FWS Rant: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Military Science Fiction
We are a few months out from the release of the next Call of Duty game, which at one time, were greeted with the sales and excitement of major film releases...but that is not the case with COD: IW. It has been one of the most disliked video game trailers on Youtube and the internet is abuzz with negative comments and rants on how IW represents an end to Call of Duty as we know. Not helping the case is that the more high dollar COD: IW editions are packaged with an graphical updated COD: Modern Warfare. This just shows how distant the current game is from that classic and the money-whoring culture of the current COD franchise. However, most seem to forget that way back in 2007, COD 4: MW was seen as a major departure from the World War II atmosphere of the original games and it was greeted with mistrust by the fans and negative press.
For many of us, we can see that COD has been edging its way towards more military sci-fi since MW3, but it was Black Ops: II that was the harbinger of the full shift into military science fiction themes and settings. Helping the case of bring COD into the world of future warfare was the positive sales and online traffic for COD: BO2. Will IW represent a major enduring and beloved shift from the more current and near-future shooters of recent COD releases to military sci-fi? That depends if the community embraces it with positive reviews, good sales, and enduring traffic in the multiplayer lobbies. The only way that is going to happen is if the game delivers, bar none. Also, it will depend if gamers embrace the World War One themed Battlefield One in larger sales numbers over IW. Both of these games could tell us what the future of COD will be and if it's love relationship with military sci-fi will continue.
If you follow FWS on its social media platforms, you know that there has been a great deal of discussion and posting over IW and its relationship to Military SF. Why? Because much like COD, the entire sub-genre of military sci-fi is at a crisis point with its representation in video games and the apex franchise of the entire world of MSF. As FWS discussed earlier this month, HALO has lost the crown of being the primary MSF franchise, and the search is on for the successor. I am not asserting that COD: IW will replace HALO, but it could represent if Military SF still has the pull to generate the dollars for development in various media.
Infinite Warfare could be the end of COD has we know it, and the entire COD franchise could have reset itself with an hard reboot back to World War II. Alternatively, if COD: IW is greeted with high sales and positive reviews, it will garner more interest in military sci-fi. I for one hope that COD: IW is an success. Not just for a great gaming experience, but for the vote on Activision's direction for the COD franchise, allowing us fans and creators within the world of military sci-fi to have a new source of inspiration and a product to draw for new converts to the holy faith of MSF. Because as we all know, there are few events in entertainment like the release of an new COD game...let us just hope that Activision knows what the hell they are doing. When I get the game in November or December, FWS will write a review and wait for the ripples in the world of gaming and military sci-fi. Until then...