The rumor mill has been practically overflowing with speculation about Activision's next installment in the Call of Duty franchise, but the whispers haven't exactly been trustworthy. Last October, the actor who voiced Captain Price in the previous Modern Warfare titles (whose name is Bill Murray, but it's not who you think) spilled the beans about his involvement in a Modern Warfare sequel. And even though Activision quickly denied the claim and insisted that no actors had been contacted, most of us just assumed that Modern Warfare 4 was the next title on Activision's horizon.
But a collection of cover art surfaced this week that shows off a title called Call of Duty: Ghosts. We obviously don't know if this rumor is any more likely than the previous set, but it is interesting to think that Infinity Ward might be taking a little break from the Modern Warfare franchise.
Actually, it might be a good time for Activision to give Modern Warfare a vacation. Call of Duty sales were down this year, which could mean that interest in the franchise is waning. Launching another property might give the series a much needed shot to the arm, much like Black Ops did in 2010, or it could have the opposite effect.
It certainly wouldn't be abnormal for Activision to introduce a spinoff of sorts within the CoD franchise. Black Ops was set in the same universe as World at War, but it isn't a direct sequel. So, if the folks at Infinity Ward are attempting to refocus this game on Simon "Ghost" Riley, who made his last appearance in Modern Warfare 2, they certainly have precedent.
The real question is this: which title would you rather play?
I posed this question to our Facebook followers and the reactions were less divided than I would have expected. Call of Duty fans are ready for something new, and another Modern Warfare title might feel like a cop-out at this point.
However, one user, Victor Hefner, had this to say:
“I personally would like to see at least one more WWII CoD title. I know, I know... There have been a lot of those, but coming off of World at War, I was left feeling empty. Unresolved if you will. COD WaW was my favorite COD Title hands down. I just personally love that era's weapons!”
As much as I would love to see the CoD franchise return to its World War II roots, I just don't see it happening any time soon. World at War was a brilliant title, but it came out in 2008, and video games have changed significantly since then. Call of Duty inspired a revolution in console gaming, but it resulted in CoD's own franchise being pigeonholed. At this point, it would be very difficult for Infinity Ward or Treyarch to break from a modern-day setting and maintain the elements that define the series.
Either way, we'll probably find out what Activision has up their sleeve at some point in May. That's typically when new CoD titles are announced. Until then, we should probably keep the speculation to a minimum. We're all starting to look pretty stupid.
Date: April 26, 2013