Why Do People Hate Call of Duty?
Call of Duty is the franchise everyone loves to hate. But while there are plenty of valid criticisms and reasons for people to dislike the franchise, do people take too much enjoyment in their hatred of the series?
As a franchise, Call of Duty is a prime example of the modern first-person shooter. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s full of set pieces, and it plays it extremely safe. It’s the Michael Bay of videogames, if you like; it’s nothing but style with no substance. Unfortunately, creativity–or quality–isn’t always a recipe for success in videogames or any other form of entertainment. We live in a world where the likes of One Direction, Rihanna, and Nickleback are successful. We live in a world where Avatar made nearly $3 billion and Resident Evil films manage make a profit. Quality and creativity are rarely rewarded and that bleeds through into the videogame industry.
Call of Duty has been stagnant for some time. There’s very little progression from the 2010 onwards, only decline. But there is an audience there for it, and that’s why it continues to bring in the money (much in the same way as Rihanna and Resident Evil films have their audience). It’s just an established fact that it won’t change any time soon, regardless of how much hate is sent in its direction. There is a positive to be obtained when discussing the negatives of the franchise, however, as long as it’s in a controlled manner. Discussion leads to connection and connection can lead to a number of things. Heck, even Call of Duty was a product of developers discussing the negatives of Medal of Honor.
Conversely, there’s no positives to be gained from flame wars or people trolling each other based purely on what they like and what they don’t like. Call of Duty represents the fact videogames are rapidly becoming more and more mainstream, and this naturally brings a level of resentment. It’s hard to disagree with this resentment when it brings such a vitriolic community to the videogame world. (Yes, not everyone is like this, but there is a large proportion whose existence is undeniable.) The generic nature of Call of Duty doesn’t really reflect well on the industry as a whole. The criticisms that Call of Duty engenders, that it’s generic, uncreative, limited, and perhaps even stifling the industry, are all valid but also do not give people a right to tell others what they should and shouldn’t be playing.
There are still people out there who have stayed away from videogames and see them as a juvenile way to pass time. This, of course, is not made better by games that fill the stereotype, such as Call of Duty, and enforce people’s dated opinions. Consequently, these people will never know the creative gems that are on offer elsewhere, such as the likes of Journey, Thomas Was Alone, The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing New Leaf, etc. It’s a great shame that frustrates the more passionate people that are either involved or follow the industry. Call of Duty is simply seen as the corporate wall hiding the interesting stuff behind its huge, gray, bullet-ridden walls.
This is purely a theory on why some people have become so against Call of Duty. It’s an interesting development given the franchise was once widely loved. Perhaps Call of Duty became a victim of its own success? After all, once you rise so tall, the only way forward is to fall back down. Or perhaps the business minds took over the creative ones. With the next generation now here and becoming the current generation, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for Call of Duty. It’ll be curious to see if it can ever turn itself around, or if it’s set for a slow and painful demise which will please the detractors and fans of creative videogame fans.