Call of Duty as a franchise has been a consistently dominant force among the popular first-person shooter genre for some time, but now the franchise seems to be moving towards longer life cycles and campaigns. Finding its roots back in 2004, CoD has been constantly adjusting its basic formula over the years, striving to rise to the top of the industry, and this is the latest change.
Since its inception, Call of Duty has been characterized by constant annual releases, which created a predictable lifecycle for parts of the franchise that promoted constant and endless content. At the same time, it is reported that Call of Duty is finally going to abandon this annual release formula, and as a result, a longer life cycle of the game can provide huge opportunities for the DLC campaign after launch.
Longer Call of Duty lifecycle
Reports that Call of Duty was violating its annual release formula appeared earlier this year, and many pointed to weaker sales of Call of Duty Vanguard as a catalyst for this change. The upcoming Modern Warfare 2 is expected to be the first Call of Duty game with a two-year lifecycle, and Call of Duty will not be released in 2023.
The supposed scale of Modern Warfare 2 is already obvious due to the fact that the title is designed to be based on the expectations set by its 2019 predecessor, and the game is also due to be released along with the sequel to the popular battle royale Call of Duty Warzone. Knowing that the upcoming game will have two years during which it will have to occupy fans, Activision may further violate the norms of the mega-franchise by introducing DLC after launching into the game’s campaign mode.
Post-launch DLC Campaign for Call of Duty
While the Call of Duty franchise has historically had post-launch DLC for its multiplayer and tertiary modes such as zombies, post-launch expansions of many franchise campaigns have been virtually non-existent throughout the IP’s lifetime. Given how popular these other forms of post-launch DLC are for Call of Duty over time, additional post-launch content for campaign modes may well share in this success, especially given the upcoming increase in the life cycles of Call of Duty titles.
The Modern Warfare 2 campaign is already aiming to be quite extensive, telling the story of the fan-favorite Task Force 141 working alongside Mexican special forces in what appears to be a search for nuclear warheads. While the search for weapons of mass destruction was an important factor in the original Modern Warfare games, the introduction of Mexican special forces into the coalition task force is completely unique to the upcoming MW2.
It’s clear that most of the history of the Modern Warfare reboot will need to be left in the air to be completed in the likely Modern Warfare 3, but Mexican Special Forces can participate in their own post-launch campaign, taking place either before or after. the events of the game. The title Treyarch Call of Duty 2024 would also be ideal for a post-launch DLC campaign, as the story of Treyarch has several branched storylines in its titles, opening up innumerable storytelling possibilities for post-launch expansions.
Despite how iconic many Call of Duty campaigns turned out to be, it’s no secret that the developers neglected this mode in terms of attention after launch compared to other CoD modes. While online modes are likely to get more attention overall, the recent shift in the Call of Duty formula could usher in a new era of single-player DLC for the franchise.