Call of Duty, pillar of the video game industry, celebrates its 20th anniversary – La Voix de l’Est

Over the years, the Activision Blizzard franchise has become a phenomenon that attracts millions of fans around the world. In twenty years, it generated more than $30 billion in revenue for the studio and established itself as one of the industry’s biggest hits.

James Spratt is now 30 years old and, much to his father’s amazement, Call of Duty is now a source of income for him as he shares his CoD games live on his YouTube channel, from the comfort of his living room in the UK.

“When we got home from school we would run home and form a team of six because if you missed the opportunity to be with your friends you would end up playing alone,” Mr Spratt remembers.

“There is something about this game that makes me come back to it every year. “I was addicted,” he admits.

The first work, created by Infinity Ward and published by Activision, was released in October 2003. Since then, Call of Duty has returned every fall with a new version: the next one, Modern Warfare III, will be released on November 10th.

Besucher spielen Call of Duty: Modern Warfaredeveloped by Infinity during the Paris Games Week show on November 1st.

This annual rhythm has become the “secret ingredient” of the franchise, “almost like a traditional festival,” estimates Johanna Faries, general director of the game, to AFP.

In every conversation

According to Michael Pachter, entertainment software analyst at Wedbush, these annual releases are undoubtedly “the main reason” for its success, with the variety of content ranging from World War II to recent conflicts, including special operations.

The other driving force behind its success is the developers’ desire to continually improve the experience and give thousands of gamers across the Internet – like James Spratt and his friends – the opportunity to come together to have fun.

“It’s not just about the game, but what it represents. Every year there is a community that continues to grow,” he remembers. “You can talk to anyone on the street corner or on the internet, everyone seems to know what Call of Duty is.”

His partner’s nephews and nieces play the game themselves, as does his brother-in-law.

“When I started playing it I thought it was a teenage thing, but today there are players of all ages,” he points out.

Goose flesh

One of the forums dedicated to the franchise on the social network Reddit brings together 1.2 million members who share memories of their favorite stages of the game in previous versions and their opinions on the very latest version, to which some had early access.

“I get goosebumps every time I complete the mission “El Sin Numéro” in Modern Warfare 2,” wrote one forum member, stating that he is in his 20s and devotes 90% of his free time to video games.

According to Mat Piscatella, video game analyst at Circana, the franchise was originally a modest military shooter for computers and reached a new dimension with Call of Duty 2, released in 2005 for Microsoft’s Xbox360.

After launch, 70% of new Xbox owners also purchased the game, which was perfectly tailored to the machine. But the real leap forward came two years later with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which introduced new possibilities for Internet gaming.

“Call of Duty is one of the few games that can be described as “infinite” as it offers sufficiently compelling content and features for online play, making it the default game for those looking to have a quick fun with friends or family .” emphasizes Mr. Piscatella.

And the results are there: in the United States, the franchise has been at the top of the industry in terms of sales for more than ten years and, in his opinion, the new plant should be no exception.

“We are very proud of it,” assures Ms. Faries, for whom video games are “undoubtedly the most dynamic form of entertainment at the moment.”

“And having Call of Duty as a reference in this field is an honor. »