Over the past few years, we have seen the competitive Call of Duty scene grow exponentially. The release of Treyarch’s Black Ops 2 elevated the public awareness of the competitive eSports scene, by integrating a groundbreaking playlist specifically catered toward competitive gaming. The implementation of a separate public playlist that allowed anyone to experience what it was like to play like a professional player was an integral part of the growth of Call of Duty eSports.
As the year went on and the end of Black Ops 2 was near, we all looked to the future with the next title, Ghosts. The release of Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Ghosts brought with it mixed review with those that thought it was good and those that disliked the title. Right off the start, Ghosts was in trouble from the eSports side, with major problems in Search and Destroy games and spawns that still make no sense. From spawning right next to the enemy to a defuse time that took 8.2 seconds instead of the reported 7.5 seconds and the exclusion of the revolutionary Codcaster mode, the start of Ghosts was a major step back from the high that was Black Ops 2.
Since the release of the game, Infinity Ward has since patched the defuse time to actually be 7.5 seconds, implemented eSports rule sets, and added a broadcaster mode bringing up the level of competitive play but still nowhere near the level that Black Ops 2 was.
The biggest difference between Black Ops 2 and Ghosts, in my opinion, was that Treyarch set out to create a game that was catered majorly toward the competitive side of the game while also providing a very fun game to play from the casual side. With Ghosts, Infinity Ward seemed to make a game that was primarily focused solely on the casual gamer and not nearly as much toward the competitive gamer. However they have created something that can sustain the growth that the scene has garnered.
That brings us into the new era of Call of Duty. Sledgehammer, the new developer in the cycle, has recently released the first look at their upcoming next-gen title, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Initial reaction from a competitive eSports has been mixed. The use of exosuits and the ability to climb walls as shown in the trailer are a few things that people have used to compare the game to Titanfall and drawn skepticism from the competitive scene. Now since the trailer is only campaign footage, there aren’t really many things that we can conclude that will be in the multiplayer aspect of the game.
To restore some hope to those that may be skeptical, Sledgehammer has openly said that they support competitive eSports and are aiming to create the next big eSports title.
Sledgehammer has sent studio members to each of the last two world championships where they were seen actively taking notes about the experience. Since then lead developer Michael Condrey has said on his Twitter account that the competitive scene is very important to Sledgehammer games. An approach that Treyarch took to their development of Black Ops 2 and something that Infinity Ward seems to have missed.
But for anyone that is skeptical that Advanced Warfare will not reach the level that Black Ops 2 had and that it will be a Call of Duty/Titanfall hybrid should just remember that we have only seen campaign footage and that Sledgehammer is an active supporter of the competitive scene, much like David Vonderhaar, lead developer on Black Ops 2.
So be on the lookout for more announcements and the release of multiplayer footage throughout the year.
Here is a link to the tweet from Sledgehammer developer Michael Condrey on eSports:
— Michael Condrey (@MichaelCondrey) April 21, 2014
Also I will provide a link to Sledgehammer games Twitter account where you can follow to get up to date information on the development cycle and also the reveal trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Sledgehammer’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/SHGames
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare reveal trailer:
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