Activision have started vaguely muttering about this year's Call of Duty, which is the first from Cod Blops folks Treyarch on the series' new three-year development cycle. We knew that was happening, and all Activision had to say in an earnings conference call yesterday is that it'll be "loaded with innovation". Right-o. The FPS is now a decade into annual sequels and quite set on that path, so I wonder: what would you do with Call of Duty?
You can reboot, resurrect, reinvent, fragment, and spin-off all you like, but let's assume you won't get the green light from Activision without releasing a core FPS. Past, present, future, revolutions, invasions, operations, robots, dinosaurs, spacemen - go. Dream. Me, I'm thinking episodic.
I've never clicked with Call of Duty's multiplayer, but I like its singleplayer campaigns a lot. They're big, loud, daft, and exciting spectacles that start big and get bigger, but they're over in six hours and then I'm done with the game. I won't pay £40 for that (I'm a few years behind with CoD as I wait for big sales) but I would pay £15 to receive a campaign in short bursts over months.
What I burn through in a weekend then forget would become something to look forward to. "Coo, how ever will we survive being shot out of a cannon at the Space Needle? Our hoverwhale buddy already took a bullet for us at the end of Episode 1, so who will save us now? Though Richard Nixon did keep cryptically mentioning hoverpants..." CoD's already loaded with cliffhangers.
Presumably there'd be some sort of season pass or bundle dealio with the multiplayer too. I don't know. I don't have a particular setting in mind either. Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer seem to know how to make big loud things, so sure, whatever. I'll never turn down a neon-lit rainy megacity, mind.
But maybe you have a setting in mind? Or you'd like to see spin-offs across different genres tying into your Big Core FPS? Could you swing a CoD where we don't save the day? Lawks, maybe it's even an MMOFPS? Maybe you've got a wild idea to make it about pop music. Perhaps you have only one single scene in mind. Whatever it is, do share. Thinking about how long-running series in comics, films, and whatnot keep going might give ideas. We're hypothetically making Call of Duty here so you have a budget to make flashy things and hire Hollywood stars: what would you do?