Call of Duty is, in many ways, the title that many developers try to outdo when they sit down to plan, script, program and launch new games, because it’s become a benchmark of success in terms of sales and fan following. Since its release in 2003, the franchise has sold more than 75 million units, including all its sequels on both Xbox and Playstation 3 boosting developer Activision’s income by more than 20 percent since 2009.
So what did Call of Duty do right that other titles are getting wrong? Just in time for the, here’s a quick roundup to help show which games and game categories are competing with the Call of Duty franchise and how they stack up.
Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying games, or MMOs or MMORPGs depending on what you prefer, largely feature the same basic formula, key setup and game progression of World of Warcraft, another title owned by Activision. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Everquest: Rain of Fear promise more of this format with different characters and graphics, though nothing particularly earth shaking is set to launch.
A number of racing and strategy titles are currently in the works, but none have set release dates in time for the holidays. These games can come off as formulaic to some, presenting players with a set goal and the bare bones of a story to guide them through the process. Nonetheless, for gamers intrigued by the visceral thrills of this genre, something from the Forza series might be an ideal present.
The action and adventure games category features several re-released versions of old favorites, but nothing exceptionally innovative. Ratchet and Clank are back on the PS3, and Marvel Avengers and Wreck It Ralph are movie spinoff titles. Also etailers like Newegg are now carrying titles for the new Wii U, and appropriately, James Bond has returned with 007 Legends on the new console.
Even Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is getting a rehash on the iPhone, none of these titles are generating quite the same excitement that surrounds the release of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.
First-person and third-person shooters have the shining star this holiday shopping season with Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The popular side series of the Call of Duty franchise title is back with a whole new campaign and story, and Black Ops II has earned enough hype and respect from within the industry to make it a must-have for most gamers.
Summary: Call of Duty is, in many ways, the title that many developers try to outdo.