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Pachter: CoD Won't Die Unless They "Make A Bad Game"

So Guitar Hero is done. Because many blame publisher Activision of over-saturation, and considering the multiple upcoming Call of Duty projects, some think we'll see a repeat of history...

But in addition to some obvious differences between the two genres in question, top industry analysts don't see the megaton shooter franchise going the way of the dodo. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter told IndustryGamers that the two franchises really aren't comparable, and CoD continues to thrive on its gigantic community:

"I don’t think they are comparable at all. GH is a franchise that people buy once, because the peripherals are great. As it saturated the installed base, the only buyers were people who are new console purchasers, and the ‘fad’ appeared to wear off at the same time.

CoD, on the other hand, has a vibrant online community that keeps growing. When a new version comes out, the ‘network effect’ kicks in, and many people buy it because their friends have done so. The risk to the franchise is competition, not people tiring of the gameplay… CoD won’t fade unless Activision opens the door to competition by making a bad game."

This sounds about right. Although many are quick to point out the flaws in each title, there's no denying the decent level of quality and provided that remains, the fans will keep coming back. It also doesn't seem to matter that other arguably superior shooters exist; the likes of Battlefield, Halo, and Killzone haven't managed to derail the CoD train. In fact, CoD seems immune to competition.

And there are other reasons Call of Duty is very different in comparison to Guitar Hero. No, CoD ain't going anywhere.

Tags: activision, call of duty, cod, guitar hero

2/15/2011 9:16:24 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (69 posts)

rogers71
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 9:33:25 PM
Reply

I have to agree with Pachter for once. I have friends that are playing Black Ops and all they can talk about is the next iteration of COD. It is a neverending cycle. I enjoy playing them, but just SP. I just can't get into playing MP and listening to a bunch of foul mouthed children. To each his own.

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MadKatBebop
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:08:18 PM

I agree with you, CoD MP just isn't my thing, I get harassed by a lot of bratty people on their who don't like to play as a team.

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AshT
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:59:00 PM

True only played SP in few COD titles, i cud never got into MP, for MP Killzone is my game

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Beamboom
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 9:31:50 AM

Are the players in kz much different from cod?

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Lairfan
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 5:15:29 PM

Yeah, quite a bit for the most part. Sometimes you'll get a few little kids, a sore loser, or a d*ck who doesn't want to play as a team, but it still doesn't have anywhere near as many of these people as CoD does.

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NoSmokingBandit
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:07:07 PM
Reply

The past few CODs have been bad, imo. A lot of people wont give any shooter a chance if its not COD.

My friend got a ps3 for christmas and bought Black Ops because his brother has it. He borrowed KZ2 from me for a few weeks and only played a little online because he said he didnt know what he was doing. Kz2's online isnt complicated, but i feel like COD is conditioning gamers to hate anything that isnt constant run-and-gun with no teamwork at all. I love KZ2's online because you have to pay attention 100% of the time and keep track of multiple objectives, changing spawn points, etc.

People like things that require no effort, so COD's online play will remain king even if there are tons better options all around it.

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MadKatBebop
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:13:55 PM

I like KZ2 a lot, but I only actually play that game for its singleplayer. Its MP is fun, but for me it just lasted a little while just like CoD. I think its the lack of vehicles, I really don't like just ruining and shooting and then repeat every time I enter a match when it comes down to MP. That's why I think the BF series has been really the only MP in games that I will actually play.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:54:21 PM

Nail on the head Bandit, my BFF plays CoD because he doesn't have to think at all in a game. He has told me this.

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frylock25
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:46:41 PM

something about a guy callin another guy his bff just sounds...

i dont know man im gonna forget i read this post

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 12:28:03 AM

I make no apologies, not sure what else you call the only fellow man on earth you'd kill and die for so BFF will have to do. Maybe calling it "non-gay BFF" will help you?

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frylock25
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 12:43:57 AM

sorry dude no offense. bff sounds like 13 year old girl text talk. i also dont know what else to call it.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 8:59:02 AM

@frylock
Wanna be my bff?

;)

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Underdog15
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 9:00:44 AM

@World
Make no apologies! There's only 1 man in the world I'd kill and die for! And I LOVE that SOB! We can both proudly stand tall and claim we have bff's!

@Bandit
I think you've got it, dude. 100% truth sauce.

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PasteNuggs
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:11:22 PM
Reply

I agree because as I see it when GH came out it was a new genre that was cash cowed from the start. FPS have been around and have proven that they can stand the test of time. My reasoning doesn't come out right to me but I hope you catch my drift.

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Bugzbunny109
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:23:57 PM
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People will keep buying COD as long as Activision keeps pushing out mediocre games (an area in which they excel). COD has been instituted into the gaming world to an extent that it has become a norm to buy it. It wouldn't surprise me if they made a COD about watching paint dry; and the sales doubled that of Black Ops or Modern Warfare.

By the way, does Patcher still think that game analysis is a job? lol

Last edited by Bugzbunny109 on 2/15/2011 10:26:26 PM

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BIGRED15
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:25:16 PM
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cant wait until the real cod killer comes along. Crysis 2 looks unreal it should take away most of the people still playing halo because it'll probably prove to be similar in several ways and because of its pedigree as a bonifide ultra advanced pc shooter, it should grab the attention of many cod players. those who decide to ignore the crytek powerhouse are just plain ignorant

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:55:46 PM

The only problem I see with your logic is that most CoD nuts can only connect with contemporary military shooters. They aren't as attached to a sci fi game. Those who like Halo will be on board though.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/15/2011 10:56:03 PM

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Lairfan
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 5:21:32 PM

I don't know man. Halo fans seem to only like Halo's style of gameplay, and anything resembling ironsights is blasphemous to them (at least to the 10 friends I have who are Halo nuts). Since Crysis 2's got ironsights, its pretty much already on their no-buy list. This might not be true for all Halo fans, but it seems to be for most of them (at least from my point of view).

As for the CoD nuts, World's right about that. They only care for the military shooters. Any other FPS doesn't seem to appeal to them. So in the end, most of these people will probably only glance at Crysis 2 and say how its not CoD or Halo before going right back to their favorite game.

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frylock25
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:26:54 PM
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it may not be going anywhere but its not going in my ps3 either.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:39:14 PM
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If all they do is recycle the same thing it will never be a bad game, just a good game but below the likes of Halo, Killzone and Battlefield.

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mexgeo86
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:39:39 PM
Reply

...and my ps3 library will continue to be COD-free. Most of my friends actually have Battlefield so if I was to get a shooter, it'd be that one; however after playing the KZ3 demo I'm anxiously awaiting my copy to be delivered on day 1.

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Xbox_Killer
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:41:09 PM
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I'd like to see the next COD have online and splitscreen removed. Then see what everyone thinks of it.

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Lord carlos
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:02:55 PM

That would be extremely funny :)
Thumbs up

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shadowpal2
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 10:29:41 AM

How the hell does anyone enjoy online anymore anyway with all the hackers?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:51:38 PM
Reply

But they are bad games already. Buggy on rails shooters that can't even muster a destructible environment in all these iterations or even begin to approach the graphical fidelity of exclusives.

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PorkChopGamer
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:10:27 PM

I don't know what games you're talking about but you're sure not talking about Call of Duty.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:43:57 PM

No World, CoD ain't a bad or mediocre game, it's just a good game and it stays that way.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:44:48 PM

Rubbish, who wants to play the same "good" game 2-3 times a year when people are releasing actual AAA games that make CoD look last gen. People aren't as stupid as they seem, they will come around. Then they will wonder, "Why did I spend all that time on those crappy games? Didn't get me anywhere."

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/16/2011 12:01:52 AM

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kraygen
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 12:54:29 AM

For once I have to disagree with you World, people are that stupid, history has proven it and from the sales of every CoD that comes out, people are only proving that they are getting dumber.

I don't believe in evolution, if anything society proves de-evolution.

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PorkChopGamer
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 1:31:53 AM

Yes, Kraygen. People are stupid because of what they choose to do for fun with their free time. Too bad they can't all sit around making disparaging comments on a website like a genius such as yourself. You're SO cool. Anyway, all of World's hating can't change the fact the Call of Duty is among the elite FPS series on the game market.

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kraygen
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 4:24:08 AM

Sarcasm is the weapon I wield, if blood be drawn, to soft thy skin might be.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 7:46:18 AM

Mmmm, "hating" is still too strong a term. It is bothersome when you see people drinking the kool aid over and over again simply because I believe in advancement. Stupid high popularity of a product that has no significant changes iteration to iteration drags the whole industry down by being the example of a high sales product. It irks me, but believe it or not I don't blame the people who enjoy their CoD because it's good for any gamer to have a stream of games they love, I'd prefer them to open their minds a bit, but it will probably take the over-saturation of the market to do that. That's my opinion.

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PorkChopGamer
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 8:44:54 AM

I'm not sure how CoD's popularity is 'dragging down' the indusrty. There isn't a glut of FPS titles on the market. Are you speaking of outsiders' perception of the industry? Can you explain that? A few games like Operation Flashpoint have shifted towards the more COD action style, but those are extremely rare instances when you look at the volume of games being released.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 9:53:02 AM

That's because you refuse to open your eyes.

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 10:09:57 AM

The engine is shit, but you can't deny that the game is fun.

World, there's millions who would, and they're what we call hardcore fans, but in this case, more like brainless fans.

Last edited by Snaaaake on 2/16/2011 10:25:49 AM

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Temjin001
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 10:35:37 AM

I agree with PorkChop that CoD's aren't bad games, heck, they do belong in the top tier of military FPS games this console gen. Even Ben struggled NOT to give Black Ops a 9.0.

I think many gamers on these boards recognize that there's a lot of other high quality games out there to be had and there's no way they could commit themselves to CoD (and maybe one other game) while all of these other great gaming experiences pass them by. It's like a waste and it's disparaging to think that so many are so close to playing those great experiences, but instead, are stuck in the black hole of CoD. It's also discouraging when critics also confuse the quality of game for it's heavy popularity. This issue is much more than CoD as a game, but how all of gaming humanity operates in these sort of conditions. It can be maddening.



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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 12:51:18 PM

By dragging down the industry I simply mean that other developers have a look at those crazy sales and then ask themselves how they can make their game, regardless of genre, more like that. It also tells publishers to tell their developers that there is no sense in taking a risk on something like Heavy Rain when there are guaranteed sales in FPS.

LA Noire looks like a great title that is somewhat risky as it isn't just a shootemup. I think we all benefit when games like this are made instead of yet another FPS that doesn't advance.

A good example of a game with promise to advance FPS would be Brink. The bottom line is games like FFXIII were made specifically with FPS style gaming in mind and it killed their own game. There is of course a place for shootemup bang bang games, but the fact that the most popular are essentially rehashes puts the kabash on creativity. That's what I meant.

I can't prove it out right, but that's just how I see things. I am not infallible though, just informed.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 10:41:37 PM

"The bottom line is games like FFXIII were made specifically with FPS style gaming in mind and it killed their own game."

If you mean more accesible for the less impatient, then I can agree to that as being a contributing variable. But I doubt it was ever S-E's intent to try and capture FPS-style gamers for FF13. If that was even your meaning.

I see about 4 valid contributors as POSSIBILITIES for FF13's wayward design.

In no particular order:

A) Inflating dev costs on a franchise that demands massive amounts of content. FF's have traditionally been much larger games than other titles, also yielding much higher quality production standards than most.

B) Expanding the franchise into two similar, but distinct, competing markets (Xbox & PS)

C) Creating a game for a storage medium that is much more restrictive resource wise (DVD)

D) Widening FF's appeal by making it more accessible to a broader range of gamer. (the dumbing down, twitch effect)

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Temjin001
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:55:59 PM
Reply

This is interesting and it's related to something I was thinking with the FPS genre in general going forward. The competitive online variable does make CoD/FPS something of a different beast than Tony Hawk or Guitar Hero.
But how has WoW been doing? Hasn't it's install base kind of been stagnating? Maybe shrinking? I don't really know, I haven't looked at any hard numbers recently, but the MMORPG populace seem to have hit the ceiling several years ago.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/15/2011 10:56:25 PM

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Lord carlos
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 10:59:06 PM
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This did'nt really need to be analysed did it mr.patcher?
Even animals know COD is gonna make 600+ million a year.

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Alienange
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:12:16 PM
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You certainly can't beat CoD when it comes to controls and fluid gameplay. It's also extremely accessible. That helps newcomers catch on quickly.

I certainly don't prefer Black Ops over the MW games, but to each their own. I just think Treyarch needs to figure out better map schemes. The gameplay keeps BO alive, but the mp maps... the majority are just big messes that lack fluidity.

Last edited by Alienange on 2/15/2011 11:12:44 PM

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FatherSun
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 6:36:43 AM

Who thumbed you down?

You hit the nail on the head. COD is extremely accessible. Once you get the hang of it, it provides instant gratification of one of humans most basic levels.

Many people I know feel the same way about BO. Something about it just doesn't click with them. They returned to MW2. Although its current online state is a circus with all the CL and peoples stats being deleted at will. Crazy.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 9:54:21 AM

"COD is extremely accessible"

i.e. Newbtastic!

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Alienange
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 1:11:48 PM

Don't worry FATHASUN, the patch is coming and we'll be shooting at each other again soon.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:16:47 PM
Reply

I disrespectfully disagree with Mr. Pachter. The thing is, it doesn't matter if you can compare GH to it or not, over-saturation can and will kill any series at a certain point. People get sick of stuff when its always in their face. Sooner or later even the casuals will realize its the same game over and over again unless they make it better.

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godsman
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 11:23:12 PM
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One thing about Call of Duty is that the experience gets more or less better each year as Activision makes more money. They have more money to secure the servers and more money thrown into development.

My Rockband and Guitar Hero game experience gets worse each year. I invested on the plastic instruments early. Each year more and better instruments releases. I am not getting the "full" experience like CoD each year because I refuse to upgrade my instruments.

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Oxvial
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 12:39:34 AM
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No, they are just doing the same thing over and over again, it doesn't matter what Pachter think, CoD gonna die when people feel tired of playing FPS online.

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kraygen
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 12:57:29 AM
Reply

Define bad game. Sometimes even when the technical qualities of a game are lesser than those around it, some people still find more joy in it than those with near perfect production.

Some people who love CoD will play it almost regardless of what happens with the next game.

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crunchy_nut_kid
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 1:44:18 AM
Reply

everyone says they dont like call of duty, yet so many play it. people buy it because the Cod franchise has a history of good to great(modern warfare) games. they buy it to see what happends next in the story, they buy it to get fresh guns and maps, but overall they buy it because its call of duty.

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Kevin5
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 2:41:07 AM
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The CoD single player campaigns is what reels me in. They're action packed levels with some pretty impressive set pieces. Multiplayer on the other hand is something i won't touch down on. For the 360 it is solid, but PSN doesn't get the same CoD VIP treatment & when it does, it's late as usual.

The headset abuse is cute sometimes but there is only so many times one can tolerate the ear burn of a bragging "pro camper". Granted, i suck balls at the multiplayer, i personally don't care that i do, but CoD elitists do care! This game is serious business to some people.

I like CoD, i don't love it but i enjoy it for what it is. I will continue to hire them to experience the campaigns but i would never buy the full games & spend hard earned dosh on them. It's just not worth it for me imo.

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___________
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 2:58:36 AM
Reply

wrong again bub!
COD will live on forever, well after they make 100 bad games let alone one!
ive said this once, twice, a million times, and ill say it again.
there could be a game of a guy taking a crap, thats the whole game just taking a crap, and it would break sales records as long as it has the halo, GTA, COD name slapped onto it!

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Bloodysilence19
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 4:01:22 AM
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cod needs to die, the cow is already out of milk, what more do you need to do these franchise, i know servers that don't absolutely suck!!!!!!

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kraygen
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 4:25:58 AM

Pretty sure that first CoD would need servers at all.

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kevinater321
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 6:42:56 AM
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Har Har Har, Silly Patcher must mean when they make a worse game.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 8:43:23 AM
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you know i think i remember reading "call of duty doesn't fair so well in theese parts" somewhere on this site. it has become a phenemonen in gaming, that much is for sure. it is definitely the communitty of the multiplayer driving it. they will have to release a really bad call of duty to even phase that fanatical communitty.

i agree with a lot of the comments above, except i don't think cod is a bad game.

i don't think cod's ridiculous sales numbers are particularlly good for the industry though.

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dirdiggler
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 10:31:48 AM
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Cod reminds me alot of how counter-strike was for the pc just kept goin an going. Only way it dies if if people get sick of it or something better comes out. Personally i play the sp then move on to the mp till i prestige then the game has no meaning to me there's nothing more unlock or acheive an becomes a joke, cause i could careless if i go 1-23 or 23-1 k/d but to some people it means the world to say i just went 23-1 on cod. As the great Austin Powers once said WHOOOP T DOOO BAZIL!!! What does it all mean??

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 12:56:42 PM
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Not to beat a dead horse, but if I could get some feedback that effectively argues many of our cases against the cod phenomenon I'd like to hear it. If I'm overlooking something that significantly differentiates the cod games from one another so much so that it warrants a yearly and possibly 2 per year release cycle then please let us all know.

"Good" is too subjective and without simple switchups (like players on the teams in Madden) the games still seem the same to me. I still think the market can get flustered by being flooded with the same thing.

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BeezleDrop
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 1:12:57 PM
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How can anyone continue to be a cod fan? By wasting money on this generic garbage your not supporting innovation and letting the industry analysts think this recycled Crap can work in the industry.

It can sell but how is it raising the bar? How is it leading the genre? in sales? Irrelevant. There is nothing wrong with playing Cod but where is the tactical destruction? Where are the vehicles? Why is the sound design the worst ive heard from any shooter in cod?

They say the games run on "silky smooth" 60 fps but that sacrifices graphics, did you all know cod crap ops runs at 600p?

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Zorigo
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 1:42:23 PM
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so what we need is a GOOD game to be hyped so everyone and their mother buys it and it should sell and beat cod

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 1:48:47 PM
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@world

i don't think there is anything that significantly differntiates it except for that rabid fanbase that seems willing to support the yearly installments. it has a rabid fanbase that seems to suck more and more in. there definitely is peer pressure involved here, and it's all about the multiplayer.

@beezle
sales are revelant. cod is probably sucking up so much sales it's snuffing out other games.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 3:23:29 PM

FYI, use the reply button to keep the thread clean. :)

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Oyashiro
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 2:49:51 PM
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It doesn't matter if GH and CoD is comparable or not. If you over-saturate the market (Which is what Activision loves to do) people will start to get tired of it. CoD is becoming a yearly thing, and for a game where the main draw is Online... That means splitting its own consumer base with each new release.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 6:22:06 PM
Reply

@ jawknee

i wasn't talking to you, and i don't see anything wrong with the way i did it. i've seen you turn some threads pretty ugly the other day yourself.

i did try to hit the reply button.

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BIGRED15
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 @ 6:31:15 PM
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World: Gotta side with you man no doubt. As someone who is likely going to move into game design, i have to pay attention to every game out there. Cod is the type of game that wont advance. there idea of a good game is the "if it aint broke dont fix it" cliche. does a game designer make a good game if they're not willing to take a risk. why else does other companies seem to out tech COD? DICE for instance took a huge risk with their large maps where nearly every vehicle can be drivin and everything can be destroyed. look at resistance 2 they made a 60 player match actually work better than people thought. those guys tried something different and thats why a game like battlefield is considered superior to COD. its not all about the fanbase. the first MW set the bar for military shooters and people gravitated to further iterations because of that game. People stick with what their comfortable with; real gamers are willing to dab a little in everything.

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Beamboom
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 9:49:50 AM
Reply

With all due respect folks, but to repeatedly call COD&co "mediocre" over and over in your comments just sounds so... Ignorant.
One can say that they don't like artists like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Iron Maiden, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Eminem or Far Too Loud.
... But you can't call them mediocre. COD is the Elvis of the gaming industry. Commercial, untouchable, got loads of fans but is not accepted amongst the establishment, those who regard themselves above the average Joe. Those who only enjoy the finer arts. Like opera, or poems.
... I guess Heavy Rain is the Tarja Turunen of the gaming world. I struggle to like opera, though I'd never call her "mediocre" or "crappy".

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Lairfan
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 5:37:00 PM

The problem is that CoD is not good. I get almost no emotion, story, character depth, etc. from their single player campaigns (which feel more like Michael Bay films tbh), and multiplayer is buggy and filled with idiots who love to annoy the hell out of you. I understand that this is just my viewpoint, but how the hell is any of that good?

You can't go around saying that any and every piece of crap is good out there. I know that just because I don't like it doesn't mean its bad, but if 99% of everyone else says its bad too, then its bad. Right now, it'd probably be 40% of gamers who dislike CoD, but that's still a pretty fair amount who don't like it and who give plenty of credence to it sucking.

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BIGRED15
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 11:18:40 AM
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comparing elvis to cod makes no sense. elvis was an absolute showman holding the whole package of an entertainer. it would make more sense to compare him to uncharted 2. UC2 will remain the best game of the last decade regardless of "how many" people like cod. i've never owned a cod game and never will until they decide to expiriment and take risks on bettering their linear formula

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mid10smaradoarg
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 4:35:32 PM
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And who said cod was a good game ?

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Lairfan
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 5:42:01 PM
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This "bad game" will probably be MW3 unless a miracle happens. I know I've said this far too many times before, but I'll say it again: IMO, 3 devs on one game is not going to work out due to conflicting ideas and visions. And with only about a year and a half of time to make this CoD, they don't have nearly enough time to work out at the very least a semi-decent game.

So what'll probably happen is that people will think MW3 was a disappointment (even more so than MW2), and since Modern Warfares seem to be the most loved CoD games out there, people will start to believe that its going downhill and stop buying it. It doesn't matter if they ever release a good game after that, the decline will still happen. I've seen it happen with a crapload of other series, and it'll probably happen again.

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