As the video game industry approaches its silly season of the October/November release window, competition is ramping up for a bunch of high-profile AAA games that are slated for release. As with most years, there’s a whole lot of big titles coming out within days of each other and it means that sometimes a big name will get left out.
For the better part of a decade, people have been saying this about each new Call of Duty title; that a series so linear and released so frequently cannot possibly be sustainable, and that sooner or later fans will turn their back on it in favor of something new. While there is always the possibility that such a thing could happen at any point, I am fairly confident that it will not be 2014’s upcoming Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that causes it to happen. On the contrary, I believe that this installment will bring them back to the zeitgeist of gaming after a few years wandering the outskirts, and here are some reasons why.
New Development Cycle
Instead of running games on a two-year cycle, Activision has split Call of Duty into three development teams that will each be given an extra year to work on their titles. This is fantastic news for a few reasons; it allows developers to take a breath and try out some different ideas that can move the series forward instead of relying on the tried-and-true. It also maintains a deadline, so you don’t end up with runaway productions that end up costing hundreds of millions of dollars for an end-product that doesn’t reflect it.
Finally, this development plan shows that Activision finally gets it; yearly installments are not a problem for Call of Duty fans, but it absolutely needs to be a quality product. Thankfully, based on what we’ve seen up to now, that doesn’t appear to be a problem.