Despite the decades-long success of the Call of Duty franchise, the core of how the series works has changed dramatically in recent years. With the emergence of the Call of Duty: Warzone sub-series, the IP's foray into the world of battle royale shooters, many developers have focused on Warzone's post-release content rather than the more traditional multiplayer. Players can prepare enough Call of Duty Points in the game.
Prior to this, Call of Duty multiplayer played out entirely in the annual mainline installments of the series, but with the success of Call of Duty: Warzone, the core multiplayer mode has declined in importance post-release. While the scale of Warzone can be expected to draw some attention to the core CoD multiplayer, the fact that this core multiplayer is a paid online experience makes the lesser attention it receives more controversial.
The success of Call of Duty: Warzone
The battle royale genre has become hugely popular in recent years, with games like Fortnite and Apex Legends being among the most well-known and profitable games in the entire gaming industry. Given the already existing player base and the high appeal of the Call of Duty IP, it seemed inevitable that the series would expand itself into the battle royale space.
This came with the release of the original Battlezone in 2020, which was released against the backdrop of the massive hype surrounding Modern Warfare 2019, in addition to the large captive audience it may have benefited from thanks to the massive popularity of COVID-19. Back in December 2020, the original Warzone had already amassed over 85 million players, which provided some context for the series' popularity and success. With its free-to-play nature and seasonal Battle Pass system, the game has also proven to be very lucrative for Activision, and the recent release of Warzone 2 further reinforces WZ's huge focus on the current CoD cycle.
Warzone takes precedence over paid multiplayer modes
The current framework for Call of Duty multiplayer now appears to be split between the free-to-play Warzone 2 and the paid premium multiplayer of Modern Warfare 2. Premium core multiplayer offers a classic CoD multiplayer combat experience within a small, high-octane arena, while Warzone 2 maintains the extensive battle royale focus of its predecessor.
While this promotes more overall Call of Duty content, many fans have expressed their concerns about Warzone 2 that seem to take precedence over the lifecycle of Modern Warfare 2's paid multiplayer. This is evident in the amount of content already planned to be added to Warzone 2; for example, it will be getting a Rocket League-inspired mode in the near future. With rumors of new expansion maps coming to Warzone 2 and continued support for the game's ambitious DMZ mode, there are huge plans surrounding Warzone 2 that many believe are harmful to MW2's base multiplayer.
Compared to Warzone 2, MW2's multiplayer receives much less content. Fans currently only have the old Call of Duty maps and rumors of operators returning to the game to look forward to. Of course, the huge appeal, availability and success of the Warzone series makes these recent content licenses somewhat understandable, but serious concerns can be raised about the need for more MW2 content. Considering the $70 price tag for access to Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer compared to the free-to-play nature of Warzone 2, the lesser support for paying players is a worrying precedent for the Call of Duty series. For more Call of Duty guides players can subscribe to Wmbtc.com.