Call of Duty is almost twenty years old – is the franchise finally starting to die? If we look at it from a mix of perspectives, can we see the signs of aging starting to creep into the most popular first-person shooter franchise on Earth?
In terms of the franchise as a whole, Call of Duty is old. It first graced our consoles and computers way back in 2003, and today, more than thirty titles have been released across the series. We've travelled into space, the near future, and back to World War II on numerous occassions. But now, in 2021, we're asking the question: is Call of Duty dying?
It might seem like a strange question at first, but Call of Duty has had a rather 'up-and-down' life thus far. There have been massively popular moments, such as with the Black Ops franchise, but some titles have served only to disappoint. When we're talking on a general scale, however, Call of Duty remains the most popular first-person shooter franchise in history.
Is Call of Duty Esports Dying?
From around 2012 to 2019, Call of Duty's esports scene seemed electric. The world was watching the best Call of Duty players on the planet compete in exhilirating tournaments to win huge cash prizes. Today, although the Call of Duty League is a fantastic competition, it sometimes seems like something is missing.
Many of the 'best players in the world' have either retired or are well on their way to logging off for good. It's a relatively strange scene today, and the Call of Duty landscape as a whole is often referenced as too toxic to survive. While the Call of Duty League is a high-stakes competition, it doesn't have the pull that Black Ops II or WWII esports had, for example.
When we ask the question, is Call of Duty dying, this is a very important factor in the deciding the ultimate answer.
Is Call of Duty Warzone Dying?
When Call of Duty Warzone launched in March 2020, it rapidly became the best battle royale on the market. However, more than a year later, the title has revealed itself to be ridden with something of a plague.
Despite Activision's (and Raven Software's) best efforts to rid Warzone of hackers, nothing has been truly successful thus far. It's a painful landscape, and every day, another wave of hackers push deeper into the game. There are too many exploits, bugs, and cheats out there for Warzone to ever be a totally stable game.
Although, Activision is trying to combat that toxic and negative environment by pushing out huge, regulated tournaments. This includes the World Series of Warzone tournament, coming equipped with a huge $300k prize pool.
But is it enough? There might be a steady stream of fresh content pouring into Warzone, but will it be enough to keep the game afloat?
What competition does Call of Duty have?
Call of Duty has been relatively unchallenged for years. In fact, the only games that have come close to dethroning it are Rainbow Six Siege and Battlefield.
In 2021, Battlefield 2042 will launch, and there are many touting it to be a 'COD killer'. It's a near-future title focused entirely around a multiplayer build, with never-before-seen levels of destruction, high-octane combat, and advanced mechanics.
There are rumours that Battlefield 2042 will provide a new battle royale mode and a more effective esports platform than any Battlefield to come before. If those rumours turn out to be true, then Battlefield 2042 may be the answer to the question: is Call of Duty dying?
Could Battlefield 2042 be the final nail in the coffin for Call of Duty?
What's in the future for Call of Duty?
Call of Duty might not be dead, but there are many who think it's dying. Many fans were disappointed with the most recent release, Black Ops Cold War, and Warzone has been unstable for a while. That being said, it is the most popular FPS platform on the market . But if a replacement comes along, it could seriously harm Call of Duty.
The player base is still absolutely enormous, numbering the hundreds of millions, and another title is on the way. In 2021, fans will receive Call of Duty Vanguard, an alternate-history title set in the 1950s. Once again, however, it's Call of Duty experimenting with history and trying to be innovative.
Will it pay off, or will Call of Duty die?