Let's make no bones about it, 2017 is going to be a pretty make-it-or-break-it year for the #CallOfDuty franchise. Yes, Infinite Warfare is still soaring high in sales ranking lists worldwide, but these games always will. It's not necessarily a matter of sales, rather a matter of innovation. How long will hardcore gamers keep coming back to the franchise unless they are listened to?
Why 2017 Is Going To Be A Massive Year For Call Of Duty
Incredibly, we have been given a new Call of Duty title every single year since 2005. Granted, this is nothing more than an intelligent release strategy in an attempt to keep the franchise perpetually fresh. However, it seems that despite the fact that each game is given three or so years in development (thanks to the rotating developer format), the franchise is in dire need of some actual refreshment; a hot bath, some relaxing music and a serious rethink should do the trick. With that in mind, what can gamers and fans expect from the Call of Duty franchise in 2017?
There Are Three Possible Directions For The Next Call Of Duty Game
Criticism has been reigning down for years, but it was only last year with the release of Infinite Warfare that it all came to a head. Fans were angry, sales have been unusually poor and a trailer will go down in history for being the most disappointing (and downvoted). The big question here is how much time, money and freedom have Sledgehammer Games been given to develop the new installment of the franchise since that debacle? Sadly, I think not so much.
There are some big Call of Duty 2017 rumors floating around, namely the one that'll see Sledgehammer Games producing a game set during the Vietnam War or even in World War 2. This, for me, is probably the safest and most exciting option for the franchise to take. We haven't seen WW2 since those innocent early days when the franchise was taking its first steps, so I think fans would welcome a return with a big warm hug. The problem with the baby steps and the hugging is that it is unlikely that this safe route was devised before the release of Infinite Warfare.
The second possible direction I can see is another installment to the Modern Warfare series, which is actually also a pretty safe route for the franchise. These games were adored and there's still a lot of room for maneuver here without agitating too many fans. Don't forget that we got a complete remaster of the original game in 2016. Foreshadowing for Modern Warfare 2017 much?
I've got my hands in the feely box and unfortunately the third and final possible direction does feel a lot like disappointment. Why? Well, mainly because we could be looking down the sights at a sequel to Advanced Warfare. Although it was a good game, it is not what fans want at the moment. Before the fiasco that surrounded Infinite Warfare, it is highly likely that a 2017 Advanced Warfare sequel was in development.
Whatever The Game, I Think We Can Expect Some Big Changes
Despite the fact that I don't think the major u-turn the franchise will inevitably make is coming in 2017, I do think that there will be many minor u-turns concerning gameplay. Fans want Call of Duty 2017 to innovate, not just roll out the same old features that we have been playing for years. This is something that Sledgehammer Games has had enough time for.
I can imagine that the development team were given some last minute pitches, a brainstorming white board and a few more boots on the ground to deliver it all once Infinite Warfare took the hit. Talking of boots on the ground, I have the feeling that this year's game will be ruling out any jet packs or special jumping abilities. On top of that, I also think that we might be seeing some new game modes, different weapon systems and maybe an overhaul in the feel of the game; less gimmick and more reality. Thankfully, I believe that we'll actually see some real improvement in Call Of Duty 2017's gameplay, even if the foundations will still be very familiar.
A Call Of Duty eSports Orientated Year?
There is a lot of talk about how the franchise is looking to compete heavily in the eSports market in 2017. The games do actually have quite a big eSports following, although it isn't quite mainstream yet. 'Yet' is the important word here. Infinite Warfare has had the biggest impact so far and Activision are looking to cash in on this interest with its next installment. This could absolutely mean that Call of Duty 2017 is going to have some elements that will lean much more heavily toward eSports than previous games.
More DLCs Confirmed For 2017
It's already confirmed that a Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare DLC is preparing to launch on the 31st January 2017. DLC1: Sabotage will give players 4 new maps including Noir, Renaissance, Neon and Dominion. In addition, the DLC will bring the next installment of Zombies, called Rave in the Redwoods. Also confirmed is a new DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 in 2017 which will include additions to its Zombie mode as well.
Keeping The Fans Happy In 2017 Will Make Or Break Call Of Duty
2017 will be a big year for the franchise because it's the year after Infinite Warfare. It's as simple as that. This is the biggest opportunity for Call of Duty to break from the mould and give us something that is really worth shouting about.
What fans want is innovation, new ideas and a step away from the familiar. But (I'm afraid) what we'll get this year is something half way there. The development team probably hasn't had enough time to carve out an entire WW2 game for this year, but they have had enough time to listen to fans and redevelop some core elements for whatever game Call of Duty 2017 will be.
What do you think Call of Duty has in store for us in 2017?