Call Of Duty's annual release schedule, incremental updates between sequels and reliance on the same engine are starting to remind many gamers of the now-dormant Guitar Hero franchise. According to what appears to be a leaked internal memo, Activision is also keenly aware of the similarities - but believes that there's a world of difference between the two series.
Acti CEO Eric Hirshberg reckons that CoD has the potential to become the "stickiest" franchise of all time, and we have the full quotes below.
As reported by CVG, an internal memo was apparently distributed throughout the company by CEO Eric Hirshberg- which bluntly asked: "isn't Call of Duty today just like Guitar Hero was a few years back?" Hirshberg acknowledges the superficial resemblance, but believes that CoD will succeed where the rhythm juggernaut failed thanks to its choice of genre and the fact that it has consistently grown throughout its seven year lifespan.
Guitar Hero was a new genre which had incredible appeal, but which had not stood the test of time. Call of Duty exists in a genre--first person shooters--that has shown remarkable staying power and wide appeal over a period of decades. Plus, Call of Duty has inspired a massive, persistent, online community of players, making it perhaps the 'stickiest' game of all time.
Hirshberg also believes that Activision needs to continually improve the multiplayer suite and functionality in order to create a truly loyal community (and guaranteed target audience).
In order to achieve this potential, we need to focus: on making games that constantly raise the quality bar; on staying ahead of the innovation curve; on surrounding the brand with a suite of services and an online community that makes our fans never want to leave. Entertainment franchises with staying power are rare. But Call of Duty shows all of the signs of being able to be one of them. It's up to us.
It certainly is up to you, Activision... but it's also up to us gamers. There's no denying that Black Ops smashed entertainment sales records, but we're set to witness an FPS battle royale this holiday season thanks to the release of Battlefield 3. Not to mention the fact that this is the biggest year for gaming in... well... years.
Basically, dear reader, the future of the Call Of Duty franchise is up to you - and it's time to have your say. Will you be buying this year's CoD title? Or could the killer franchise go the way of Guitar Hero? Sound off in the comments!