Fans of the Call of Duty series have started a campaign against the changes that have been made to the blockbuster franchise, concerned that publisher Activision is running it into the ground with new ideas that aren’t resonating with its established fan base.
The supporters of this campaign are encouraging Activision to “make Call of Duty great again” by way of the hashtag campaigns #MakeCoDGreatAgain and #BringBackCoD, citing issues with the series’ implementation of free-running and various gimmicky features as the reasoning behind their frustration. Sharing the above image comparing the changes that have been made to the series in the period of time between Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, fans are mounting pressure upon Call of Duty to go back to basics and move away from the focus upon wall-running and jetpacks.
Popular Call of Duty livestreamer and commentator Whiteboy7thst has been a key proponent of this push for change, stressing how the introduction of these new gameplay elements is alienating a large portion of the series’ player base. Key issues such as lag compensation, DLC, Supply Drops and the aforementioned additional verticality to player movement have all been brought into question, with the move away from Call of Duty‘s multiplayer being an arcade-y “war simulator,” as Whiteboy7thst call it, to a sci-fi shooter with more erratic movement being criticized.
While some of Whiteboy7thst’s points of contention are debatable, and his insistence that he and his fellow CoD commentators could produce a better entry in the series than the developers at Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer is highly questionable, the points he raises have been echoed throughout the community surrounding the series for quite some time. While CoD remains a blockbuster franchise, its annual releases and struggle to expand upon its proven formula have led to many feeling that it has grown stale.
The implementation of free-running into its gameplay has also been a very mixed bag, with it having limited impact upon level design in terms of its multiplayer component, and some of its aesthetic changes have also raised a few eyebrows. Whiteboy7thst continues with the claim that Activision has been too concerned with appealing to competitive players over casual players, saying that changes to weaponry such as snipers have been pushed to the forefront of their list of improvements, while other changes that would appeal to the “99%” of players rather than the “1%” have been overlooked.
With Activision paying close attention to the community surrounding Call of Duty, it remains to be seen whether or not they take any of the complaints leveled at the direction the series is headed in on board. However, with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 being one of the most well-received Call of Duty games in a short while, it seems likely that they won’t be reverting back to old-school Call of Duty for the foreseeable future.