It’s that time of year again, folks. The official artwork for the newest Call of Duty – Vanguard has apparently been leaked, so the Call of Duty Circle of Life is about to begin anew.
What is the Call of Duty Circle of Life, you may ask? Well, my dear reader, the COD:COL is my running 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 may never come.
Now, please keep this in mind, since I know 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”, 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’s break down each one of the phases.
New Title Excitement
This phase typically occurs around late summer, early fall, and we’re almost there. There is a TON of hype, as a new Call of Duty has been officially confirmed! Fans rejoice, content creators begin scripting their “what the next Call of Duty NEEDS TO HAVE” videos, and hopes for the dawning of a new era in the franchise begins anew. 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!!!
Usually just a few weeks later. Excitement and hype are at their absolute peaks. The first gameplay and multiplayer reveal trailers start to roll out, esports pros and content creators 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.
Within 1-3 months after launch. The new Call of Duty title releases to the same critical reception Call of Duty always gets, mid-to-high scores across the board. Lots of high 7s, 8s, maybe a 9 here and there, hailing this new title as a “hallmark entry into the Call of Duty franchise”. Praise for the new Call of Duty among the fans is also rampant, as the game is touted as being the best entry since (insert your favorite CoD here).
Content Gets Stale
3+ months after launch. Fans have now 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?”
Late spring, early summer. Fans have become completely fed up, and hope [Raven/IW/Treyarch/Sledgehammer] are never allowed to make a Call of Duty game again, and instead insist that [Raven/IW/Treyarch/Sledgehammer] take over the franchise permanently. Launchers are being 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, 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 Cold War, this has never happened before!” which is absolutely not true. I know this, because I outlined this entire circle of life (off the top of my head, mind you) about 30-40 podcast episodes ago before Cold War was even announced. 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!