How Activision announces Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 & I wonder why I should even bother caring.
It’s that time of year again and Activision have announced their latest entry in the Call of Duty franchise. Only last week Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was announced and it once again leaves me wondering why I should care. It isn’t just the fact that CoD:BO2 is based in the future when the BO1 was based in the Cold War (frankly the whole thing smells of Activision trying to think up what to do and someone says “oh i know, we haven’t done one based in the future. lets do that!”). When the original Call of Duty:Black Ops was released some 2 years ago, it was released at the same time as EA’s Medal of Honor. Medal of Honor always felt to me like the better game. Not only in gameplay but also in storyline. On top of that, Medal of Honor used a new game engine while Black Ops used the same engine used in previous Call of Duty games. Now Black Ops 2 is on its way and it is still using the same game engine and upon viewing the trailer, it truly shows.
The problem is that the game engine is 6 years old now and this leaves me with the impression that not only are Activision not interested in producing games, they are also not interested in producing new games. I don’t mean new physical games, but actually investing in pushing games forward. EA are guilty of many of the same methods as Activision and their Need for Speed franchise suffers from the same yearly release. However it is not all bad for EA and their one saving grace is BioWare. I’m one of the very few people in the world that actually enjoyed Mass Effect 3 and the games ending (thats a subject for another day) but BioWare have never really rested on what they can do and more focused on what they should do.
Black Ops 2 is just yet more evidence that Activision are doing more harm to the game industry than actually helping it. They are throwing away any chance of creativity and being interested in only money. Now you could say that this is the goal of every business company. But look at it another way. Activision have used the same game engine for 6 years now and never shown any actual interest in investing for future engines or technology. Any company uses this same tactic is only destined to go out of business. You can’t run a company on the same plan, every year and not think about adapting for the future. Activision seem to believe that people will buy their latest Call of Duty game and they will. But that won’t last forever. It’s only a matter of time until people will turn away from Call of Duty and look towards other games which can offer them more. this is the fickle beast of game players. They are always looking for the next best game and any game that continually provides the same content is only going to last for so long.
Activision will obviously release Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 admist a storm of publicity and “expert game reviews” that all give glowing reviews. But of course, EA releases the sequel to Medal of Honor this year as well, along with Ubisofts newest Ghost Recon entry. First Person Shooter games are incredibly unique games and it will take a lot to separate all those games since there is only so much you can do before each game starts looking like each other. Out of those games, I know what I will be getting and won’t be getting. Activision will have to find some other way of getting their money out of me.