A recent report from YouTuber LongSensation stated that the next Call of Duty would be simply called “Modern Warfare”. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier later confirmed this report from the YouTuber, giving some additional information about what we can expect from the upcoming project.
Call of Duty 2019 is called…
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
I'm not joking.
— LongSensation (@LongSensationYT) May 24, 2019
Along with it being from Infinity Ward and a 2019 title, Schreier said that multiple sources told Kotaku this would be a “soft reboot” of the first Modern Warfare game that released back in 2007. Some have already bashed this idea but I believe this could be an outstanding move for the Call of Duty franchise. Before we get into that, we have to talk about that last game in the series, Black Ops 4.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a good game. Despite not having a single-player campaign, it might just be the best Call of Duty title to release in quite some time. The Multiplayer, Zombies, and Blackout modes had a few interesting ideas but they never kept you playing for hours at a time.
At its core, something felt off about Black Ops 4. That’s the reason why I personally quit playing the game a month or two after its release. Although Treyarch had their own issues with this game post-launch, it’s mostly just a feeling from this franchise as a whole. The Call of Duty series is stale. Scratch that. The First-Person Shooter genre is stale.
Looking back just 5-6 years ago, Battlefield and Call of Duty still reigned supreme at the head of the FPS genre. Now, we have a few games that stand out among a minefield of mediocrity. Rainbow Six: Siege, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Apex Legends are the only titles that come to mind when I think of successful FPS games.
What happened here? As I said, CoD and Battlefield were the gods of this genre for years (Along with Halo). They were the mainstream titles any gamer from the diehards to the casuals knew about. Now, we’re looking at these two once great franchises like dinosaurs. And we should.
Both franchises have done little to separate themselves from their competitors or to innovate their respective games. Battlefield 1 and Black Ops 4 had a few great ideas but at the end of the day, we got bored with it. I’m not saying these games are dead by any means. Black Ops 4 is still one of the top games on Twitch today and was one of the top-selling games of 2018. Battlefield 1 users on Xbox One actually outnumber the player count on Bioware’s Anthem. That Anthem situation is a story worth writing a totally separate opinion piece on but the fact remains. The gaming community has moved on to bigger and better games.
Fortnite and Overwatch have done everything they can in regards to innovating their games. That’s why they remain at the top of the Twitch charts each week and why their communities are still so active years after release.
Overwatch has gradually continued to tweak the gameplay and add new heroes to put new life into the game. Baptiste, Brigitte, Moira, and more have greatly impacted how Overwatch gamers play. Mercy and D.Va getting revamps changed their rankings among the best heroes in any situation. All of this kept gamers invested for the long haul. Rainbow Six: Siege has done the same thing in adding new operators with each season.
The Overwatch League has also been a massive success so far and was a help in the popularity of eSports. It’s crazy how popular this league is. As a huge NFL and NBA fan, I’m shocked at how well run the Overwatch League has become. The crowds are awesome, the games are fun, and overall, it’s the best eSports gaming experience out there. I’m not saying that it’ll beat the NBA Finals in ratings or overtake the monster that is the NFL anytime soon, but eSports is a big deal now and I give a lot of credit to the Overwatch League for that.
As for Fortnite, it has become one of the most popular video games to release in decades. You constantly see references to Fortnite whether it’s a weird Energizer ad where the Energizer Bunny is flossing or Korg playing it in Avengers: Endgame. The reason why Fortnite has continued to be so popular is due to the constant updates and additional modes in the game to go alongside the fun gameplay. From the drastic alterations to the overall map to the amazing limited-time Avengers: Endgame mode that ran last month, Fortnite has been innovative time and time again to stay relevant. That’s why you don’t see other battle royales like Apex Legends or PUBG topple this giant. Fortnite is always relevant. It’s always the most talked about game whether you are the diehard or the casual gamer. Sounds familiar, right?
I know I just spent a long time not talking about Call of Duty but it was for a good cause. It showcases why this series needs a “soft reboot”. Sure, it’s selling extremely well now but that won’t always be the case without change. Especially with a new CoD title coming out every year. That’s how a franchise becomes stagnant. Just ask the Madden fanbase or ask Ubisoft what eventually happened to Assassin’s Creed after Unity.
Last year, I wrote another opinion article around the time of Black Ops 4’s reveal event titled “Opinion: Black Ops IIII Doesn’t Deserve Such Heavy Backlash” where I talked about how this series hasn’t truly changed since 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts. Black Ops 4 was a solid step in the right direction but Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare has the chance to break the wheel, so to speak.
In the Kotaku report, Schreier also stated it’ll be inspired by Modern Warfare 2’s campaign (more specifically the No Russian mission) and “It’ll be heavy on troubling, realistic emotional moments”. Maybe a more gritty campaign could entice people back in. I wasn’t overly upset about the mode’s absence in Black Ops 4 but I would be excited to see it return for Modern Warfare.
I’m not saying Infinity Ward should chuck everything that once made Call of Duty noteworthy in the trash bin. At that point, we wouldn’t be playing CoD but something else entirely. But, a “soft reboot” opens the door for actual change for a franchise that, for a long time, has been ridiculed for its lack of innovation.
What do you think about the Call of Duty franchise going back to Modern Warfare for 2019? Are you on board with a “soft reboot”? Or are you fine with the direction the series is going in? Let us know in the comments below!
Avid gamer and placeholder of what is now the worst selfie of all time. Mostly an Xbox/PS4 player but I have been known to destroy friendships in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.