Activision revealed quite a while ago that the latest Call of Duty game will be none other than another Black Ops game. Since then, the internet has been buzzing, trying to figure out what Activision will do next. There have been numerous reports saying that the new game will incorporate a Battle Royale mode, and if that turns out to be true, then games like Fortnite and PUBG might have some serious competition.
The “Problem” with Call of Duty
It’s safe to say that the Call of Duty franchise has seen better days. Sure, Activision is able to bring out decent games from time to time, but they’re nowhere nearly as consistent in delivering quality games like they used to. Moreover, even these ‘decent’ games are not as good as the older ones and despite Activision wanting fans to embrace the newer generation of Call of Duty games, fans still want to play the older ones.
One of the main issues for most Call of Duty fans is the futuristic approach Activision took to making their games after a certain point. People remembered the classic days where the games seemed semi-realistic and the story campaigns were great. Apart from the story, the multiplayer experience is what made COD so popular. However, even the multiplayer experience isn’t as good anymore as you see Call of Duty featured less in eSports competitions and most of the people who play the online multiplayer switch away from COD few months after release.
Therefore, Activision needs to do something in order to achieve the success they once used to achieve. Apart from the story campaign, multiplayer is where their game attracts the majority of the players and that’s where the competition is fierce these days. Games like PUBG and Fortnite are dominating the multiplayer scene and Fortnite is about to be included in a university’s eSports programme too. Therefore, even if the next Call of Duty turns out to be great, players will only stay for a short while and the status quo will be restored once the hype dies down again. In order to combat this, Activision can perhaps incorporate something new into the game, like the Battle Royale game mode.
Why Activision wants to have a Battle Royale game mode
Given the rumors floating around that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will indeed have a Battle Royale mode, it definitely doesn’t seem impossible. The Battle Royale game mode became popular when PUBG came around, and then Fortnite also adapted the game mode.
Since then, PUBG and Fortnite have dominated the online multiplayer gaming scene with the latter growing day by day. Fortnite’s already the most popular and played online game today. Moreover, it’s free of cost, and it’s available on phones, so more or less everyone can play it. Therefore, Call of Duty, just by itself isn’t enough to compete with these games.
Call of Duty games are played by a lot of people, it covers a large demographic. However, it’s safe to say that more than 50% of the Call of Duty player base would comprise of teenagers and adults. Games like Fortnite have all sorts of players too, including a lot of kids too. By incorporating a Battle Royale game mode, Call of Duty could perhaps appeal to them too. Yes, it can be argued that Call of Duty can never beat games like Fortnite because they’re more engaging, plus the fact that its free also helps.
However, the price factor of a game becomes less significant if the game itself is very good. It doesn’t matter how much a game is priced as long as people like the game they’re paying for. Take game remasters as an example. Remastered games are basically the same games from a few years ago, with enhanced graphics. However, people loved those games before, they will like them now as well, which is why the sales for remastered games are more or less always successful.
So, in order for Activision to truly compete with existing Battle Royale games, they need to bring new elements into Call of Duty, not just the Battle Royale mode. They need to listen to their fans, what they want, otherwise, it can end up as another disaster like COD: Infinite Warfare. They can make their game stand out by adding their own unique twist to the Battle Royale game mode, and much more.
How can Activision make Black Ops 4 stand out?
If it were any other game looking to implement the Battle Royale game mode, it would’ve been fine, but it’s different with Call of Duty. Games like Fortnite have a childish vibe to them, which isn’t the case with Call of Duty. Moreover, it’s hard to imagine COD following in the footsteps of Fortnite or PUBG where you’d have to build stuff and play tactically.
Therefore, it’s likely that Activision will introduce the Battle Royale game mode with a slight twist (which can potentially be a good thing). However, they must be careful not to make it a combination of their “free for all” and search and destroy game modes, they must add something unique to their Battle Royale mode that would make players want to come back for more. If players want to come back for more, then it’s easy to sell them your DLC too, which we already know Activision loves doing.
Activision doesn’t need to stop at the Battle Royale game mode, they can add more exciting new game modes where people can team up instead of fight each other in Battle Royale (other than Team Deathmatch). Instead of churning out new games every year, it’s better to work on one game and keep improving it over time. Destiny is a great example of this, the game was able to last 3 years because it kept receiving updates and DLCs to keep it fresh. It would’ve probably continued to stay relevant if its sequel didn’t release.
Activision can make up for the lost revenue by abandoning the new game per year model through DLCs, in fact, they can increase their profits because they wouldn’t need to worry about making an entirely new game every year. However, that all depends on how they approach this, and if they do even include the Battle Royale game mode. Call of Duty can become a major player once again in the online multiplayer gaming scene if they introduce the Battle Royale game mode with their own twist to it.