Then the rise of the thirdperson shooters happened, and I kinda lost touch with first-person. There was the odd gem I simply had to grab — Half-Life 2, Oblivion… But I never went back to war. I’d been in WWII far too long already; even ‘Allo ‘Allo was tired of my antics in Nazi-occupied France. Oh, this one sets you against Goebbels himself? That one lets you drive a Sherman through Paris? Meh. Don’t care. However, when Call of Duty left WWII, I decided I still didn’t care. I was in a hipster-type of mood that hated it simply for being mainstream and selling well (yes, I’m aware I bought Half-Life 2…). By the time CoD became something that might interest me, I’d realised it was a mainly-multiplayer game. I pretty much stopped playing multiplayer back when Counter-Strike was still just a mod for Half-Life. Getting my arse handed to me match after match was just a little irritating, and so to avoid that, I just don’t do it. I have trouble enough with medium difficulty, let alone going up against people who spend 10 hours a day practicing. I’m a light jogger, not a marathon runner.
So, if the developers were going to focus on an aspect I wasn’t using, why give them any money? I don’t like sports and so an entire EA subbrand misses out on my cash. However, over the years I’ve learnt to give games that I might not usually play a try . I even turned it into a series of articles with So I Tried… But for the foreseeable future, there will never be an edition based on a Call of Duty.
Activision has never allowed the franchise to drop below £7.49, despite the huge player bases each annual entry receives, and the many weeks spent at the #1 spot in multi-platform charts as well as premium price tag. The first title, which was released in October 2006, has a regular Steam price of £14.99 and is currently the lowest it has ever been, and I’m writing this during “Activision’s Big Deal” or something. Steam and a couple of other sites are having deals on Activision titles, which of course piqued my interest in grabbing a CoD.
Why haven’t I done so? Because that’s £7 for a decade-old game I might not enjoy for half an hour and certainly won’t play the online features. I recently boughtThe Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind for about £5, and it came out in 2009. I gladly paid it, and had been considering paying £12.99 for it, because I knew I’d get my money’s worth. I already own it on disc, so I literally paid £5 for the convenience of having it on Steam.
I mention that to show — I will purchase a deal, even for games I don’t particularly want, as I know I will be able to write about them. I bought the full Humble Origin 2 Bundle, and am installing Medal of Honour: Frontline as I type. I wanted nothing to do with war games, but I’ll give it a whirl if only to write about the experience.
Recently, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare came out. Future combat with a compelling story (when shown in trailer form). I wanted it. I still want it, even though the next entry has been announced. But I’ll probably never get it. It’s mainly multiplayer, and I refuse to pay full price when I won’t get full enjoyment out of it.
However, if it was currently at £7.49, I would snatch it up. If there was a Humble Bundle with any CoD in, I would pay top tier for it, as I’d be getting multiple games for ~£12.
But over £5 is too much, given that the entire franchise is on sale. People still buy it at £15 — I’m just not going to be one of them. And honestly, I care so little about trying the series out, that the first time I even realised I could have pirated them, was whilst I was writing this article. It must be a bad sign for my attention of a game series to care so little that I literally don’t realise I could “try” it for free…
After all, it’s not like piracy is hurting Activision, who as I mentioned last year made one billion dollars for Call of Duty: Ghosts, and worked it out to them making an additional ~£60,000,000 per multiplayer map in the Season Pass alone.
So until they put the price down or stick them in a Humble Bundle, I will never own Call of Duty.