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'Innovation is key for Call of Duty'

'Innovation is key for Call of Duty'

Activision has long-term hopes for the Call of Duty franchise, according to leaked company memoes.

Activision is adamant that the Call of Duty is going to stick around for a long time to come, according to a leaked internal memo where CEO Eric Hirschberg says Call of Duty will not be the next Guitar Hero.

Despite rapid initial growth, Activision's efforts in the music game market eventually petered out. Earlier this year the publisher bought an end to the Guitar Hero and DJ Hero series.

The memo, which was leaked to Giant Bomb, begins by asking 'Isn't Call of Duty today just like Guitar Hero was a few years back?'

'There are several key differences between the two franchises worth considering,' Hirschberg responds. 'Guitar Hero quickly reached incredible heights, but then began a steady decline. Call of Duty, on the other hand, has steadily grown every single year of its seven-year existence.'

'Call of Duty exists in a genre - first person shooters - that has shown remarkable staying power and wide appeal over a period of decades. Plus, Call of Duty has inspired a massive, persistent, online community of players, making it perhaps the 'stickiest' game of all time.'

'We need to focus: on making games that constantly raise the quality bar; on staying ahead of the innovation curve; on surrounding the brand with a suite of services and an online community that makes our fans never want to leave...Activision doesn't always seem to get the credit it deserves in terms of innovation in my opinion, but there is no short supply of it, even in our narrower slate.'

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

57 Comments

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cjoyce1980 21st April 2011, 10:58 Quote
stopping activision releasing half baked, watered down poop is the issue, not Innovation as there hasn't been any since COD:MW1
Lenderz 21st April 2011, 11:01 Quote
I think someone misread "profit" as "innovation"

Easy mistake to make, for me CoD died after modern warfare. Be interesting to see what comes from respawn.


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leveller 21st April 2011, 11:03 Quote
Activision - <looks at CoD>, <looks at Battlefield 3>, <now back to CoD> ... <write memo>
bowman 21st April 2011, 11:05 Quote
Innovation? Quality?

Railroad, linear, bland, boring shooter with regenerating health and little hints telling you what to do every step of the way?

The games are like lightly interactive movies, except the stories belong on the cutting room floor.
Unknownsock 21st April 2011, 11:07 Quote
I actually don't know what to say...
Psy-UK 21st April 2011, 11:08 Quote
Their definition of innovation must differ very wildly from that which is commonly accepted.
cgthomas 21st April 2011, 11:09 Quote
A little too late with that kind of talk. They're just mimicing whatever Dice is saying an trying to raise interest from those who have deserted the game
GFC 21st April 2011, 11:13 Quote
MW1 was good. all after was garbage. stfu activision bout ur innovation
vampalan 21st April 2011, 11:13 Quote
I think the memo is only really talking about console market for the COD series. as that is the one that makes the real sales figures, as the PC scene has been long forgotten.
wuyanxu 21st April 2011, 11:18 Quote
Quote:
Call of Duty has inspired a massive, persistent, online community of players

i agree, great introduction to multiplayer gaming. but soon, those player are bored, and have moved on to real teamwork based games. (*coughBattlefieldcough*)
Phifty Cal 21st April 2011, 11:36 Quote
Innovation eh? So you mean steal from DICE?
Mentai 21st April 2011, 11:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
Quote:
Call of Duty has inspired a massive, persistent, online community of players

i agree, great introduction to multiplayer gaming. but soon, those player are bored, and have moved on to real teamwork based games. (*coughBattlefieldcough*)

The year on year increase in sales for CoD would dispute this somewhat.. It will be interesting to see how Battlefield 3 does against this years CoD, they're going head on head, looking forward to it.
Xir 21st April 2011, 11:39 Quote
...there were COD'a after MW1?
oh, I dimissed them as expansion packs
sotu1 21st April 2011, 11:40 Quote
New CoD will feature destructible environments, vehicles, squad play, actually, forget squad play, and whatever Battlefield got.
DriftCarl 21st April 2011, 11:50 Quote
i wouldnt buy another CoD game again to be honest. I enjoyed battlefield BC2 far far more than any cod game. I cant wait for BF3 to come out, it looks so awesom.
Phalanx 21st April 2011, 12:00 Quote
Innovation? In Call of Duty? OMG I almost choked on my lunch!
crazy95 21st April 2011, 12:03 Quote
lets face it this how the games where
best
mw1
black ops
cod3
waw
mw2
worst
Mankz 21st April 2011, 12:07 Quote
Im sorry, I still think WaW was a good game.

No where near as good as MW1, but a damn sight better than MW2 or Bloops...
wuyanxu 21st April 2011, 12:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy95
lets face it this how the games where
best
mw1
black ops
cod3
waw
mw2
worst
CoD3? what planet are you on?

best to worst:
CoD4
CoD2
CoD1 and expansions
MW2 (pretty good as long as lobby isn't full of noob tubers)
Blops (Ak74u spraying)
WaW (hate those tree-top enemies)
Artanix 21st April 2011, 12:13 Quote
So generally, I thought you throw most innovation out of the window by making a sequel in the first place... so to count, theres what, 8 CoD games? Forget mistaking innovation for profit, I think he's just completely mistuck it for the term "flogging a dead horse"
Ending Credits 21st April 2011, 12:16 Quote
cgthomas 21st April 2011, 12:55 Quote
By innovation, do they mean the art of cramming a bazillion kill streak rewards to make a the map feel like a used baby diper?
Hustler 21st April 2011, 13:21 Quote
Perhaps they shouldn't have stabbed PC gamers in the back with the MW2 'no dedicated servers' debacle......

I'll never buy an Activision product again...
Guinness 21st April 2011, 13:25 Quote
I don't think you should compare call of duty and battlefield. They're totally different types of fps - I enjoy both.

On topic, innovations is a stretch. What they really need to do is spend a little more time on the pc version instead of porting it from the consoles. This would bring more gamers back to the cod franchise than "innovations". If the next cod was a fixed version of blops with greatly improved netcode, more evenly powered weapons and some new maps I'd be happy
GravitySmacked 21st April 2011, 13:28 Quote
How about adding more perks, that would be innovative!
smc8788 21st April 2011, 13:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentai
The year on year increase in sales for CoD would dispute this somewhat.. It will be interesting to see how Battlefield 3 does against this years CoD, they're going head on head, looking forward to it.

BF3 will never beat CoD, unfortunately. Not overall anyway, though I think it stands a good chance on PC. The problem is that while Battlefield is an established series on PC, it's struggled to make inroads on the console. BFBC2 proved that, since it has a larger community on PC than on either console (though not both combined), which is probably why DICE decided to make PC the lead platform for BF3.

As for the best CoD series, it's definitely gone downhill since MW1. Up to that point all of the innovations were for the better, but after that the series just recycled the older games or made changes for the worse. WaW definitely wasn't a bad game, I preferred it to Black Ops but that's just because it was pretty much a re-skinned version of MW1 set in WW2.
Phalanx 21st April 2011, 13:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GravitySmacked
How about adding more perks, that would be innovative!

They're working on it:

"Yo dawg, I heard you like perks, so I put a perk in your perk so you can killstreak while you killstreak!"
niro 21st April 2011, 14:11 Quote
LOL I had to re-read that last part about innovation...guy must either be smoking crack or he thinks battlefield franchise is activision's...no short supply of innovation my arse
Ayrto 21st April 2011, 14:22 Quote
Reading between the lines; they seem to be saying that COD fans desire for more of the same, SP dumbing down, over use of cut scenes and general cosolification ,may have peaked (even amongst console gamers).

PC players have become pretty dismissive of where this franchise is headed already, after the dedi servers fiasco and then the Black Ops glitches and bugs. Tbh, I've never known anyone quit a game because it's too hard , but the numbers who've quit because of dumbing down, or because some once skilful but rewarding franchise's new iteration now offers little challenge, are thousands upon thousands.
r3Q 21st April 2011, 14:53 Quote
i for one thought it would be cool when the rest of the world started playing the games that i have been playing on the pc since i was like 13. then the xbox360 came out, and all the people who called me a nerd in high school are currently stuck behind their tv playing black ops calling people noobs. as i watch them play, they all are terrible at the game too, but they claim to be good - all of them. i can not help but compare a decent pc gamer to the best console gamer. so i bought a microsoft controller to USB on amazon, then ported it to work with modern warfare 1 - and had all the xbox guys try and beat me 1v1 in any level\weapon layout they wanted. i ended up just trying to get their scores negative by letting them fall to their death or throwing grenades back at them because it was like 60 - 0 and i was bored.

i pretty much quit playing first person shooters because the genre is full of morons. i purposely have not bought black ops because activision axed treyarch. i bought portal 2 because i can enjoy it alone. i still go back to quakeLIVE now and then just for a refresh of good first person shooter players who can smoke me.

while i was on deployment with the US navy, i set up a little lan and gave all the CoD players a copy of quake 3 so we could do a little fast paced lan action, and it ended up being 6 versus 1 and i had to resort to trying to make their score negative.

sigh. when the console and pc realm merge so that we can play cross platform - then maybe i will have a taste of fun.
Guinness 21st April 2011, 16:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3Q

sigh. when the console and pc realm merge so that we can play cross
platform - then maybe i will have a taste of fun.

How will be fun? You just told us that there was no competition between
the xbox gamers and you on the pc. Console gamers would never be able to
compete with a pc gamer on a mouse and keyboard so this will never
happen:

"The console players got destroyed every time. So much so that it would
be embarrassing to the XBOX team in general had Microsoft launched this
initiative."
http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/07/rumour-microsoft-killed-plans-for-pc-vs
-xbox-360-online-play/


If you want fps fun, get out and grab a copy of blops/bc2 and pit your
obviously amazing skill against some of the better clans. Bound to be
more competitive and surely more rewarding than tearing consolers a new
one?
Pliqu3011 21st April 2011, 17:01 Quote
'Innovation' and 'Call of Duty' in one sentence?

[obligatory picture of orly owl]
Fizzban 21st April 2011, 17:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pliqu3011
'Innovation' and 'Call of Duty' in one sentence?

I know, it made me double take my double take lol. Lucky I wasn't eating or I might have choked to death. :)
DbD 21st April 2011, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenderz
I think someone misread "profit" as "innovation"

+1

Actual internal memo. Buyers are dumb, all we need is a tin with CoD on the lid, another out-there plot line, a bit of re-skinning of the same old maps, and some of perk renaming and they'll buy it all over again at full price. Then we can make a huge profit all over again.

Actually we really don't want to innovate - not only does that cost money but players complain you've ruined XXX and start large hate campaigns - safest to change as little as possible then everyone's happy.
blackcell1 21st April 2011, 19:21 Quote
from the steam & game stats page,
30,637 32,432 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Multiplayer
24,054 26,157 Call of Duty Black Ops - Multiplayer

its been like this for weeks, and its growing :) i think their getting rather scared !!
Woodspoon 21st April 2011, 20:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article

Isn't Call of Duty today just like Guitar Hero was a few years back?'

Yep, too late now, just prepare for the demise.
CowBlazed 21st April 2011, 20:24 Quote
Lol theres already been more COD games then GH, but they're definitely pushing the limits on even the hardcore fans with a new game every year.
HourBeforeDawn 21st April 2011, 21:12 Quote
lol Call of Duty 1 and 2 yes everything to follow is just one clone after another but for some reason the price kept going up lol.
frontline 21st April 2011, 23:45 Quote
I'm done with COD games, COD 1 & 2 = PC classics, COD 4 = ok multi-platform title that still had decent PC support. After that, it was only the short single player campaigns that were not worth paying full price for. Didn't buy MW2, bought black ops but none of the dlc and its clear that the franchise has nothing fresh to offer PC gamers.
ObeyTheCreed 22nd April 2011, 00:38 Quote
The one big problem i always had with the COD games was that the campaigns were always short, even the originals, if you really sucked at Veteran mode they might take a day but no longer than that, I want a campaign that's actually going to take me a LONG time on normal and hardened, not to mention Veteran. I mean these are wars here, they don't get fought in 1 day, make the game really realistic and make sure the campaign is going to take a while to beat. Other than that I prefer the MW games over Blops, Blops sucked, period.
liratheal 22nd April 2011, 08:21 Quote
So [i[that's[/i] why they've been releasing the same game for the last four or five years.
cgthomas 22nd April 2011, 09:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by frontline
I'm done with COD games, COD 1 & 2 = PC classics, COD 4 = ok multi-platform title that still had decent PC support. After that, it was only the short single player campaigns that were not worth paying full price for. Didn't buy MW2, bought black ops but none of the dlc and its clear that the franchise has nothing fresh to offer PC gamers.
Exactly the same situation here, I also bought Blops thinking it would be kind of similar to CoD4, but it turned to be rubbish. Also I refuse to buy dlc, this means that the game is pretty much dead since almost all server are running dlc content.
Innovation my ass. I really want BF3 to knock cod off its feet (or even slightly).
EA are doing well with all the early advertising
Woodlauncher 22nd April 2011, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
Innovation? Quality?

Railroad, linear, bland, boring shooter with regenerating health and little hints telling you what to do every step of the way?

The games are like lightly interactive movies, except the stories belong on the cutting room floor.

I'm only playing Cod4 so I don't know about MW2 or BO but what hints are you talking about? Granted, I play mostly HC (SC when I do knife only) but HC is in MW2 and BO right? Hardcore doesn't have any hints telling you what you should do..
alf- 22nd April 2011, 23:07 Quote
there's not much i can disagree with regard the comments this dude made.

call of duty have made highly successful and most importantly highly enjoyable games over the years.
i have bought games from the early years of the franchise up too MW2, and i have seen innovation, some people here must think innovation mean a complete change, it doesn't, sometimes innovation can simply mean gradual, simple changes that improve game-play, in that sense there has been innovation.

and for me, the call of duty series has been superior compared to its main competition, but whether it stays like that i don't know, i don't even know if i will buy the next modern warfare due to the business with infinity ward and all the dismissals, i'll just wait and see i suppose.
Nikols 23rd April 2011, 16:09 Quote
Bought blops and never installed it. Bfbc2 Vietnam released and since then it's pretty much the only game I play
metarinka 23rd April 2011, 18:28 Quote
I thought MW1 and defined the genre of linera shooters. Excellent pacing, graphics, very good scripting, level design and mission. I also think mw 2 is much better than mw1 gameplay wise, sure the story is crazy but the game has a high level of polish and tight gameplay. blops was a step back in graphics and MP gameplay. Being a hardcore FPS player since the doom and quake 1 days, I haven't had more fun ina mp shooter than mw2 good mix of arcade, weapon balance, and perfecting the fixings of modern FPS (kill cam, kill streak perks, etc) The only thing missing is a better lobby and server system.
lp rob1 23rd April 2011, 19:38 Quote
The first Nazi zombies (WaW) was innovative and cool. Although WaW was very unoptimized, it was quite a fun shooter. MW2 was drivel. Black ops brought nothing new to the FPS table.
So IMHO, WaW was the best, followed by MW1 then MW2. Black ops doesn't deserve mention. Oh and I never played Cod 3 and below.
Nuke1st 24th April 2011, 00:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
New CoD will feature destructible environments, vehicles, squad play, actually, forget squad play, and whatever Battlefield got.

LOL not with a new engine it won't. YOU THINK that they can just put all this into a crummy little engine whose base code is about 10 years old. dream on buddy. Battlefield 3 is so far ahead of anyone in the FPS market in terms technology. and this is the reason why COD is going to flop. BECAUSE THEY GOT A LOT OF MONEY AND DIDN'T INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY TO STAY AT THE TOP.
r8bwp 24th April 2011, 10:36 Quote
pfff, games that only last a few hours, done and dusted, what next, wheres the next game.Not enough game content, graphics r great but at what cost Advertise and hype it up( broken and glitchy when released). does that sound like Microsoft(still at least they seem to be learning ) Innovation is a new idea, not dlc and the same borin crap added to one good idea. These days the games are just not upto par!!
Xro33 24th April 2011, 18:02 Quote
innovation? yeah right. CoD4 was the only good one after that they just copied it and sold it as a new game with minor differences. So there is no inovation.
metarinka 24th April 2011, 18:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuke1st
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
New CoD will feature destructible environments, vehicles, squad play, actually, forget squad play, and whatever Battlefield got.

LOL not with a new engine it won't. YOU THINK that they can just put all this into a crummy little engine whose base code is about 10 years old. dream on buddy. Battlefield 3 is so far ahead of anyone in the FPS market in terms technology. and this is the reason why COD is going to flop. BECAUSE THEY GOT A LOT OF MONEY AND DIDN'T INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY TO STAY AT THE TOP.

Newest engine doesn't mean best game. Ask unreal 3 and doom 3 how that worked out for them.

while not neccessarily innovative, I still maintain that MW2 was one of the best MP tactical FPS of all time. The game play was very tight and relatively balanced. even the gold standard CS, people in tournaments only used the colt, ak, awp. In MW2 there's many more viable weapons.
Culinia 25th April 2011, 10:57 Quote
For me Call of Duty ended at MW2, enough is enough.

Bring on Battlefield 3, the true innovator.
thil 25th April 2011, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
Innovation? Quality?

Railroad, linear, bland, boring shooter with regenerating health and little hints telling you what to do every step of the way?

The games are like lightly interactive movies, except the stories belong on the cutting room floor.

Exactly. I don't know how "cinematic gameplay" can be considered a good thing. That's like a singing aspiring to make "sculptural music". We tried the whole interactive movie thing in the 90s. When the CD-ROM came out, everyone went nuts for it. Didn't work out well then, won't now. The only difference is that COD et al are rendered on the fly.

And for those curious about what Black Ops is like, I can say without hyperbole it is the worst game I've ever played.
Hrodwulf666 25th April 2011, 20:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy95
lets face it this how the games where
best
mw1
black ops
cod3
waw
mw2
worst

Lol, no offence but COD3 isn’t even a game, as a piece of entertainment it’s as laughable as Treyach's claims to be a PC developer.

And where on your list are COD, CODUO and COD2?

COD has come to its nadir because everyone plays it, simple, casual gamers, non gamers etc. There are even people who only play COD!
When a brand becomes openly viable for all social groups it loses its magic because it has to become watered down to suit everyone and keep them in their seats.

I get angry when I hear COD fan boys on youtube playing up like some self styled authority on FPS game play saying they new Battlefield should basically be simplified to emulate COD so they can own each game and make another franchise unplayable, it shows how lame and saturated the gaming community has become... blame Microsoft and Sony, as much as ive come to dislike Activision they are still responsible for some of the best game experiences I’ve had in the past and I hope they stop pandering to consoles and the masses and pull some true innovation out.
wuyanxu 25th April 2011, 21:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrodwulf666

I get angry when I hear COD fan boys on youtube playing up like some self styled authority on FPS game play saying they new Battlefield should basically be simplified to emulate COD so they can own each game and make another franchise unplayable, it shows how lame and saturated the gaming community has become...

oh god so true.

according to them: killstreaks in every game, weapons should be always pin-point accurate and every minute should be filled with something exploding. :( Crysis 2 is what happens when developers listen to those morons. :(
UrbanSmooth 27th April 2011, 16:51 Quote
I have no idea why people think that MW2 is so bad. The multiplayer is the best of any CoD game in the series. The Domination mode is absolutely the best, and the maps and kits/classes match it perfectly. This coming from a guy that has played them all.
Hrodwulf666 30th April 2011, 08:55 Quote
I don’t think it’s that bad and if it looks that way its not strictly MW2’s fault rather than the recent franchise as a whole. but I just feel personally that the format is just a bit stale, the fast paced, random action in small spaces is just too frustrating and there’s a distinct imbalance between skill and tactics. The main advancement from MW1 aside from the MP tweaking was Special Ops and that was disappointing in the extreme as it was only a fragment of co-op the franchise really needs. The other thing that makes it lack lustre is that it crawls along in terms of unlock progression and if you cant get the upper hand against superhuman players it feels largely pointless and un-enjoyable like many COD games since MW1
MW2 is good, but it’s the epic scale of Battlefield and its destructive tactical approach that totally outguns COD, it offers that epic open battlefield feel that the first two COD games and the United Offensive add on had but on a bigger scale, its almost like the modern Battlefield series delivers what COD:UO offered and never carried forward (although BF1942 was out at the same time).
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