I know that blog title seems a bit sensationalist. But blame Br3ntbr0 over at ITG
for this meandering Tuesday afternoon thought. The blogger starts pondering about the possibility (and it’s all just a big what-if at this point mind you) of Blizzard’s next top-secret MMO being Call of Duty Online. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan seems to think
that a big change in the franchise is on the way stating, “Activision intends to transform the game from a packaged product only to a subscription multiplayer game.” Could that be where Blizzard comes in?
Not to draw more unnecessary attention to the Infinity Ward drama, but what if one of the reasons for the shakeup is because the former studio heads didn’t agree with the direction Activision wanted to take their series in? Pachter believes that a game like Call of Duty Online would need two to five million subscribers “to keep the franchise's revenue levels up and create higher margins.” And if there is one thing Blizzard seems to know, it’s how to get those kinds of numbers and keep them there.
Still would a CoD MMOG actually be any good? Is Blizzard really the studio that would be the best fit for accomplishing such a task? Provided that such a project really is under consideration, Blizzard has some things going for them. They’re a company that’s built on the notion of taking a genre and honing it and refining it in a way that no other development house can while simultaneously opening said genre up to the masses in terms of accessibility. They did it with the RTS, the Action RPG, and the MMORPG. Is the FPS next on their list?
Pachter believes that that Activision wants to work towards more subscription-based revenue models and that Jason West and Vince Zampella simply did not want to work on such a game, leading to their departure. Activision sees the success of World of Warcraft and knows they have Blizzard in their stable… would it be so farfetched of them to look towards the venerable developer to bring home the bacon for the world’s most popular FPS franchise?
Even so, if Blizzard is making such a game, will their name alone automatically make the title the success it needs to be and the success Activision is looking for? The realistically set war-games Infinity Ward is known for are not exactly Blizzard’s milieu. Not to mention the fact that the company has never designed an FPS before (though one assumes they would be pulling plenty of talent from the CoD studio on the project).
Blizzard says that their next MMO project is something wholly different from WoW and won’t be pulling from the same audience. Many have speculated this means the team is working on something along the lines of Club Penguin. I do believe they have stated that it will be a new IP. So maybe all this talk about Call of Duty Online is just wishful thinking. But then, the CoD IP would be new to Blizzard, wouldn’t it?
This is all just fun and pointless speculation. Br3ntbr0 made me do it. But man, a wide open war-torn world with CoD’s mechanics and an ever-changing political landscape does sound like a dream. If an online Call of Duty is ever made, I just hope we’re not tasked from the outset to kill 10 generic bad guy soldiers and then take some supplies to the nearest “Inn-firmary.”
Ha. I made a funny (a bad one).