Call of Duty: Bigger Than Star Wars

By Alec Meer on November 11th, 2011 at 3:16 pm.

You might just see what I did there

6.5 million copies in 24 hours. That’s the record-breaking figure Contemporary Combat The Third is celebrating today. Not only does this make it the fastest-selling videogame of all time, but one Robert Kotick, Esq observes that this means “Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.” Only box office, so not DVD/VHS/Blu-Ray/Laser-Disc sales, but even so: wow. Ouch. Wow.

Oh, and Modern Warfare 3 made $400m in the space of that first day, beating prior record-holder CODBLOPS by some $40m. $40m? Pfft, I spend more than that on breakfast every day. That’s why I weigh 418 stone.

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106 Comments »

  1. mjig says:

    And here I was hoping that this would be the year that sales would slow down.

    Oh well, there’s a sucker born every minute and Kotick is getting money from all of them.

    • Kollega says:

      The thing is, even if MW3 turns out to be so horrid that every CoD fan swears off the series for good, the effect will not be seen untill the next year, when they refuse to buy another sequel. Even with the power of internets, there’s still huge inertia to that sort of thing.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      At least it keeps them off the BF3 servers.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      MW3 is actually far better than BLOPS, a damnsight better than MW2 and nearly as good as MW1.

      With the Spec Ops modes, and the always fun mp people have got themselves an excellent value for money game with a brilliant single player man shoot.

      Who are these suckers you mention and why is Bobby Kotick getting money from them? You’d think he’d be getting enough money from running the most successful game publishing group.

    • Bungle says:

      Patrick thinks CoD is a good value. That’s hilarious. For a better value, try purchasing one of the earlier reskins of the same game, as they cost less.

      I have a hard time calling a game a good value if it pukes out $15 map packs every few months and doesn’t allow custom maps.

    • Lamb Chop says:

      It’s tough because nobody does KDR-focused twitch shooting better than CoD. All the poo slung at us by MW2 and codblops convinced me to leave the series after 2, but I’ve never found a replacement. Sure the player base is being shaken like a Bond martini until all the pennies fall out of their pockets, and that keeps me away, but BF3 is a very different beast. BF3 is the socialism of military shooters — slower-paced team-oriented gameplay — and CoD is libertarian — frenetic and reckless individualistic combat where the rich get richer. And sometimes my darker nature likes to escape to an online Randian utopia where by virtue of my God-given talents, I can crush the unworthy under my nuclear fist.

      But working together is fun, too, I guess.

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  2. Anthile says:

    Even more baffling, considering that it was wedged between Battlefield 3 and Skyrim. Sure, it’s not exactly the same target audience but still…

  3. Unaco says:

    Well done to them.

  4. konrad_ha says:

    The downside: more money for uncreative sequels.

    The upside: more money for video-games.

    Whatever helps the industry, I guess.

    • mjig says:

      More money for the industry does not mean that COD is helping the industry from anything other than a financial perspective.

      It hurts more serious gamers by encouraging games from all different genres to be more like COD.

      The industry churned out way better games for way less money before the latter half of the 2000s.

    • kdh says:

      Helping the industry from a financial perspective is still helping.

      Don’t dismiss that making the games industry more lucrative will probably help smaller indie type studios by gaining them easier access to venture capital.

      This also helps what you label as serious gamers.

    • Barnaby says:

      I agree with mjig. I feel like WoW has hurt mmo’s in the same way by skewing other developers views of what makes a good game. Instead of trying to be creative or innovative they try to imitate what’s already there, but then fall on their face because that thing (WoW, CoD) already exists and won’t be toppled. You can argue that it’s not those developers faults, but it doesn’t help me feeling disdain towards them and their uninspired games.

      All of this goes to show that being a thoughtful consumer/gamer really gets you jack shit other than a clear conscience. For every one thoughtful consumer there seem to be 10,000 that don’t even bat an eye at supporting publishers like Activision.

      Edit* I have a feeling the above ratio was painfully modest.

    • rayne117 says:

      “MW3 just sold 6.5 million copies!”

      “Well, I’ll be damned. Here’s that $10,000 to get you started on that bland sidescrolling indie game you’re making!”

      Huh, not sure how MW3 is helping…

    • kdh says:

      A lot of people are initially exposed to gaming through stuff like CoD, or WoW. Playing these may actually spark enough of an interest that some of the same people will move on to play other games more in the taste of hardcore gamers. Everyone has to start somewhere right?

      It is about having a critical mass of customers large enough to sustain the more niche games (like Bland Sidescroller Indie(TM))

  5. wryterra says:

    It always bothers me when you see video game sales compared to box office takings.

    You’re comparing a $60 product’s takings with the box office of a film franchise that opened when tickets cost less than $3.00 (Star Wars) or around $6.00 (Lord of the Rings).

    Star Wars has a life-to-date total of $2,226,166,672 and we know CoD is taking more than that. That’s impressive.

    But a a viable comparison would be to compare Call of Duty’s life-to-date sales against a life-to-date of $37,086,587,000. That’s what Star Wars would have taken if each ticket cost $60.

    Let’s be fair and assume everyone went to see Star Wars FIVE times and count their tickets only once.

    That’s $7,417,317,400. That’s still a significantly large number. Did CoD’s life-to-date takings beat this?

    In other words, it’s easy to take more money when you charge 20 times the price. How many PEOPLE went to see Star Wars vs how many people bought CoD?

    • The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

      Please someone compare this to bible sales, I would love that.

    • thegooseking says:

      The same thought occurred to me when Super Mario Bros. 3 made more money than E.T., which at the time was the highest-grossing-at-box-office film ever.

      And I was only seven years old at the time.

    • Kollega says:

      Well, that’s certainly reassuring. Kind of. We can be sure that less people have bought CoD than watched Star Wars (and that disregarding all the times it was released on VHS and DVD, along with all the times we could see it on television), but on the other hand it shows that a lot of people are willing to pay $60 for CoD, which certainly isn’t so great.

    • shoptroll says:

      Don’t forget to adjust for inflation!

      Oddly enough I loaded this story while listening to the Idle Thumbs podcast and Chris Remo was talking about the industry boasting they’re bigger than Hollywood.

    • mjig says:

      You can’t event count it that way though, because there’s no real way of knowing how a many tickets a $5 movie will sell versus a $60 game.

      Basically the whole comparison is just apples to oranges regardless of what you do to try and correct it. Actually, apples to oranges makes more sense because at least they’re both fruits.

      They’re two different things in two different forms of media at two different time periods with vastly different price points.

    • Paraquat says:

      Would it be cheeky of me to ask you to include inflation in those calculations? After all, you could buy a pancake breakfast, a carton of smokes, a new wristwatch and a malty drink for $2 in the 70s.

    • Shuck says:

      Also: at least half the money a film makes these days it makes after it’s gone from theaters (via video/television revenue). Games have no “second life” in another format, and even though digital distribution has extended the sales life of games beyond the few weeks that used to be their limit, most games (especially console games) are going to see all their sales in the first month, sales quickly trailing off and guaranteed to be zero long before they become unplayably obsolete. Star Wars opened in a few theaters and grew from there; it’s still making money 34 years later.

    • jezcentral says:

      Considering the Esq involved left out DVD sales, the comparison is useless anyway.

      I’ve grossed more than Star Wars did in my office to date, if you only look the first showing in Bromley Odeon, and you don’t see me shouting about it.

      HEY, EVERYONE! DID YOU HEAR THAT? I GROSSED MORE THAN STAR WARS!

    • exenter says:

      Stop comparing movies with games.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      @ Ninja Food Stuff: The vast majority of bibles are given away for free by churches. Most actual bible sales are for ornate or specific editions, and those sales tend to be rather small. You often see the “bible is the #1 most sold book” which is misleading. It is the largest distributed and printed book, but its actual sales figures are unknown.

      @ mjig: So, would it be more appropriate to say it’s comparing apples and rice pudding? ;P

    • DOLBYdigital says:

      Kollega:
      “….on the other hand it shows that a lot of people are willing to pay $60 for CoD, which certainly isn’t so great.”

      Fantastic quote! Normally I wouldn’t care but this trend does reminds me that I don’t like where the majority of mainstream gaming is going (there are some promising spots). Luckily the indie and modding scene is able to still shine which is great.

  6. Doom Kitten says:

    I wonder if these numbers include the Elite subscription or not.

  7. The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

    Clearly they need to increase the price next time. Also, other developers take note: increase the prices of your games too! xxx

    Also also: think about how much money they will lose in piracy and the second-hand market! Those poor guys.

  8. Velvetmeds says:

    That’s just sad.

    At least Skyrim has more people playing on steam. Hopefully it means it sold more than MW3

    134k atm…will go even higher on the weekend. Has any game ever reached those numbers on steam stats?

  9. Vexing Vision says:

    This number makes me sad.

    • The Colonel says:

      Well to my mind it’s definitely the opposite of a trophy. In books (presumably) this accolade would go to Happy Potter. In hot food it would go to MacDonalds. In technology it would go to Apple (or Haliburton). Lowest common denominator = biggest payout (not necessary illustrated by above examples) (that’s not a criticism in and of itself).

    • Jamison Dance says:

      @The Colonel: I think there is some truth to your point that the most popular things appeal to the lowest common denominator. There are some counterexamples though. The ones I could think of mostly come from music. The Beatles, Elvis and Led Zeppelin were all wildly popular and musically groundbreaking at the same time. I wonder why that is in music?

      Also, to be pendantic, Halliburton is an oil company, not a technology company, and Apple market share for computers is 12.9%, while their smartphone market share is 14.5%, which is lower than Samsung’s. You seem to have just grabbed a few companies that you don’t like, but neither of them fit your argument of “most popular thing is not the best thing”.

    • MultiVaC says:

      The Beatles, Elvis, and Led Zeppelin are from a different era than Harry Potter, McDonald’s, Apple, and Call of Duty, though. If you look at the highest grossing music product today, it would probably be some piece of shit like Katy Perry. I’ll bet the highest grossing movie during the height of the Beatles career was nowhere near as terrible as Transformers, too. I think the lowest common denominator is just lower now.

  10. coldvvvave says:

    Not this time then.

  11. The Infamous Woodchuck says:

    let the flaming wars, begin!

    and on an semi-related note, anyone realize that the score for BF3 and MW3 are the same on IGN,EG, and GS?

    IGN: both are 9.0

    EG: both are 8 (technically, pretty much every game this year that got reviewed by EG got an 8 but still)

    GS both are 8.5

  12. torchedEARTH says:

    Wait until Christmas, the sales will be astronomical. Kotick will literally be able to fuck off to the moon.

  13. Elltot says:

    Think of it this way. How many people in years to come (I mean like 20+ years into the future) will be playing Call of Duty (I’m sure it will not last forever), telling their kids that they must sit down and play MW3 and appreciate its sense of wonder and escapism?

    Now how think of how many people will still be watching the Star Wars films in years to come (introducing it to their children / grandchildren)?

    • jezcentral says:

      I dunno… I certainly won’t be telling my children to play UFO: Enemy Unknown in two years time, to appreciate the wonder.

    • Elltot says:

      Sorry my wordings terrible.

      I meant that I certainly won’t be telling my kids to play COD, but I shall force them to watch the original Star Wars Trilogy, whether they like it or not.

    • Harkkum says:

      I for one won’t. In hindsight all of those movies are pretty bad. I much rather have my kid watch Apocalypse. Now., Peeping Tom or even Citizen Kane than any of the Star Wars movies. If I’d have to choose something from the sci-fi genre it would most certainly be Kubrick’s masterpiece or Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

      Who can with all honesty say, that those movies have matured well? It has nothing to do with the time that has passed. For example I saw Peeping Tom for the first time two years ago and was blown away by it although I had no reason to feel any symphaty for it, whereas I was deeply attached to Star Wars as a kid but now that I see those movies they are such an exercise in boredom.

      It might be that I should live in US to truely appreciate these movies as they have more every-day presence there than they do have here in chilly and dark Finland. Nonetheless, Star Wars movies are nothing that I would recommend to my kid. It is much like me watching some god-awful movies just for the camp-value they have — e.g. that Kiefer Sutherland’s Vampire movie, is it Lost Boys. Or maybe Flash Gordon movie with hefty Queen-soundtrack! Not to mention Plan 9 From Outer Space — those darn white whatnots, zombies and Vampira; all in one movie of pure sillyness.

    • Vandelay says:

      Although I think you might be being a little too harsh on Star Wars, I certainly think that my realisation that Star Wars wasn’t “THE BEST THING EVARS!” coincided with me watching films that were actually good. The original trilogy is definitely overrated by the geek community.

  14. Serge says:

    Don’t want to bother anyone, but you might want to actually PLAY the game before bashing it, thanks.

    Jumping on hate bandwagon is bad and you must feel bad.

    MW3 has very good campaign and solid MP experience.

    I bought it expecting a fun game(To play while they fix BF3) and I don’t regret that.

    Yes, it is a rehash, but hey, no one is bullying Valve for making CS:GO, right? Or HL2 episodes? Don’t tell me EP1 was worth it. EP2 was “okay”, but still some fan mods are on par with it.

    Granted, they are cheap compared to MW but MW features SP, COOP and MP.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      “MW3 has very good campaign and solid MP experience.”

      If it cost 5€, i guess. But it doesn’t.

    • Elltot says:

      I don’t really believe in bashing games I haven’t played, but, Kotick is an idiot for comparing the Call of Duty franchise to Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      But, even Serge said so. If you’ve played any of the previous, you’ve played MW3. “Rehash”

    • mjig says:

      I don’t need to play it, I played MW1.
      “but hey, no one is bullying Valve for making CS:GO, right”
      I most certainly am. I’m pretty angry at VALVe for pumping out TF2 hat updates, yet another pointless DOTA clone, and a remake of a game people have no problem playing the original of instead of working on a full fledged sequel to their flagship franchise.

      I doubt I’m the only one.

    • Kollega says:

      Actually, i’m pretty sure there are people displeased with Valve making CS:GO. People don’t like that Valve are rehashing CS again instead making of some new game or – [deity of your choice] forbid – Episode 3.

    • Serge says:

      Well, alright then.

      Guess its just my point of view. I like MW3, others don’t. Everyone is happy!

      Still, Skyrim is on top of my play list now. Damn dragons!

    • awickedone says:

      Don’t forget how the episodes where included in the orange box to give you a great deal, there is no edition to my knowledge of any recent COD that includes the dlc map packs with the original yet alone with 2 other games.

      I don’t hate the game, but it caters to a different crowd than me, those who like to shell out money each year for slight tweaks to the same game, and I’m fine with it.

    • jaheira says:

      Which fan mods rival Ep 2? I suspect “none” is the answer but I’m certaily prepared to be surprised.

    • Big Murray says:

      I don’t think you can compare the HL episodes to what’s happening here. They were episodes, not full games, and priced as such. This is the equivilent of making Modern Warfare 2: Episode 2, and then charging £40 for it. That’s not on.

      Call of Duty map packs containing 5 new MP maps are given nearly the same price as Episode One when it was released. You can’t say that’s right.

  15. johnpeat says:

    Given that Return of the Jedi is still ‘not profitable’ (in Hollywood accountancy terms) – who cares???

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110912/13500315912/hollywood-accounting-darth-vader-not-getting-paid-because-return-jedi-still-isnt-profitable.shtml

    I reckon Call of Duty has earned more than The Bible probably ever has – only it’s target market is even dumber…

    • Shuck says:

      If the game industry was paying anyone any sort of royalties/residuals/percentages, they wouldn’t “officially” be making any profit, either. (Instead they simplify things by tying any bonus pay into continued employment at the company, and then they just lay people off.) Heck, even without using Hollywood accounting, games largely lose money. Of course, the numbers given are all about gross revenue rather than profit, so…

  16. archimandrite says:

    Kids these days!

  17. sneetch says:

    Bought BF3 played a little bit, it’s good and I enjoy the gunplay a lot but there is a slight problem where I tend to spawn, run for a couple of minutes, get sniped by someone I don’t see then spawn again. Spawning on squad members tends to be a lot better although people do seem to be spread out a bit too much on the maps I’ve played.

    I bought MW3 (never bothered with MW2) to play co-op with a friend of mine and we had an absolute blast in spec-ops Wednesday night, we played for about an hour and a half before deciding to boot up BF3 and try the co-op there. We spent an hour trying unsuccessfully to get the damn thing to work before giving up and going back to MW3 to play a final map for the night. I’m hoping to get BF3 co-op to actually work at some stage but mucking about with firewalls and anti-virus software for an hour isn’t my idea of good times (I think it’s something to do with the way the client is launched more than anything else).

    Of the two, MW3 feels more like an arcade game and BF3 feels more like a simulation, both are different but both are very enjoyable, both were worth the €40 I paid for them. I reckon I’ll end up playing MP in BF3 with friends and MW3 “solo”.

    Wow, I like both games, I fear the world may be about to implode!

    • DrGonzo says:

      Good to hear! But Battlefield doesn’t feel anything like a simulation to me. To me BF3 is more of a team game, where Cod is a lot like an old arena shooter.

    • sneetch says:

      Yeah, that’s a better way of putting it, the distances and nature of BF3 make team work a necessity wheras the close quarters nature of MW3 mean you can just hop on and randomly start shooting bad guys and be helpful to your team (almost unintentionally). So not so much a simulation as a “teamwork required” game.

    • Serge says:

      Glad I’m not alone there!

      Also, you can be kind of “team player” in MW3.

      Select support Killstreak rewards and you can use:

      -Armor drops for your teammates to use(Gives you +50 every time someone is taking one)
      -Advanced UAV(With directions)
      -RC chopper(The one which allows you to “spot” the enemies. You get points for spotting and every time team mate kills spotted target)

    • Chorltonwheelie says:

      Hurrah. Someone who’s played the game talking about the game itself and not parading their hangups.

      Here’s my tu’pence.
      If BF3 was trying to give COD style single player thrills then it failed miserably. Failed in a Home Front way. Very disappointing given the quality of the technical tools they’re using.
      The MW3 campaign is an absolute, loony tunes blast that you’d have to be dead or of a very nervous disposition not to enjoy.
      Although hardly a departure from previous iterations they’ve taken what they had and ‘turned it up to eleven’. It’s a game equivalent of a night out in Manchester in 1990 listening to nose-bleed techno whilst completely off your tits.
      It’s not Mozart. It’s not the Beatles. It’s not supposed to be. Brian Sewall wouldn’t approve. Lemmy would.

      (Yes, I’m calling you pretentious and out of touch. Possibly stuck in the past and posh to boot).

  18. DrGonzo says:

    Pretty pointless comparison I have to say. Without comparing the DVD sales and stuff it’s not very fair. Still, not surprising!

  19. Stupoider says:

    Can devs finally give up this ridiculous notion that they can get a slice of Activision’s pie? Instead of trying to be CoD, try to do something different.

  20. Herbert_West says:

    I do hope he STFUs about “piracy destroying the indutry, waa-waa” now.

  21. thesisko says:

    The most popular console games have always sold 100x a typical PC game. Since like the 80′s.
    On PC, MW3 doesn’t sell any more than other popular titles. Probably less.

  22. Radiant says:

    I sat down with the campaign and caned it in one sitting.
    It’s so full of it’s own cliches it’s embarrassing and it’s such a linear shooting gallery that it makes Virtua Cop seem Back to the Future.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I played through the first mission and was so bored by the end of it that I’m not sure I can take another 5 hours of that.

      I’ve continued to give CoD a chance based on how utterly amazing CoD 1/2/4 were, but it seems like the further they move from a quasi-authentic/plausible/dramatic almost-historical action war game to whatever the hell it is now (a Bruckheimer film? no, that’s not right – at least his films don’t make you fall asleep) the less I can justify getting each new title. I don’t mind a 6 hour campaign – Portal, Portal 2, and Mirror’s Edge are among the prized gems of my game collection imho, but there is just nothing interesting there anymore. It’s just the worst parts of the best games in the series repeated ad nauseum.

  23. reggiep says:

    A mindless comparison to appeal to all the mindless consumers that purchased this service pack at full price. Seriously people, be better consumers. Stop buying these games.

  24. Zarunil says:

    I’d like to know the sales figures for PC only.

    While I prefer Battlefield 3, I can see how the faster pace and close combat of MW3 multiplayer appeals to some.

    To each his own.

    (FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU—-)

  25. akumen says:

    A great feat considering that they were able to recycle a six year old engine and charge 60+ for a glorified map pack. To me, the game is not even worth pirating since it looks old, graphics are dismal, the campaign is mind-numbing and MP is well … typical MW2 quick scoping and 10m knife lunging BS on maps smaller than before.

    The problem is that 94% of those sales were split between X360 and PS3! Consoles, ruining games for everyone. Console ports, dismal graphics and money grabbing developer attitude is turning me off gaming. Skyrim looks absolutely horrible on PC with no graphics options to speak of and utterly useless menu system. Prepare to see another year of console ports with stale graphics and yet another CoD sequel in 2012.

  26. Teddy Leach says:

    And a lot of original games don’t sell.

  27. InternetBatman says:

    Counting box office alone is misleading. Add dvd sales if you want to make a fair comparison. If you want to say that the brand is bigger then you have to compare all the licensed stuff, books, comics, games, etc. Call of Duty is not bigger than Starwars, it just has a larger pricetag and is way more focused.

  28. Jimbo says:

    “But most of all, I would like to thank our millions of passionate fans worldwide. We made this game for you.”

    *Raises Eyebrow of Skepticism*

  29. nemryn says:

    Still smaller than Tetris.

  30. Fameros says:

    The comparison reveals more about the mindset at Activision than anything else.
    They think about COD essentially as a blockbuster movie. The gaming aspect is incidental.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      I think this is the most important thing to take away from this. I fear very much for the future of games (EDIT: really, this ought to be FPS games; not much else really applies to the mindset, except maybe third person games, and the distinction is increasingly blurred) if they end up not only constantly referencing films and ‘being cinematic’ but even being seen as basically a different format of film by the company bosses.

      I had a quick revisit of Black Ops single player last night and I was shocked by how linear it was; I don’t often replay singleplayer games, but if I do I try to do something differently. I played Black Ops through in the manner it seemed to want me to originally – turns out that’s the only way, really. I still enjoyed it to some extent, but a second play seemed to expose the mechanics much more and show the cracks.

  31. OJSlaughter says:

    Great for Call of Duty: now expect the sales to decline, or may the gods rise from their slumber and punish all those involved because this was a pathetic entry in the series…

  32. MythArcana says:

    And the Steam Sheep come a runnin’!

  33. aircool says:

    But is it as lucrative as The Sims?

  34. PitfireX says:

    Justin Bieber sells alot of copies….doesnt make him good.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      no but who was saying otherwise.

      in some ways you are wrong he is a good product in that he serves a market that exists, same with COD it’s a good product, just because a lot of posters online, which is a tiny less than 1% of the games consumers don’t like what it does, doesn’t mean it isn’t good at it’s purpose which is to make money.
      Do you hear Kotick ever bragging about review scores

      so far from recent times the COD series is actually showing an increasing market of consumers with every title, so clearly the idea of a tired formulae doesn’t hold up because 5-8 million people will buy this game as the First COD title they have ever purchased.

      As for peoples concerns about hurting the industry, do these people think that if trashy showbis gossip rags disappeared, The independant or The times newspaper would get a massive increase in circulation, without the cross ownership to provide subsidy those papers couldn’t afford the priniting costs let alone the employment of anybody to write in it.

  35. Raziel_Alex says:

    This makes me sad and dissapoint. But for now I’ll stop here, I already like bashing this garb… “game” too much.

  36. Turkey says:

    Man, if someone went back to 1999 and told me that dry-ass military shooters would be dominating the FPS scape in the future, I would never believe them.

  37. ForTehNguyen says:

    Looks like theres 6.5 million people willing to pay $60 for Modern Map Pack 3

  38. Hypernetic says:

    I don’t get stories like this. How much money a gamed earned is relevant, but how much it earned compared to a movie is not. Movie ticket prices are just a small fraction of the cost of a video game, especially when you go back to 1977 when the first SW movie came out. So CoD really isn’t “bigger than Star Wars”, not by a long shot.

  39. psyk says:

    $3 to see a movie? what sort of tickets are you buying?

    your saying you pay the equivalent of £1.85 if that’s true no wonder peoples views on pricing is wack.

  40. YourMessageHere says:

    I have to say, it’s pissing me off seeing all these regular RPS people who generally seem sensible folks having a go at CoD because ‘they are all the same’. This is totally incorrect. I can concede that the play style/design ethos of the singleplayer is similar, yes: very linear, very scripted, go here do this do that, press Use to trigger scripted sequence, we all know this. It has to be said, though, that the presentation is very different between the Latterday Fisticuffs series and Black Ops; the modern history aspect of the latter makes it far more interesting and creative in my view than the ‘modern Russians want to take over the world because, well, um, hey look at the pretty explosions’ preposterousness of the former’s story.

    Multiplayer is very different though. I’ve played a lot of MW2 and Black Ops multiplayer – 112 hours and 219 hours respectively. I got MW2 because I played a bit at a friends place and, although it annoyed my inner gun nut with some of the liberties it was taking, as a game, it’s a good bit of multiplayer fun. It got wearing, though, because of the contrived emphasis on ranking and points and ‘challenges’; the way that shapes what you have to do in order to get the stuff you need which will let you play how you like is not fun. It’s also really shallow, with this emphasis on badges and titles and emblems and stuff. In that regard, I had what I wanted inside 2 hours of play and never changed it subsequently. However, given the amount of abuse that went on in order to allow people to get these damn icons suggests that I’m very much in the minority among the player base.

    I wrestled with myself over getting Black Ops. Yes, it was forty quid – but the unlocking system was vastly different and it seemed that they’d put a far higher value on player choice and playing your own way. This turned out to be right. Not only that, but the weapons, netcode, maps, game types and balance were all much better. Black Ops may use the same engine and have the same franchise name, but that doesn’t make it a carbon copy of MW2.

    Treyarch clearly has a different idea of what CoD is from IW. Watching trailers of MW3, I found the gameplay footage seemed to be from MW2, until I realised the maps were different. I realised that basically, IW (or what’s left of them) had no intention of paying any attention to the lessons Black Ops ought to have taught them. And I realised I wasn’t going to buy MW3 any time soon. So really, take it from someone who knows, CoD games differ hugely.

    Now, to me, fantasy RPGs appear very interchangeable. I never liked the genre and I don’t play them – but I’m not going to be running around saying “huh, all Dragon Age games are the same, obviously DA2 is just a map pack”. Reading what people who actually play the games are saying, it’s obvious that is not true.

    • Distec says:

      To be fair, I don’t think many people leveled that criticism against DA2. It wasn’t an issue of recycled content from the first title, but rather a perceived lack of it by comparison.

  41. returno says:

    Finished the single-player on regular difficulty. My take is this: I’m not sure this is a game. It seems more like a movie where you click buttons now and then. How can there be a game where there’s no call for strategy except “hide behind something until I heal”.

    The environments seem open and detailed – but only if you don’t stray far from the linear path the game wants you to take. But, often you can’t even enjoy the environments because you are too busy being forced to run or stare at someone’s shoes as you crawl across a map “hiding” from the bad guys.

    After playing this, I am really looking forward to Serious Sam – that game will present deep strategic mayhemic complexities in comparison.

  42. Unaco says:

    They? Who are they?

  43. Vexing Vision says:

    Obviously the game has very good DRM.

  44. Harkkum says:

    @Vexing

    It has the best called “being able to play with your friends online”. Much like there is no point to pirate an MMO there is fairly little reason to pirate a game which is essentially entirely online.

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