The biggest problem with the games (and another reason they bought them cheaply) is that Call of Duty is at its lowest ever ebb. People are abandoning Vanguard and Warzone in droves. Vanguard because it’s dull (which Activision didn’t know two years ago), Warzone because it is a mess and infested by cheaters.
Every year, there is a paid-for cod-warzone recovery. This means that there’s always an opportunity for a do-over. However, I am skeptical that this year’s South American drug cartel angle in Modern Warfare 2 is a good idea. It sounds very 20th-century in terms of plot, and the use of a boring old movie like Clear and Present Danger for inspiration makes it seem like it’s trying to go too low.
Activision has already leaked 2023’s cod warzone recovery. It is a Black Ops, but it features a setting that rips from Battlefield 2042. It was obvious that they made this decision before they released Battlefield 2042. This is a much bigger disaster than Vanguard.
Activision will be grateful that Battlefield 2042 was a success this year. I believe it would have sealed the end to Call Of Duty. It’s in a precarious situation because there is nothing that can replace COD at the moment.
If Call Of Duty 2 isn’t a huge hit, the entire franchise will suddenly look like yesterday’s news. Activision is aware of this, but I’m not sure why they don’t have a Plan B in case it happens. The scale of Vanguard’s failure may have caught them off guard, but if sales were to drop, they expected it to be gradual.
Call of Duty: Vanguard was the top-selling game in America last year. It’s still long before it falls, but this is the worst sales record in 14 years. This is a rapid drop.
All of this is to say that Warzone 2 will be the game changer for Call Of Duty and Activision if they haven’t been acquired by Microsoft. It is still unknown what it will look like, aside from the usual talk of it being innovative and that no two games will be the same. Let’s say that it should be revolutionary.
It doesn’t matter how well-designed it is. The two issues will be the same as Warzone 1’s: bugs and cheats. It seems that is going to solve both of these problems.
They keep trying to fix it to be tied in with the paid-for game. Restarting the clock will reset it, but the same people are still making it. They are just trying to avoid bugs this time. Activision will have to release this yesterday, so they’ll be under the same time constraints. It isn’t easy to imagine.
They would have dealt with cheaters long ago if they had known how. This suggests that Warzone 2 will have similar problems and could dig a deeper hole. Activision will have half of the audience and must keep Warzone 1 running at the same. This is especially true since it’s next-gen only.
While morale drops to its lowest point ever due to lawsuits and the departures of many top employees, the company is being acquired by the largest company in the world. Call of Duty will be dead in five years unless Activision makes it a great franchise with its next releases. For the reasons I have outlined, that doesn’t seem likely.