Rumors swirled the web yesterday that the next Call of Duty game had been discovered, and in fact what it would be focused around. The information was brought forth by IGN, via YouTube user Drift0r that has a concrete source within Activision that has informed him that the next Call of Duty game will be subtitled Ghosts. While the excitement builds within for the next couple of seconds, let that slowly diminish because the more important information is about to come. As a part of that unveiling he was also told that the game would be a Next-Generation only title, but also see a PC release. While Next-Gen sales are expected to be extremely hefty at launch, the decision to make the game as Next-Gen only has to be rather troublesome to a large chunk of gamers. The disappointment with the decision, if in fact true, would show that the commitment to those that choose not to make the immediate jump is voided by one of gaming’s biggest franchises. For those making the leap, it’s not a problem, for those not, it is. Forgetting this Current Generation can be regarded as nothing other than a mistake.
Call of Duty is a fan favorite across the first person shooter genre; there is little doubt about that considering the sales are record breaking every single release. The fans and consumers have supported the Call of Duty series year-in and yea- out, and while some of those fan will undoubtedly jump ship to the latest and greatest offerings from Microsoft and Sony, the ones that don’t are the ones that are ultimately left to endure without. The decision doesn’t make sense for the company either, as a large number of gamers don’t make the jump immediately. The majority of gamers wait for either special deals, bundles, or even the first price cut that inevitably hits every console even though timing of that cut could come at any point. The other business downfall of not releasing a current generation game, is that in an interview with Gamespot Rob Lloyd, president of Gamestop confirmed that sixty percent of gamers have said that they will not buy a system with DRM features that block used games. Previously, more gamers made the jump from one generation to the next, but with these rumored features among others such as an such as an always on, always connected platform, make the next set of platforms slightly less desirable in the end.
If the game is being developed for next generation platforms, the part that is most baffling is that a game is easier to port backwards than to make the jump forward. In the past it has taken developers more to create a game that can show off the shiny new hardware because of textures, vector maps, and complexity of coding that all take a lot more time because they aren’t as familiar with it. However, taking a game developed for Next-Gen hardware and porting it back is more simplistic because removing textures, removing polies, and coding all are easier to do than adding all of it in. Take Castlevania: Mirror’s of Fate for the Nintendo 3DS, in a prior interview David Cox head of Konami UK divulged information that an HD version of the game already existed. Why?… because going from HD backwards, is far easier; why not develop a game with it in mind that there will be a bigger and better version? The funny part is that Activision already has that with the focus on the Next-Gen consoles, why don’t develop a current generation game as well?
Gamers should be upset if this in fact comes to fruition, there is really no excuse. We are at a crossroad of interest and doubt amongst the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 with the typical hype that comes with a new set of hardware hitting the market, but skepticism that features may hinder the freedom that we have to control our own content or be forced to connect to the internet whether we want to or not will play a major role. Developers want to make money, but they shouldn’t be attempting to force consumers to embrace a new console if they are satisfied with what they currently own; Microsoft and Sony do that already, the company needs little aid in attempting to convince us to make the financial commitment. The new systems will sell, and the next Call of Duty will too, but the thought of the next game being Next-Gen only is turbulent terrain for Activision if the majority of gamers elect to not make the jump as expected.