Fans of a popular video game series are noticing a shift in the way it plays. It leaves some to wonder if the gaming industry as a whole is going to take on a different shape from what it was four years ago.
The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered doors to many different venues. Live entertainment was gone, so an older generation got their gambling fix with an online casino. They were able to play any number of card games, slots, and other games they would typically get at a casino but online.
Similarly, those who play video games are more connected than ever. They were able to work from home and also get a few games in between meetings. It was a great way to stay connected with friends while a deadly virus was sweeping across the world.
But those gamers sense another shift is happening. The Call of Duty series recently published Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2, and it is drawing the ire of some of its biggest stars. They say that the game is catering to a casual fan base as opposed to those hardcore gamers who have invested so much time and money into playing video games.
Why the Shift?
Particularly, the critics say the game is playing a lot slower than the elite movement used in the previous Warzone and Call of Duty games. But perhaps the game developers were ahead of their time because the world has since had a return to normalcy.
The pandemic was great for gaming because live entertainment was stripped away. People were unable to go to live concerts to see their favorite artists, comedy shows, musicals, sporting events, and a wide variety of entertainment events. So one of the ways many stayed connected was through gaming.
People spent hundreds of dollars upgrading their gaming setups, in part because they could justify it by also working from home. Therefore they were going to invest more time into playing video games. It was a great and safe way to stay connected with friends and get that competitiveness aired out.
But as the world has returned to a sense of normalcy over the past few years, live entertainment is back. People are again enjoying live concerts, sporting events, museums, and other forms of entertainment in a safe way.
That is partly thanks to vaccinations and boosters that have allowed for a weakening virus. But it also is causing a shift in the way people consume video games. There are far more competitors again, so people are not playing as many games.
Where Do Things go Next?
If the Call of Duty series is truly ahead of the curve – remember that it was released as a game for two years and will be updated in the game itself – the other games will likely soon follow suit. Here is how that could change the gaming experience for some of those users.
The popular sports game modes that are ultimate teams – or the various names by title – will likely become less competitive. One of the popular complaints among those who play those game modes is it takes too long to grind through the programs to earn the popular cards.
Of course, this is why those titles are profiting off of microtransactions. People just want to play online and not against the computer.
So what happens to those game modes? There may be less offline content available, meaning it is easier to obtain the great cards or players that people are wanting to play with. They can spend less time acquiring the talent to build their teams and more on the gameplay itself.
Now, there will still be a variety of microtransactions made as those game developers have to earn their keep, but the grinding out for specific cards likely ends for many who just want to play.
A Look Back
But the competitive era of video games is what the industry needed at that specific time. The many eras of development allowed for the industry to be in a prime position to capitalize on a pandemic seen once a generation. With people home, they shifted their focus to video games, and it was a great way for people to stay safely connected.