With the launch of Call of Duty: Ghosts upon us, it was only a matter of time before the proverbial pot gets stirred. Even before the game hit store shelves, there was already talk of the game’s resolution inconsistencies, and now that reviews are out, and mostly middling, the discussion of Call of Duty‘s relevance continues.
The same could be said for the Battlefield franchise, which, by many accounts, failed to iterate on its predecessor in any appreciable ways. Sure, Battlefield 4 has a stronger upside given the series is not an annual release, but there are still going to be questions of that franchise’s relevance as well.
Both issues were addressed by Avalanche Studios‘ Christofer Sundberg earlier today, who predicted that this is the “end of an era” for both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4. Now, Avalanche — the developer behind the Just Cause series and the new Mad Max game — doesn’t have much of a stake in the FPS market, so Sundberg’s comments should be taken with a grain of salt, but what he has to say is interesting to consider regardless.
“I predict the end of an era with #CoDGhosts and #BF4. I don’t believe in the future for [Call of Duty] and I believe that [Battlefield] will live on as an [multiplayer] game,”
Continuing, Sundberg revealed he doesn’t believe in the future of the Call of Duty franchise, suggesting that Ghosts might be the franchise’s swan song in terms of relevance. For Battlefield, however, he believes DICE‘s visual showpiece will live on as a multiplayer game.
Sundberg also broached the topic of free-to-play with regards to each franchise, saying that they could live on if they change their business models. Both Battlefield and Call of Duty do offer free-to-play options, but those are ancillary experiences. Sundberg suggests that the franchise’s respective developers build their free-to-play options as a platform not just to entice Chinese gamers like Call of Duty Online does.
With both franchises making the jump to next-gen this year, it’s hard to imagine that either Infinity Ward & Treyarch or DICE will take these comments to heart. Their respective series might be waning, but waning in big budget blockbuster terms isn’t cause to pack it up and leave.
There’s presumably only room to improve at this point, as developers learn to better leverage these new machines. That being said, there will come a tipping point where gamers decide the lack of innovation supersedes brand loyalty. And when that time comes it could be the end of an era.
Do you think that Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts are the “end of an era?” If so, what do you think the new era for blockbuster franchises is?