September 27, 2013

What's with the Call of Duty hate?

Fish. That swim away from you. INNOVATION!

It must be weird being a salesman for the most hated game franchise today. It's no small task trying to point out the greatest features of the newest all-too familiar game in the franchise, especially to droves of cynical gamers.

But what if successful marketing of such a franchise did not depend on highlighting the positives, but dwelling on the negatives?


So, I decided to take a step back this week and focus on a topic which has been racking my mind ever since I first played Modern Warfare 2: Why do people hate Call of Duty so much?

Okay, sure, it's not the best game in the world, but surely there are much worse games to hate on? Like maybe ET: The Game for nearly obliterating the North American video game industry?

The hordes of shameless movie tie-ins, which exploit our fondness for their source material and give us worthless rubbish in return?

Duke Nukem Forever even, with it's pointlessly offensive humour and infamously dated quality?

Why does Call of Duty get all the flak? Why does a game which does a slightly more than serviceable job get widespread hatred?

Maybe that hairstyle has something to do with it?

Because of one thing: The fans.

Call of Duty was the highest selling game franchise of all time, only displaced by Grand Theft Auto with it's most recent entry.

The thing which annoys most people is the fact that COD of all games became extremely popular, when there are other games to enjoy, and should have had a larger audience.

Now, some may disagree with me and say it's because the COD series contains some of the worst quality games on the market today.

Sorry, but that's not true. And in fact, the rabid hatred for COD is unwarranted. The reason why people hate it so much, is because it disappointed them.

I remember before Modern Warfare 2 was released, Call of Duty was in most of our good books. The game remains largely the same today, except something changed after the overhyped sequel.

The disappointment of a largely similar game after so much innovation was promised could not be taken back. It was after this, when the hate began.

Now I'm not going to go on a lecture and explain why I think it's bad to hate Call of Duty or like Call of Duty. Instead, I'm going to state one thing: The haters are what's selling COD.

Disagree? Not surprised, but there's simple logic behind my decision. The more hatred and bitterness people heap on something, the more attention it gets, and as some of you may know, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Look, it's your own decision to hate Call of Duty as a whole. That's on you. I respectfully say that I would rather enjoy a game instead of engage in rabid hatred, because then I would only waste my time.

But the simple fact of the matter is, the more outspoken you are about hating it, the more it will get publicized, resulting in even more sales for the franchise.

Okay, you gotta admit that this screenshot looks pretty cool.

The day COD disappears from the market, is when people react indifferently to it. That day may come soon, when haters realise that despite their best efforts, the COD series is going to stay no matter how much 0's they give it on review sites, no matter how much boycotts they organise, and no matter how much bad-mouthing they attempt, it's all for nothing.

And the fans too, if they finally realise that COD is becoming stale, and that there are much more attractive games out there to enjoy, some of them free.

Until then, you are free to continue with your hate. But just know that when the dust finally clears, it will be awfully embarrassing to admit that you were a highly successful salesman for the game you swore to destroy.

What do you think? How does Call of Duty compare to other big name games? Does it deserve the haters? 

No, it doesn't, but tell me why you hate it if you're one of them.

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