comments concerning the milking of this franchise by Kotex and Co.

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Mamills
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:38:48 PM
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lol, 2 words:

WHO CARES

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leatherface
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 12:46:27 PM

don't want

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Alienange
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 1:08:27 PM
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Treyarch productions are sub-par to say the least. The problem now is IW has been lobotomized. What can we possibly expect from MW3? I doubt it'll be as fun as MW and MW2.

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crunchy_nut_kid
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 2:10:45 AM

treyarch was cool in W@W, but then they changed. IW was also good, but MW2 was the most hacked game ever, so therefore they suck.

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DjEezzy
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 1:36:43 PM
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i like black ops alot but i'll be looking forward to Battlefield 3 alot more around that time.

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Zen_Zarab
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 1:41:15 PM
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There is only one game that could and should beat Cod:BO.....

and that game is Duke Nukem Forever. :)

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FM23
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 2:07:35 PM
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Why do we need more CoD?...The game never changes like sport games. They make so much money for such little innovation, but people love it I guess.

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Snorge
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 3:50:04 PM

I have been saying this FOR YEARS! Sports games have done this for the longest and I think thats why I cant get into them! Basically the same product with slightly more stuff added.

Madden, NBA2K, NBA Live, Fifa, NHL, and every other sports game out there IMO. Call of Duty can fall in this category as well.

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slugga_status
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 7:49:22 AM

That's not completely true..Madden, Live, and Fifa you could say that. Those are EA products..To appreciate 2K you'd have to see where it started to where it is now. That's why so many wonder what we could have if 2K were able to make football games...

BTW the saying goes if it isn't broke don't fix it. Uncharted didn't do much differently then the first and people bought it. God of War has had the same gameplay the majority of that series...argument goes both ways easily..

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Snorge
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 10:40:04 AM

@ Slugga
All the examples you made of being the same kind of game doesnt make much sense. Uncharted and God of War didnt have yearly iterations. Thats my whole point.

I understand the NBA2K series has come a long way since it started but I would hope that any game would evolve after being on the market for so long. Its the yearly releases with SLIGHTLY better graphics, updated rosters, and maybe some minor AI and animation upgrades. Why not send out updates or patches instead of releasing pretty much the same game every year? If MAG can do it, why cant the sports industry (game-wise)?
*See MAG improvements from the start to current to get reference*

Not tryna bash sports games, (we need them) but come on, how would you like them to come out with Killzone every year with silightly more stuff added for the same asking price as last year. Count me out!

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slugga_status
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 11:05:50 AM

@ Snorge

It makes complete sense. Doesn't matter if it's yearly or not if you're essentially receiving the same thing. I'm sorry but you can't simply send out a update for "slightly better graphics, AI, and animation."

MAG is completely different then a sports game. They didn't upgrade animations or anything like that. They tweeked coding within the game. Fact is, if it comes yearly or not you're still getting the same thing that you say sports games do. God of War may have been spread out but it's essentially the same game. Killzone is the same game. Even reaching back to Mario which was the same as well as Sonic and Crash Bandicoot. You're essentially using the same type of gameplay no matter what you play..It's really about if you like the game/franchise/devs or not...

btw..you'd buy Killzone yearly if they put it out like that...

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Nynja
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 3:45:13 PM
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I wonder why... >.>

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mid10smaradoarg
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 4:16:32 PM
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Call of duty AKA copy and paste series are going down

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Lairfan
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 4:59:43 PM
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Well, with IW pretty much dead now and 3 devs visions clashing together in one CoD game, its no wonder they don't expect it to sell more. Of course, they may just spend a crap ton on advertising again, and since its Modern Warfare it'll sell more. Hell, they could also just be saying this so that they won't be wrong if it does sell less, covering up the fact that the CoD series is on the decline.

But I'm thinking that even if that happens, after this CoD more people will start to see just how far the series has fallen and start to abandon it.

Hell, I think we've even forgotten the meaning of the term "call of duty" cause we've said it so much. It used to stand for the ideals of answering a call to arms to defend your country, and the great honor of being one brave enough to do so. Now cause of all the oversaturation by Bobby Kod*ck all it seems to mean is "multiplayer mayhem with no real emphasis on its true name at all."

Last edited by Lairfan on 2/10/2011 5:00:05 PM

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 5:15:13 PM
Reply

If they release MW3 this year, it will certainly top Black Ops. If Beachhead announces a downloadable CoD before MW3 releases, there is a chance that it won't. If Beachhead's game, MW3 and the NGP CoD all release, then I think they all will suffer when it comes to sales. Activision need to slow down their release schedule.

Either way, CoD will be the highest selling franchise of the year. That's a given.
Peace.

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booze925
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 8:00:23 PM
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i thought Infinity Ward, Sledghammer, and Raven were all pitching in on one CoD?
im not sure. correct me if im wrong

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 8:22:29 PM

You are correct.

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Dancemachine55
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 12:40:29 AM

Will be interesting to see if these three studios can bring more to the CoD table than Infinity Ward could on its own.

I don't have my hopes up though. It's gonna take some really big changes to make CoD intersting to me again.

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Dancemachine55
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 12:45:43 AM
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If MW3 has the same variable pace for the campaign as the first MW, I may be interested.

CoD4 had a nice blend of slow, stealthy missions, balls to the wall action sequences and moments in between that let you soak up the atmosphere. I don't want ADHD explosive action constantly going on at all times, it just eventually bores me, and its been done to death with other recent CoDs.

Many of my friends are over CoD as well. Might trade them all in soon. Convincing them all to move to either Killzone 3 or Battlefield 3.

I've got a CoD for each system, so I really have zero interest in anything CoD related from here on out. Unless reviewers like Ben say the single player is amazingly good, then I am happy to give MW3 another chance.

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___________
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 1:22:27 AM
Reply

i cant see any COD topping BO, but then i said the same thing about MW2.
i just cant understand why the games so popular, the SP is short and crap, and the MP is riddled with more bugs than the whole of Australia!
eh, i guess the saying is true, pull one in and all will follow, throw the meat of the cliff and set the barby to high!

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crunchy_nut_kid
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 2:06:26 AM
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the only way the CoD series will fall, is if it doesn't top black ops. after the success of MW then MW2, people saw the potential of this franchise. so long as each game keeps making a large profit, call of duty won't stop.

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Drift
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 6:24:42 AM
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bring back quick scoping and the game will be a hit no matter what.

i think it would be a better idea if the modern warfare series had snipers that could quickscope
and the rest of the cods like 8,9,10... had it like blackops..anyone agree?

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Stang
Friday, February 11, 2011 @ 11:50:08 AM
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MW3 might take a hit from lower PS3 sales - because Activision/Treyarch sold us a broken game in Black Ops. Patch after patch and the game still dosen't run properly on a PS3. On the other hand I'm sure PS3 Call of Duty fans will be falling over themselves to get rid of Black Ops and will hope this cluster f*ck of three studios and actually produce a good game.

Last edited by Stang on 2/11/2011 11:50:44 AM

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ae86takumi
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 11:03:04 AM
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Is this a joke? Black Ops is very subpar when compared to MW2 which although broken was extremely fun. Many modes to play, either a quickscoper, commando freak, akimbo runner or just plain FMJ shooter. Of course I'll say noobtubing was annoying and that IW should just patched scavanger just to reload ammo, not RPG or grenade launchers. The main reasons that MW2 is better than Black Ops are the killstreaks. In Black Ops, they are weak. They are not a game turning advantages until you reach the chopper gunner or blackbird. MW2's predator missile is fun to use to humiliate in free for all, who has not used Predator/Harrier/Pavelow in free for all. Of course that Modern Warfare 3 will surpass Black Ops. I have nothing against Treyarch, but they are just drawing on top of the dotted lines that IW made.

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Hatimat
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 2:15:30 PM
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I dont know why people think BO > MW2. Once i was a big fan of the franchise (actually still just waiting for the real #1). I started to play MW 1st which i really enjoyed so i thought buying MW2 is just inevitable. In the 1st months i still felt joy playing it but after a while i realised that im one of the fools who IW/Activision succesfully robbed. MW2 was way better then BO and yet i cant even play it now :( BO had many potentials and upgrades (story and graphic is a setback however) but without a reason: the killstreaks are good but leveling through online play is boring since there is no reasonalbe price to achive (title, emblem, camo or something...anything). I really hope that MW3 will be something new, exciting and long lasting with few bugs and freezes. The only thing which disturbs me is the idea that they still want to use the old engine's upgraded version. But they use it since '07 lol.

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t4_robz
Sunday, February 13, 2011 @ 8:03:13 PM
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look what happened this week, activision said that they were going to stop making "Guitar Hero" because it was becoming less and less popular and had lots of competition (Rock Band) they thought that every year it would sell really well and um, it didnt... Activision still thinks the same things about the CoD series, yeah its had some major succeses but just like GH one day people will stop playing and the poularity will fall due to rising competition... theres many other great shooters out there and eventually people will realize that, well thats just my opinion. and hey if they mess up on the 1 or 2 games that are supposted to come out in 2011 then this could be they year that CoD dies!

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