Currently the hype train is obviously set towards Call of Duty 11, or as we know it Advanced Warfare. As I've been rather open about, I'm still far more interested in seeing what Treyarch's next offering is, as Infinity Ward has lost my trust and Sledgehammer has yet to gain it. So this begs the question, what will Treyarch's upcoming entry for 2015 actually be?
How about Black Ops 3?
I doubt it.
Let's think from a business perspective. After all, the guys at Activision are funding this, and they ultimately are who say what goes and what doesn't. They don't intend this series to end any time soon, and they need to keep people interested.
Typically one of the major fall outs with any long-running series is escalation. Any follow-up is obligated to be bigger and hopefully better then the previous entry. Advanced Warfare gives us a serious problem here. It's already clear even from the brief bit of multiplayer that we've seen Advanced Warfare is most likely going to shake up the formula perhaps more then any previous entry post-Call of Duty 4. Jump-jets and the like will add alot more verticality which we can logically assume will really make Advanced Warfare a truly unique new experience compared to previous entries, or at the very least a large step up.
However, what happens when the advanced tech of Advanced Warfare gets taken away? We already know this is going to happen, Ghosts 2 has practically been confirmed by the first game's ending, but that's Call of Duty 13. We're here to talk about twelve. Activision needs people to be excited for Ghosts 2, but that already is going to force breaking the element of escalation because it needs to get rid of the new tech. We also logically cannot be even be allowed to get used to Advanced Warfare. It needs to be a one-time thing until the probable Advanced Warfare 2 comes along. This way Activision will have ensured (assumedly) we won't be tired of it, it will rise the hype up for Advanced Warfare 2 up immensely. So where does this leave Treyarch's game? What from a business stand-point logically not only get hype for itself but pave the way for Ghosts 2 and Advanced Warfare 2?
Black Ops 3 would have to continue off of Black Ops 2. This means it would have to either
- A. Take place immediately after.
- I don't think this would be exciting for the audience or for Treyarch. Perhaps if Black Ops 2's multiplayer did enough to differentiate itself from Modern Warfare it could, but as much as I love it you have to admit it didn't.
- B. Take place far after.
- This point would be going into or beyond Advanced Warfare's territory. This, as we've established, would not pave the way for Ghosts 2's warm welcome or the desired hype for Advanced Warfare's successor.
Also from a story stand-point, let's be honest, Black Ops 2 feels like an ending, especially with it's multiple paths and outcomes. I don't really see it continuing.
Okay, how could it lead up to Ghosts 2?
The only logical thing I think of, is the past. Where in the past though? Hmm... what was the biggest most well known war that also effected the world on a global scale that has been getting very little attention from video games for a long while now?
Scoff all you want, but this could be it. World War II as a setting has died out for a while now, when was the last time that a truly AAA title released for it? The closest I can think of is Sniper Elite V2 and that was a bit of a B title.
This can and will play differently from Advanced Warfare. Also, while technically not a reboot, many people may still treat it as such, and since when have reboots stopped working? Oh right they haven't with games like Mortal Kombat 9 and Tomb Raider. Nostalgia has a large market. I know I'm not the only one who'd die of happiness at the announcement of a new WWII Call of Duty.
Also as of yet World War II has yet to truly see it's true potential on the new generation, something that will all the more assist to it being fresh. Sniper Elite 3 barely applies, being the same game on last gen consoles, and that franchise will probably never have the budget necessary to truly be current gen ever again.
This also fits with how it will pave the way for Ghosts 2, and eventually Advanced Warfare 2. World War II would be the best way to step back because of the nostalgia and renewed uniqueness. In this way Ghosts 2 would potentially be a step up from a World War II Call of Duty, which means people can look at Ghosts 2 as an evolution, not a step-back, and thus still get excited. In this way also when we get back to Sledgehammer's next game, almost undoubtedly Advanced Warfare 2, it will have been two games since we've gotten the advanced tech and fans will assumedly be ravenous for more, leading to what could potentially set a new record once again for Call of Duty launches.
World War II may be a turn off for many fans, but many more will still come and if we think about the future, it could really pay off for Activision.
Why Not Another Era?
There are two reasons why, if we need to go back to a past setting, World War II fits above all else:
- Just about everyone, even those in the typical dude-bro Call of Duty crowd, know what World War II is, or at least heard of it. They know about those pesky evil Nazis, and they know they might be fun have their asses get kicked. No other war in history was that large, well-known, or just other-wise notable across Call of Duty's potential audience.
- This could also be what reels long-time fans who've given up back in, and it gets people like me salivating at the thought. World War II shooters were once king of the market, but have since faded with nothing but occasional low-budget or indie releases for a long while now. Also as previously stated, just look at games like Mortal Kombat 9.
World War II may never be able to make a full come-back, but a one time return for a long-running franchise may just be what it needs to not only keep the next release notable but ensure excitement for the entries to come. You also can't forget it won't be another World at War, we have entered a new console generation, who knows how it could turn out.
Heck, I could see Activision just naming the game "Call of Duty" with no number or subtitle, and treat as a reboot even though Ghosts 2 will be coming next. Why would I think this? Well WB did it to Mortal Kombat 9, it worked wonderfully for them, now they've announced a sequel called "10" anyway. No one cares.
What do you think Call of Duty 12 will be? What do you want it to be? Do you even want one at all? Please comment below and thanks for reading!