It’s that time of year again, folks. Exactly one year to the day ago, the official artwork for the newest Call of Duty: Vanguard leaked, and now we’re staring down the barrel of (yet another) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
Recurring visitors of WickedGoodGaming.com will know that my patent-pending Call of Duty Circle of Life is the bulletproof theory that most hardcore Call of Duty fans are stuck in and endless loop of misery forever, and are constantly chasing the high of a perfect Call of Duty title that will never come.
Now, just like last year, I’m sure a lot of you are probably thinking to yourself – “this is probably about to be the most CoD hater shit I’ve ever read in my life”, and – yet and still – you’re absolutely goddamn right. Except I don’t hate Call of Duty – not one bit! But I do hate watching the Call of Duty community put themselves into mental and emotional pretzels year-in and year-out, so I’ve developed this scientifically engineered Circle of Life to hopefully give you a look at what you’re doing to yourselves.
Now without further ado, let me give you a refresher on the Circle of Life, as well as an update on where we currently stand.
New Title Excitement
This phase typically occurs around late summer, early fall, and would you look at that – we’re already blown past this point ahead of schedule. There is a TON of hype for Modern Warfare II, and Vanguard is already one of the most maligned CoD titles ever. Fans, content creators, and especially CDL pros have been dumping all over this game since day one, and thus the dawning of a new era in the franchise begins anew. As a reminder for the uninitiated – this phase is easily identifiable once the developer is revealed, with fans yelling [Raven/IW/Treyarch/Sledgehammer] will get it right this time, [Raven/IW/Treyarch/Sledgehammer] has no idea what the fans want!!!
Gameplay Hype [You Are Here]
This is basically where we’re at right now. Modern Warfare II’s beta is just on the horizon, with many content creators and pros tweeting out their beta keys and hyping up the game before they even get their hands on it. Excitement and hype are about to be at their absolute peaks. The first gameplay and multiplayer reveal trailers have already begun to roll out, so get ready for creators and rumor sites to begin overanalyzing each tidbit of information to glean any sort of intel about the game, and new equipment and vehicles have fans chomping at the bit for something new. It’s no secret that MWII (2022) is one of the worst kept secrets in the series’ history, and there’s exactly zero surprises for fans for at least the first year of release based on all the leaks we’ve seen. That’s great though, because you don’t like surprises or changes that much, do ya?
Buckle up for this one. Within 1-3 months after launch of MWII, we’ll see mid-to-high review scores across the board. Pros hailing it as the second coming of Christ. Reviewers lauding this new title as a “hallmark entry into the Call of Duty franchise”. Praise for the new Call of Duty among casual fans is also rampant, as the game is touted in your closest friend groups as being the best entry since (insert your favorite CoD here). Since we’re dealing with the quasi-reboot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, expect this phase to be particularly obnoxious this year.
Content Gets Stale
3+ months after launch, which normally brings us right around post-holiday. Fans will have had more than enough time to realize what they don’t like about the game, and are still buying up content as it comes out, but begin groaning about needing something new, something fresh, and something different from the typical Call of Duty formula. Usually there’s one BIG specific thing that draws the community’s ire, and content creators begin releasing “Call of Duty: [Subtitle] – Where Did We Go Wrong?” This phase should be particularly interesting this time around, as Modern Warfare II will no doubt draw heavy comparisons to the 2010 classic that truly launched the franchise into where it’s at today. There’s massive shoes to fill, and if the Call of Duty community doesn’t get exactly what they want… There will be hell to pay.
You may not think it possible, but if this phase does arrive (and it always does), we’re looking at late spring, early summer of 2023. Fans will have become completely fed up and disillusioned with this current iteration of the franchise, and calls for [Raven/IW/Treyarch/Sledgehammer] to never be allowed to make a Call of Duty game again will quickly ensue. This, of course, will be supplanted with demands that [Raven/IW/Treyarch/Sledgehammer] take over the franchise permanently. Launchers will be uninstalled left and right, major content creators find new flavors of the month to keep them and their viewers occupied until the new Call of Duty releases (remember Splitgate? How about New World?), and start right back at phase one a few months later.
And around and around we go.
I know what you’re thinking, “Dom, you’re just describing Vanguard, this is a one-off situation that has never happened before!”, but if you’ve gotten this far in the blog, then you probably will recognize that it’s almost completely identical to last year’s version of this exact same blog. I go through this every year, and maybe one day someone will believe me.
In the meantime, I genuinely hope everyone enjoys the new Call of Duty, whatever it is. It’s a staple for a reason, the franchise is not going anywhere, and I’m sure it’ll sell six zillion copies in the first week regardless of what anyone thinks.
Happy CoD season, everyone!