I am an avid gamer, I love everything about gaming. Not so long ago, I used to be a huge Call of Duty fan. I was in love with Captain Price, Soap and Yuri and I still love those characters. Then, in 2010, Battlefield 2: Bad Company 2 happened and I began to realise that no matter how epic the Call of Duty campaigns were, the games were absolute garbage.
Now, I am not saying this because I am a Battlefield fanboy. I am far from that, I am a FPS game lover and I would love to see the Call of Duty franchise rise again. However, with that being said, I am deeply disappointed by Activision and extremely infuriated by their malpractices year after year. These people have pioneered everything that is wrong with the gaming industry. Here, I am going to list out how they have managed this and duped an entire generation of gamers for the most part of a decade.
SAME OLD RECYCLED GARBAGE
For those of you who are in the know how or have been gaming for a long time, you must have noticed this by now that nearly all the Call of Duty games that have come out in the last 6-7 years look nearly the same. The reason behind this is that they still utilise the Quake engine that came out in 1996, which is basically older than most of the people gaming these days. In their defence, the Activision heads have said that over the time, they have added and replaced so many parts in the original engine that it is a completely new engine now, just like an old PC. Now, this may be technically true but who in the world still has the same basic structural PC that they had in 1996? At one point or the other, nearly everyone who has ever owned a PC would have throw out their old rig and brought in a new one. To this, the Call of Duty fanboys spring to their defence saying, how do you expect them to completely throw out their old code? Well hello, the Battlefield games had a complete overhaul when the got in DICE and the Frostbite engine, the Crysis makers got in the Cry engine. It is possible.
What adds insult to injury is that well known sites like Gamesradar spread the bullshit reasoning given out by these Activision people to the masses. They actually published this “new engine” theory by Activision without backing it up or verifying it with independent testers.
Since they are utilising a two decades old engine, the gameplay aspect of these games is still the same. If a person is not at all into gaming and is oblivious to all sorts of gaming news, you can actually convince that person that Call of Duty Ghosts came after Call of Duty Advanced Warfare or Black Ops II. As if a similar gameplay was not enough for these people, they are actually using the same cut-scenes from game to game. Activision ought to be sponsored by Greenpeace. They are one heck of a recycling company.
If false marketing was an art, Activision would have been the Picasso of it. They continuously false advertise their products and they do it in such a way that they are technically not false marketing. Look at the case of Black Ops III. In their teaser release, they said that they would use every aspect of the new gen consoles. This got people hyped for the game because they thought that they would be getting a completely new game. What they actually got was the same old game with the co-op campaign made solely exclusive for the next gen consoles. Every year they promise us dedicated servers for multiplayer and what we get is third party server. They get away with it because they know how to exploit the loopholes in the system. They have been doing this with the supply drops and they will continue doing this for the foreseeable future.
MORE FOCUS ON PR
Now we know that Activision is brilliant at false marketing but why we as the general public keep falling for it repeatedly? Well the answer to this is the brilliant PR these guys do. The reason the supply drop system was so successful initially was because of the publicity it got from prominent YouTubers out there. Those people made tons of money out of it and Activision got immense publicity. Now, I am not against PR. What I am against is more PR and less content. As the saying goes, you have just seen the tip of the iceberg, a lot of it is still beneath the surface. In the case of most of the games, this is true. However, with respect to Call of Duty, there is nothing beneath the surface. Through their marketing campaigns, they imply, suggest and tease that there is a lot of hidden content. However, when you actually play it, there is nothing there. If these people paid half as much as attention to development as they do to PR, their name won’t be in the gutter right now.
THE CANCEROUS SUPPLY DROPS
The supply drop system that Activision has introduced is not only cancerous and annoying but it is also borderline illegal. If you don’t know what supply drops are, then they basically are a lottery ticket you purchase in game for 2$. A player recently showed how skewed this system of supply drops is. As per stats, for every 210 supply drops you open, the chances of you finding an actual DLC weapon is 5 out of which, there will be at least one incident of a weapon being repeated. So, your chances of actually getting a weapon is less than 2% and the chances of you getting the weapon of your choice is 0.002% which is actually lesser than the chances of you getting struck by lightning. So what it actually boils down to is that Activision is making kids who play this game gamble for the sake of weapons. It is not actually gambling because a supply drop is going to yield something or the other like an emblem. But again, this is blatant price gouging because the game costs 60$, then how in the world is an emblem worth 2$? Is it 3% of the game? No, it is not! It would have been better if we could buy weapons by the older system of micro-transactions over a large scale or use money to buy the weapons we like. Instead we are stuck with this malpractice that won’t be discontinued anytime soon because people and kids still believe in shit like destiny, fate etc.
COMPRESSION OF THE SKILL GAP
As per the CEO of Tripwire Interactive, John Gibson, Call of Duty has ruined an entire generation of gamers. Instead of being forced to use their skill and team work to take down the opposition team, even noobs can go around decimating others with knives and handguns thanks to the absence of a skill gap. Not only is this reducing the number of skilled gamers, it is also punishing them because the unskilled and noobs far outnumber the skilled ones. Since they are in the minority, their voice is not heard and now we have reached a point where the skill gap no longer exists. Not only is this thing wrong, but it is now catching with other game developers as well. Most of the testers these days are Call of Duty players. So, whenever they are presented with a challenging new game, they bitch about how tough it is and it is nothing like Call of Duty. The developers give in to their demands and as a result we have so many Call of Duty look alikes in the market like Destiny. Battlefield Hardline and Star Wars Battlefront happened because of this mentality only. Not only is this trend annoying but it is bad as well. It shows that we have become a generation that seeks instant gratification instead of hard work. If a person is better than you, you worked hard to beat that person, not bitch about it on the internet and force the people to degrade that person’s skills. sadly, this is what happening right now. Thankfully, EA has learnt from its mistake and the skill system is back in Battlefield 1.
Money, the reason Activision did this and will continue doing so. As long as these recycled and garbage games make money, Activision is not going to stop. Even after getting a record 3.5 million dislikes on YouTube on their Infinite Warfare teaser-trailer, the Activision spokesperson said that they were happy because they had gotten a record number of views. Well, this is the truth. They made money from the views and lost nothing from the dislikes they had garnered. Because, at the end of the day it is the money that talks. The still have the top selling FPS games even though its sales have gone down from 30 million units to 14 million units. As long as they remain at the top of the pile, they will always have the best selling tag and they will continue attracting investors and don’t pay any heed to their consumers. I am really glad that EA has decided to cannibalise its own sales by releasing Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 so close together. They have sensed blood and so have released two titles close to each other just so they can hurt the sales of Activision. I would really love it if Infinity Warfare flops massively even though it consists COD 4 remastered. If it loses its sales pitch, maybe it would be forced to think upon its negative strategies.
So that is all I have to say about the way in which Activision has changed the gaming community for the worse. In order to make it better, we as the gaming community need to stop purchasing Activision FPS games. Because whatever negative aspects Activision brings to its games, the others are quick to follow. This has lead to an overall decline in the standard of games as well as gamers. To change it, we need to change ourselves and not buy the next Call of Duty game. So what if we miss out on COD 4 remastered, we would have knocked some sense into Activision and that for me is a price worth paying.
So what are your thoughts on these malpractices by Activision? Let us know in the comments section below.