The Nostalgic Success of Call of Duty Re-Releases

Image Credit unsplash

With 18 games under its belt, it’s fair to say that the Call Of Duty series – developed by Treyarch, Infinity and Sledgehammer – was going strong before the first re-release hit our consoles. It was in 2019 that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare officially dropped, leaving many players wondering if they were experiencing Deja Vu.

It was, by and large, a complete remake of the first Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare game, bar a few new characters and additional multiplayer features. In Infinity’s words, this was to be classified as a “reboot”, the same way a major film studio might reboot a superhero series. Only games don’t really get reboots, do they? Surely this was just an opportunity to quickly give an old game a new lick of paint, and then sell it at an increased price? In other words, did this mark the end of Call Of Duty’s credibility? 

The Idea Of Re-Releases

Gamers in 2023 take a lot to be appeased. With the iGaming, eSports and console gaming market growing year on year, players are beginning to expect new live games and offline games faster than ever before – to the point where convenience and efficiency have become the two key gaming traits that studios have to adhere to. 

The problem is that not all games are the same. A Call Of Duty release is going to take more time and a larger budget than a new iGaming release, and if things were to be rushed, then gamers would immediately be able to tell. If a new game wants to survive, speed cannot be in place of quality.

This could be the reason why Infinity has chosen to delve back into their catalogue and essentially remaster a game rather than build a new one from scratch. Gamers receive a new game every year, and the quality is already assured, as they have already experienced historical success. 

The Nostalgic Success

That being said, there is something to be said for a game taking advantage of a gamer’s nostalgia. Take the Crash Bandicoot series, for instance. In 2017, Vicarious Visions were tasked with remastering the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, and this saw outstanding success around the world upon release. 

This is because it tapped into a gamer’s nostalgia and gave it a complete spruce up, filling the world with vivid colours and more realistic characters, and subsequently giving the original version the modern treatment that it deserved. In many ways, this makes more sense than a film series reboot – people don’t look at movies in the early noughties and think: well, they would be great if they didn’t look so bad and clunky.

But gamers do have those thoughts when it comes to old games. The technology now is completely different to what it was back then, and so great games – such as Crash Bandicoot or Call Of Duty – that previously existed on old generation consoles deserve to be introduced to it. 

Of course, new ideas and new stories are still sought after, and there’s a certain limit to what gaming studios should re-release – no one is asking Rockstar to re-release Bully, for instance. But if a game is good in its concept and its gameplay, then rebooting a great game to the masses – and potentially garnering a new audience – is not to be scorned at.With this in mind, complaints about the Call Of Duty franchise running out of ideas or making “cash grabs” are pretty much unfounded. Not only does this give gamers some great games quickly, but it also appeases their nostalgia, giving their old favourite games some much-deserved TLC.

Author Profile

Michael P
Los Angeles based finance writer covering everything from crypto to the markets.

Leave a Reply