Activision defends yearly Call of Duty releases

Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says "there's demand and excitement" every year for new game.

Activision has spoken out to defend the yearly release cycle for its popular Call of Duty series. Speaking with Eurogamer, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said one gamer per year is on par with player's demands.

"The cadence of the releases seems to have found a nice equilibrium with people's appetite," Hirshberg said. "There's demand and excitement each and every time out. Then people are playing throughout the year."

Hirshberg explained that more people are playing Call of Duty today, in 2013, than ever before. This success hasn't blinded Activision, Hrishberg said, noting, "We don't take anything for granted."

Activision is able to release a new Call of Duty game every year by spreading development across two major studios. Infinity Ward, creators of the series, typically release their games in odd-numbered years, while Treyarch ships its games during even-numbered years.

This two-studio approach has helped the Call of Duty series stay fresh, Hirshberg said, as each outfit is attempting to one-up the other every year.

"Having alternating studios is one of the secrets to the franchise's success," Hirshberg said. "You have different creative people who are strong-willed and have minds of their own. Everyone gets what makes a great Call of Duty game. Treyarch and IW are the masters, and have built this thing. So, there's a lot of common DNA from year to year."

"But then people come in and want to top each other," he added. "There's some healthy competition. There's a desire within the creative team to not do the same thing and not be stagnant, the same way there is in the player community."

Hirshberg also spoke to the growing popularity of the Call of Duty series, saying the franchise has now become a "big pop culture event" every November. Gamers just can't stay away, he said.

"A lot of non-hardcore sci-fi fans saw Avatar because it was an even," Hirshberg said. "You felt you had to be a part of it. We've reached the status with Call of Duty of this sort of pop-cultural inevitability, where the game itself, the critical mass of the player base, the marketing tonality and the bigness of the presentation all combine to turn it into an event that I think is unique within the industry."

Call of Duty: Ghosts launches on November 5.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

714 comments
Thevilone12
Thevilone12

I think cod has two years development time

sirchick
sirchick

I bought BF4..as much as I hate giving money to EA....although they are wising up slowly with customer support (slowly being the key word)....DICE are really just going full throttle with pushing the game and are far more creative imo. DICE deserve the money for that. 

I hate companies that play it safe....dogs was their selling point.... da fuck...the Sims has dogs...

Keitha313
Keitha313

Activision: In our defense guys... we really like your money.

xeis-net
xeis-net

Infinity Ward is a just a brand, all the Infinity Ward people left.  So calling them the games creator is disingenuous. imo.

fiendless7
fiendless7

just let the 12 year olds have their games. its not like developers will stop making adult games for call of duty.

Garm31
Garm31

Luckily my wallet stays firmly shut when this garbage comes around once a year.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

Activision: Experts in multi-threading franchise milking

AllForJMJ
AllForJMJ

"There's demand and excitement! Our marketing department is ecstatic! So am I! So are our bookkeepers!"

csward
csward

This guy is so high so the smell of his own farts I'm not sure how he can breath.

That said, everything he said is both sad and true.

jZangetsu21
jZangetsu21

Defense for releasing so often: We like money!!

pyosisified
pyosisified

Of course they defend their yearly releases, they're making billions off consumer idiots 

GhostofWar75
GhostofWar75

Its strange how so many people are hating on this game( i am one but i dont buy the crap) but yet still so many buy it.

BieberBeliever
BieberBeliever

At the end of the day, they're going to do what's in their best interests. As a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ, they have a responsibility to shareholders. They need to consistently provide a decent ROI. It should come as no surprise that they'll milk the industry for every penny they can. 

Ask yourself, honestly, wouldn't you do the same in their position?     Besides, it's not like they force millions of people to buy their annual turd; most people welcome it.  It seems like COD is everyone's guilty pleasure.

jackson2415
jackson2415

Translation: "You idiots keep on consuming this stuff, so I guess we'll keep on making it. Afterall, we're in this for the money."

So once again, the consumer has only themselves to blame.

bluespire1
bluespire1

I don't think Activision had any brains for any new I.P.

doublelayer26
doublelayer26

If that is true when Activision are you going to put out a new CoD. Every year it's the same game with new skins. The new CoD are more like expansion packs than real NEW games. Sill waiting on a NEW CoD. after all these years since MW.

I don't care if Activison miik their cow. It's making them good money but how about using some of that money to make some games for the rest of us who don't fall down and worship the yearly CoD clone. How about a FPS/TPS that isn't a military shooter and isn't CoD in  disguise.

SipahSalar
SipahSalar

People buy crap like this and at the same time they complain that there isnt creativity in the industry.

barrica
barrica

along came Titanfall, Destiny, The Division to mess things up. I love Cod but i stop funding them two years ago. They want the same amount of money as a 1yr subscription xbox live for maps. Pps just think when you buy a COD game what do you get for your money, 4 hour story and 8 maps on average, hell motherfucking no, this years COD has stressed me more than i actually enjoyed the game, its full of cheaters, boosters and lag switch bastards. Im not getting anything back i buy the maps for what reason if the game is umplayable, they should add refunds to dlc's. COD is for kids now. Im goin to have a go at the new battlefield. Times are changing.

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

Not from me their isn't; Black Ops 1 was the last one I bought, but it's hard to argue with his reasoning when the numbers are so huge every release. That may be a sad indictment of gamers lapping up rehashes, but it's certainly a stupid company that would turn its back on that kind of revenue.

bannermanner
bannermanner

Played Ghosts at the reveal event, and while it was certainly fun, I highly doubt that it will keep me away from Battlefield 4 and Titanfall.

grenade1979
grenade1979

"We make them because people buy them."

This would have been so much easier to say.

ElDuderino1
ElDuderino1

He's right.  Who cares if it's made annually.  If the fans want it every year then that should be all that matters.

Nightdragonist
Nightdragonist

Why is this on the Hot News category?

I thought this news will be dead because it about the ugly truth of COD

pyosisified
pyosisified

CoD is the biggest load of casual garbage ever developed, seriously... how can anyone defend this trash. CoD is pretty much the reason FPS games all became casual,bland and linear. Snap out of it sheeple. 

lunarsword
lunarsword

So this guy is basically admitting that the CoD IP is basically only surviving because of it now being a fad.  Remember POGs?  Yeah, I'm looking forward to the same end result to this sterile franchise that is a large reason for the lack of innovation and creativity in game development these days.  Derivative products sell...screw integrity and artistic vision. 

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Technology doesn't change enough for there to be yearly releases of COD and it isn't even like COD takes advantage of much that is new that comes out that relates to making games look better or play better.  The only reason they do it is to keep their fan base/addicts and as soon as the fan boy addictz stop buying everything that is COD they will stop with this idiocy.

RAGEofSTUNTS
RAGEofSTUNTS

TL;DR They know if they don't release a new game every year it would keep the attention span of the hardcore COD fans, especially with other shooters coming out.

Export
Export

young kids like the game and make the majority of the fan base , I believe . I quit playing it after world at war and noticed it the same game ,just different skins and maps . I believe ghost is the fall of call of duty and titan fall will fill that void for Xbox and BF4 for PS4 fans . 

sin909
sin909

Lol the guns i've seen are the ones from the previous. Minor tweaked perks and killstreaks have been added oh nothing new here. Nothing new! Especially the graphics...its next gen and they still barley caught up to like last years ps3 exclusives! Last CoD game that was innovative was mw2 after that its the same crap.  Also they removed night vision from the game in cod 4 like wtf? So they go backwards instead of forward!

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

They won't stop as long as it gives them big cash and sales seem to get higher every time unfortunately.

dstv
dstv

If you had the option of making $1 billion a year, would you or would you halt production simply because people who claim not to play your game say its the same every year?

T_Rawk
T_Rawk

I really miss the old COD..... Like COD one and two..... COD got Effed up when Tryhard, excuse me, Treyarch started making full games from COD. They, Arch,  did make an expansion pack for COD one and that was very fun but when 3 came out? that was just a joke..... COD4 has been the only good COD since then.... mw2 was ok but not like COD4...... Now, with new games like Titanfall, Destiny, BF4, etc. COD is going down hill.... But will still be around because of grade school kids......

Ferric24
Ferric24

I don't play call of duty. Maybe I should give it a try to see what all the fuss is about.

LordBadmanius
LordBadmanius

There may be demand and excitement but that's dwindling every year cos it's the same crap they ram down our throats

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

No defense necessary it's basic economics, doesn't mean they can't change up the formula though.

rarson
rarson

"There's demand and excitement each and every time out."

Is there? I don't remember the last time I met anyone excited about a CoD game.

I imagine these dev teams are probably getting pretty bored doing the same thing over and over again, as are gamers. The notion that there are more people playing CoD than ever before is absurd; there are more CoD games in existence than ever before!

The last CoD game that attracted my interest was CoD 3. I don't even pay attention to the new releases. Why would I care about a new CoD when I know there's just going to be another one coming out next year? CoD has reached saturation, and Activision doesn't get it.

jZangetsu21
jZangetsu21

@GhostofWar75 It is strange, I gave in to all the hype and bought Black Ops 2 last year, the first CoD game I ever bought and I don't know why people keep buying it. I played Modern Warfare 1 and 2 online at a friend's house and to me, there was no real difference. 

csward
csward

@doublelayer26 You'll be waiting a while friend. I have been waiting since 2001 for a new Madden :(.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@bannermanner Was there anything that made it feel unique? Or could you just have easily been playing an MW3 or BO2 map pack?


El_Zo1212o
El_Zo1212o

Seriously? Pogs lasted a summer and I guarantee not one entity made a million bucks off of them. Call of Duty's been megahuge for 7 years now and has made countless millions of dollars. Sure I detest them and refuse to buy them, but I still see the difference between them and pogs.

gralvader
gralvader

@Trickymaster And once the cash stops flowing they will discard it just as they did with Guitar Hero.

gralvader
gralvader

@dstv What would you prefer to make a billion a year or make three billions every two years? Their sales would be way higher if they shipped a new game every two years instead of every year. People become less fatigued and will most likely buy your games. Just look at Rockstar's business model with GTA.

Collateral96
Collateral96

@dstv The series has become copy and paste every year there's not an argument against it. I play them but it's only good enough for a few months before I'm sick of playing it. You can like the game and that's fine but you can't say it's not copy and paste every year because that's basically a lie.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

@T_Rawk 

World at War was fun, but yea I agree for the most part.

mikajoakkinen
mikajoakkinen

@jZangetsu21 @GhostofWar75 Easy, instead of keep releasing DLC over DLC they release a "new game" every year , a new COD game is just new maps and weapons..then they slam a fancy title like COD "Aftermath" COD "back to war" COD vs Battlefield, Tom Clancy's Call of Duty, John Madden Call of Duty.etc etc. Sierra/Valve used to that back then with all the Half Life Expansions, and people kept buying them until one day Valve said Fuck it and freed the HL source code so people started doing their own mods.