Critics will have little impact on "review-proof" Call of Duty: Ghosts, says analyst

Analyst says that Battlefield 4 "didn't exactly cover itself in glory" from critics either.

199 Comments
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Reviews of Call of Duty: Ghosts will have little impact on the game's sales, despite critics becoming dissatisfied with the franchise's yearly releases, according to Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz.

"We think [Call of Duty] has become such an embedded franchise that it is somewhat review-proof," said Creutz to GamesIndustry.

Pointing out that reviews of the recently released Call of Duty: Ghosts are in the region of 74 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic, Creutz said that "we think of [Call of Duty] as being like EA's Madden NFL, which continues to sell similar unit numbers year in and year out, regardless of reviews; Madden's Metacritic has ranged as low as 78 in recent years."

Because the blockbuster shooter franchise "changes only incrementally from year to year," adds Creutz, he thinks "reviewers have become increasingly less likely to give very high review scores due to a certain degree of ennui with the franchise."

Creutz also pointed to EA's Battlefield 4, which he said "didn't exactly cover itself in glory" from reviewers.

The analyst said it will be the hotly anticipated next-gen FPS games, like Titanfall and Destiny, that have the potential to disrupt the market. "Our concern lies more with next year, when Call of Duty will face competition from several new next-gen shooters, including EA's Titanfall and Activision's own Destiny," he said.

"To the degree that Call of Duty may become a bit of a 'been there done that' experience for gamers, we think it is vulnerable to losing share as new product enters the market; even if a lot of that share goes to Destiny, as a third-party title it will carry a lower margin for [Activision], and we think bullish 2014 EPS estimates assume Destiny will be more incremental than cannibalistic."

Yesterday the boss of Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios said that he predicts "the end of an era" with Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4.

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Avatar image for Nightdragonist
Nightdragonist

Well I only played MW2, MW3 and BF4 Beta.

For Dice, I still have faith in them. Since they're making some blockbuster games. Maybe the BF4 is a buggy because the BETA was never ment to run on a finished game (the maps, features, etc.)

And for IW, No offense but as I only play MW2 and MW3. I already know that MW3 is sh*t and just a reskinned MW2. Ghost looks promising but a 2014 release is possible and I never look for a game that is a yearly release (except sports games)

Avatar image for Xero1246
Xero1246

Spot on there, Titanfall and Destiny are definitely going to make COD and Battlefield developers sit up, innovative gameplay and concepts are definitely what the FPS genre needs ATM.....the whole copy and paste game making involving COD and Battlefield is starting to get annoying ...nobody likes A "CAPCOM" attitude (from a Street fighter perspective)

Avatar image for tightwad34
tightwad34

Of course it's review proof by now. After 4 years or so of people buying the same game you don't have to worry about good scores. I could take a shit, box it up and call it Call of Duty: Shit, with a disclaimer that there is actually shit in the box and people would still buy it.

Avatar image for komuchen
komuchen

Of course they would, but you would waste money on disclaimer. People are rarely reading those. Even with that disclaimer they would be surprised about the content

Avatar image for tightwad34
tightwad34

@komuchen They might not be surprised by the content since it's not that different from what they are used to.

Avatar image for the_repo_man6754
The_Repo_Man6754

Game reviewers are just as full of shit as fanboys. There's no such thing as "professional" gaming journalism and the ones that believe they are are sheep that believe that maturity is automatically siding with the gaming industry.

You want a good example of shitty game journalism? Fighting game reviews. How the **** do Capcom's games in the gen keep getting high 8s and 9s? Oh, it's all about the mechanics? SF X T has shitty mechanics and it still got overrated reviews. As a matter of fact, not much gets said about the mechanics itself because they don't know how to review them.

Only morons use reviews to argue the quality of a game.

Avatar image for Xero1246
Xero1246

<< LINK REMOVED >> True!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for komuchen
komuchen

Marvel vs Capcom 3 is even better example. Even though multiplayer was barely working, and the rooster wasn't stuff of legends, it still got 8 and 9. Even though with that mp it would be like releasing BF or COD without or barely working MP and still give it 9

Avatar image for tightwad34
tightwad34

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah, from what I remember if you are good at mashing buttons you would be good at Marvel vs. Capcom 3, or at least good enough to not suck.

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

Wow!!! There is a pretty significant difference between the 360 and PS3 versions of the game. The 360 is much better looking. The PS4 version is more on par with the 360 than the PS3 is. And being that's the case, they REALLY didn't optimize the PS4 version at all.

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

I'm pretty sure Guitar Hero was review proof too before Harmonix was utterly destroyed. Nothing is review proof. If GTA5 had gotten shitty previews and shitty reviews trust me, it wouldn't have done as well as it did.

Avatar image for Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@Grenadeh

You're wrong on that. GTA, like CoD has had a strong market foothold in the past. They could get by with a few bad reviews unscathed. Its kinda like Nintendo. Its been a video game monster in the past but its now suffering due to the lack of 3rd party support and arrested development when it comes to next gen tech. (and sorry, motion sensing isnt revolutionary, my garage door has motion sensors in it)

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

<< LINK REMOVED >> Except GTA4 was fucking atrociously bad and the sales suffered for it.

Avatar image for 96augment
96augment

<< LINK REMOVED >> All the characters were boring? Even Brucie and Faustin?

Avatar image for 96augment
96augment

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Didn't GTA 4 sell around 20 million?

Avatar image for the_repo_man6754
The_Repo_Man6754

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You completely missed the point of GTA IV. Don't call something bad because you're too stupid to figure something out.

Avatar image for the_repo_man6754
The_Repo_Man6754

<< LINK REMOVED >> lol reviews.

Avatar image for Raddoth
Raddoth

<< LINK REMOVED >> I'm an idiot and I'm proud

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Gravity_Slave @Gravity_Slave

But I suppose because the metacritic score is a full 20 points above the actual real score, the user score, it means that the relentless social relationships you had to maintain, the failed joke of a dating minigame, the lack of character customization, the lack of planes, bicycles, military, being tied to a cellphone, and all the other flaws of the game are meaningless.

It took GTA4 3 years to sell as many copies as GTA5 sold in the first week. But you're right, GTA4 wasn't a shitty game.

Your argument about me being wrong about reviews is correct, because it got good reviews - from the fake media, not from gamers. But you're wrong about the game being good.

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Gravity_Slave Uh, no. Absolutely not. Anyone who plays the GTA series and thinks GTA4 is good, is an idiot. It got free scores, and meta critic is not a reliable source to argue on for ANY game - you should know that. It was such a gigantic step down from San Andreas that you may as well have been playing GTA1 or 2.

Contrite dialog, incredibly boring characters, boring story, lack of any interesting social commentary, bad sound track, boring gameplay, horrible physics, lack of open world from the beginning, the list goes on, and on, and on, and on about why GTA4 is the worst GTA game to date.

The one and literally the only good mission in GTA4 was the bank heist. Big surprise right when you look back from GTA5 and see the ONLY good element maintained from the previous game?

Avatar image for Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@Grenadeh

GTA4 was not bad. It was widely hailed with critic and consumer accolades. Sure you're playing the game right? It got a 98 out of a 100 metascore among 87 critics worldwide lol

<< LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

I'm actually quite enjoying this CoD. I prefer it over BF4.

Avatar image for the_repo_man6754
The_Repo_Man6754

<< LINK REMOVED >> Says Activision's PR.

Avatar image for Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Nope unbiased gamer ;)

Avatar image for Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

In other words...gamers are stupid.

Tell me something i don't already know...

Avatar image for high344
high344

<< LINK REMOVED >> Bruce Wayne is the Ba...

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

That's what Capcom was hoping with Resident Evil 6. Tanked in the reviews and surprise surprise - didn't meet sales expectations.

Avatar image for komuchen
komuchen

<< LINK REMOVED >> still, 5 mln copies for game that tanked is pretty good. It's not their 7 mln, but it's close. More like being unrealistic.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> If COD doesn't sell that much it's a failure too.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >> No, that *is* the problem - they expect every new Call of Duty game to sell more than the previous one. Eventually it's not going to happen - hopefully with this one.

Avatar image for komuchen
komuchen

Problem is, with CoD it would be major drop from their crazy sells. With RE6 they expected it will be their bestselling game in the franchise

Avatar image for komuchen
komuchen

Soooo... 78 is new low now?

See people, don't jump on guys when they complain about 7 or near 8, it's "low".

78 for annual franchise running for at least 20 years is pretty god damn good in my opinion.

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

<< LINK REMOVED >> Well CoD is only 10 years old but yes.

Avatar image for tightwad34
tightwad34

<< LINK REMOVED >> Is it really 10 years old? What was the first one to come out in 2003?

Avatar image for komuchen
komuchen

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I meant Madden. It still has 78, unlike Ghosts, which, according to this article, is lower than them (74)

Avatar image for The_Last_Paladi
The_Last_Paladi

There's a difference between games like Madden and games like COD and BF. Madden doesn't have many NFL games challenging it whereas FPS games floods the market constantly. One slip from either CoD or BF could easily see consumers going for the next big hit, like a Titanfall or a Destiny type of game or a New Halo. Madden position for the time being is pretty much secure.

Avatar image for Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@The_Last_Paladi

That makes zero sense. Are we rating the game or the other games in the market? By your logic, CoD isn't good because of other games...wha? Madden is the same damn game every year and you guys eat it up like its the hottest thing around. Its not only the same game but because its a sports game, they CANT do anything different to it. So aside from graphics, it will inherently be the same game forever. Yet you bash CoD when it does tries something new. Thats insane logic man

Avatar image for produner
produner

"We have an established franchise that will sell by brand, regardless of reviews(advertising) and quality. Since we have that, we can cut on the marketing budget and screw journalists because we don't need them anymore"


What activision had in mind, in a nutshell.

Avatar image for Gen007
Gen007

I wouldn't say that COD is review proof. I mean people have def have COD "jet lag" and this game will still sell well of course but activision is playing a deadly game imo. They have a unique product in that it has managed to become a cultural phenomenon and that truly is impressive but i don't think that makes it review proof it just gives it armor. I may take a few more games but people def know this was a weak showing for both BF4 and COD this year and if they continue down this route both EA and activision will be killing the goose that lays the golden egg if you know what i mean. It's a shame too because both make so much that the really is no excuse for these games to not be innovative or ambitious in their designs. If i were in charge id be preserving the cash cow.

Avatar image for Khasym
Khasym

<< LINK REMOVED >> I agree. Unfortunately, remember that Activision was the distributors of the Guitar Hero franchise; a franchise they so relentlessly pounded into the gaming market, that it suffered it's own little implosion and buried itself. EA promptly followed suit and glam boots, with Rock Band, and it's many iterations. This is just the next wave of corporate crush for them.

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Khasym @Gen007 EA didn't make Rock Band. The same people who made Guitar Hero made Rock Band - Harmonix. EA distributed Rock Band 2 and onwards, but did not really have anything to do with it.

Avatar image for komuchen
komuchen

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Lego... Rock... Band...

Avatar image for Tripwolf
Tripwolf

But Activision pays a lot for those higher reviews!

What a waste...

Avatar image for mitch8017
Mitch8017

You have to understand that people like the call of duty the way it is. In reaction to people saying it isn't "different" enough, activision is coming out with their new destiny game, which will be that "different" call of duty-like FPS that those that are bored of the repetive call of duty gameplay can go to. Why fix what isn't broken. Im a big cod fan, and I'll admit each game is very similar to the last, with a new twist here and there, but thats the way the majority of the fan base wants it. There is a reason its the best selling video game franchise ever. If consumers want a different game, they'll go buy a different game.

Avatar image for Harbinger_CR
Harbinger_CR

<< LINK REMOVED >> Thats what I said last year when I was still a CoD fan and its understandable, I got tired of CoD, but that doesn't mean everyone else will. Although with the amount of $$$ Activision has, you would think they could make the graphics mindblowing by now.

Avatar image for LoganDaDestroya
LoganDaDestroya

<< LINK REMOVED >> The problem is people are finding it harder and harder to justify paying $60 for an experience that is so similar its contents could just be DLC for one large game. Why pay for that entertainment if you can have the same entertainment with something you already have? Is the new content of Ghosts REALLY worth that amount?

And it's dreadful that Treyarch actually tries to do new stuff and cares about PC whereas Infinity Ward doesn't, there isn't even an FOV slider for crying out loud (This can be a serious health issue for many people, it should be standard in PC games) and performance is terrible even though the game doesn't even look that great. And god knows what the 50GB install is for.

I get that people like COD the way it is, and up until Ghosts I have always supported the idea of them catering to their fanbase as opposed to everyone else who disregard their fans in favor of being like COD, but I feel Infinity Ward took steps backwards, with a new engine they had a chance to do so much more, yet the game looks almost no different, they are still reusing a load of assets,and overall there is so little you wander why on earth they needed a new engine in the first place.

I have no respect for IW at this point and do not honestly see how the game is worth that amount of money.

Avatar image for mitch8017
Mitch8017

Definitely a valid point. Like you said. The guys who liked the old call of duty style that is still featured will pay the $60, those who dont, wont

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

<< LINK REMOVED >> Uh I find many flaws in your statement. A) The old call of duty style is CoD 1 and 2. That gameplay is 100% gone forever. So B) No we won't.

Avatar image for forbiddenmow
forbiddenmow

<< LINK REMOVED >>

da truth!