With each successive Call of Duty game breaking the records set by its predecessor and the franchise becoming the top-selling and most-played of all time, there comes the obligatory internet haters. Haters, that despite the fact they’ve likely enjoyed playing Call of Duty games in the past, they can’t help but bash the games and/or aspects of them.
It’s stupid, really, because there’s a good reason so many people not only buy these games, but continue to play them online, but that comes with the territory of being at the top of the industry. People want to see the big guys fall, and many hope Battlefield 3 will be the game that knocks Call of Duty off its perch. So, how does Infinity Ward deal with the negative feedback? They use it to make better games.
The competition is good for the industry and it forces innovation and progress… and a little humor (see: the ModernWarfare3.com debacle).
Infinity Ward Creative Strategist Robert Bowling (aka @fourzerotwo) spoke with Kotaku and responded with the following to the topic of the hate we see in online forums and comments.
“Any game that has two very different audiences, you’re going to see it. Every game has its passionate userbase. We see it from everybody… It’s what it is. It’s what games have been forever.”
So, what does it feel like to see these sorts for comments online and what does it mean for developers behind a franchise so large and successful?
“We may have the number one selling game. We may have, at times, the number one most played game. So it’s very easy to sit back and say. ‘We’ve done our jobs perfectly. We have the best game ever created. Look at the numbers.’ But then you can get online and have people kick dirt in your face constantly every day about anything that they may not like about the game. It allows you to have a gut check and a perspective that this is where we still need to go. This is work that we still need to do.”
Bowling continues to explain that by joining Twitter, they were able to take advantage of direct userbase feedback, and work to improve on gameplay mechanics and even game modes. The new Survival Mode in Modern Warfare 3 came out of what was learned from Twitter.
Will Modern Warfare 3 deliver something new and fresh enough after Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2? Will its new modes deliver enough to compete with the new co-op and multiplayer offerings of Gears of War 3 and most importantly, how will its final product compare to that of Battlefield 3’s?
We’ll find out more at the Call of Duty XP event in early September.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 releases November 8, 2011 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.