It was twenty years ago to the day that Call of Duty was released on PC after being painstakingly developed by Infinity Ward, which at that point was made up of a team of just twenty-one employees. Fast forward to today, and we’ve seen dozens of new iterations of Call of Duty hit the market, driven by a fan base that numbers in the hundreds of millions and developed by teams that now number in the thousands.
It’s Call of Duty’s twentieth anniversary, and what a milestone that is. It could be argued that Call of Duty is the single most recognisable game franchise in the world. It’s a powerhouse – a titan of the industry that can pull in billions of dollars in revenue every year. Since 2003, the series has sold more than half a billion copies and racked up more monthly active users than any other franchise on the market.
Is there a game series out there that’s bigger than Call of Duty?
20 Years Of Growth
From the overwhelming success of Call of Duty Warzone to the hundreds of millions of COD Mobile, and the increasingly popular esports community to the diverse content creation scene, Call of Duty is a monumental franchise with many valuable branches that seem to never stop growing.
In the last twenty years, Call of Duty’s games have taken us from World War II to the distant future; from boots-on-the-ground, traditional combat to jetpack-powered, high-octane battles. It’s a series that has attracted celebrity cameos, games that boast budgets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and some of the most ambitious showcases and events the world of gaming has seen in recent years.
It’s a brand that’s synonymous with gaming, and – quite simply – it’s a household name.
It hasn’t been a perfect series, of course. There have been some development-based decisions that have raised concerns with fans the world over, and it has long been the source of ongoing debate regarding the themes of racism, sexism, and toxicity that run rampant in the series’ core community.
There are still expectations that there’s a bright future in store for Call of Duty. For the developers, there’s a lot of potential for the series ahead, and at this point, it could quite literally go anywhere it wants to. With each passing year, the games sell faster and with more fervour, despite the usual complaints surfacing about certain elements of the game: movement, microtransactions, aim-assist, and so on.
It still hasn’t been knocked off the top spot, though.
How many Call of Duty games have you played over the years?