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Posts tagged Call of Duty

Exclusive Has Come To Mean Exclusive-ish Over The Past Few Years

In the wake of today’s Tomb Raider news I thought it would be important to talk about the word “exclusive” and what it has come to mean.

A few days ago Editor in Chief of Kotaku, Stephen Totilo and I had the following exchange on twitter:


His initial link points out that Rise and Dead Rising 3 were both announced as Xbox One exclusives and now they are both coming to PC. Those two announcements (two months apart) have come in the midst of the commonly used phrase “timed exclusive”. It’s exactly what it sounds like, the game is exclusive to a platform for a set amount of time.

Activision has had timed exclusives on Call of Duty DLC on Xbox for a few years. It makes Microsoft happy because they get to say “we get this popular thing first” on stage at big events and the die hard fans of that franchise are more likely to buy the game on that platform.

But in the past when third party games were exclusive, they were really exclusive. Final Fantasy games were exclusive to Sony platforms for years, for example. So were Tomb Raider games. 

The first chink in the armor of “exclusivity” I can remember was BioShock in 2007. The first BioShock is one of the best games I’ve ever played, won tons of Game of the Year awards, and was touted as being “Only on Xbox” – words they even printed on the box.

14 months after it came out on the Xbox 360, a PS3 version was released.

This story is become more and more common. On the one hand, I love it. I love that GTA, BioShock, and Final Fantasy are playable on every platform. It’s great for gaming, it’s great for gamers, and it’s great for people who can only afford one console.

(Yes, as long as console makers continue to publish games you’re never going to get to play 100% of games released, but you can play 95%, and that’s pretty good. At least in the near future you wont be playing Halo on a PlayStation and you won’t be playing Uncharted on an Xbox.)

But on the other hand, we’ve cheapened the word.  People don’t trust the word exclusive when especially when Microsoft says it. Just look at the news about Rise of the Tomb Raider, almost every outlet reporting it casts some doubt about the length of this exclusive. Not a single report that I’ve read is certain that Square / Crystal Dynamics will publish Tomb Raider only on the Xbox. Everyone is expecting Sony to have Tomb Raider in 2016.

Microsoft has warped the meaning of the word exclusive to mean exclusive-ish, or exclusive-for-now. They’ve also cheapened the value of their console. When you look at the landscape of games coming one or two games may nudge you to choose one console over the other.

Stephen Totilo is right, “it set’s a precedent” and lying about a game that’s exclusive devalues your console and just makes your consumers upset.

It is still unclear weather the the new Tomb Raider is actually exclusive to Microsoft or if it’s just a timed exclusive. The fact that it’s been more than four hours since the news broke, and outlets still seem to be debating the definition of exclusive and what it means in this instance, is in of itself a problem. 

UPDATE: Eurogamer has confirmed that the Tomb Raider deal “has a duration”


Why multiplayer games are better in person 

But the advent of the online first-person shooter means that games like Goldeneye 007 and Halo are no longer the preserve of late-night sessions in the dorm room. Why play for nothing with your friends when you could be fighting against the world for new perks in Call of Duty? Major developers have all but ignored local multiplayer games in recent years, and now it’s up to the indie scene to pick up the slack.

Everything Sam Byford says here is completely true. Luckily, so far Halo has stuck to its local multiplayer roots, but it’s getting harder and harder to find games like this.

My favorite gaming memories come when playing local multiplayer. It’s the reason I own multiple Xbox 360s.  A contingent of friends used to come over and play 6-8 player Bomberman and Halo in my old apartment. There is really nothing more satisfying than killing your friends sitting in another room.

Personally, I hope there is more local multiplayer coming. Even if it’s not from the AAA devs.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Leaked Trailer

Destructoid has the launch trailer for this years Call of Duty game. This is something I normally don’t post, but wow this game looks fun. Because it’s set in the near future you get cool abilities like to leaping high into the air, invisibility, scaling buildings. Honestly it looks pretty cool.

Oh and Kevin Spacey is the voice of the villain. From Destructoid:

Through a trusted source, Destructoid has learned the new Call of Duty, subtitled Advanced Warfare, revolves around a soldier of fortune group run by Spacey’s character that has turned on the United States government.

[via Destructoid]

[Update: Activision has confirmed everything. I swapped out the Destructoid trailer for the official YouTube version]

Mob of the Dead - Trailer

This trailer for the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 expansion is awesome. It actually looks a lot like a Left 4 Dead level, complete with an escape airplane at the end. They’ve even brought on an amazing voice cast, Ray Liotta Joe Pantoliano, Michael Madsen, and Chazz Palminteri.

I would play this as an entire game and have absolutely no regrets. 

I did not want to play Blak Ops 2 until now. Now I want it really badly.

This DLC comes out April 16th.

[via Kotaku]

Call of Duty Elite

Activision wants more than 60 dollars a year from you; they want a monthly subscription fee on top of that. Unfortunately they haven’t told you how much they want just yet. The Wall Street Journal broke the news last night and the above video is a more in depth look at what the service Elite service has to offer.

Elite is not paying for multiplayer. Anyone who purchases the game will be able to do that just like before with XBL or PSN.  Elite seems to provide a deeper experience.  It provides an online community for all things Call of Duty. You can create groups to play with, clans to compete with, sign up for tournaments and see tons of statistics to help improve your play.

Overall I think Call of Duty Elite is an interesting service. It’s nice to see a publisher, unsatisfied with the offerings on the console, going out of their way to make their game better… even if the motives are purely revenue driven.


[Joystiq, ArsTechnica]

Whoops. I tried to read the BBC’s videogame wrap up for 2008 but I didn’t get past the first sentence.
Um, guys. Call of Duty World at War came out this year.  Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t come out until next year.  But look at it this way, you can start the 2009 review with the same phrase. It’s like 0.5% of the work is already done.

Whoops. I tried to read the BBC’s videogame wrap up for 2008 but I didn’t get past the first sentence.

Um, guys. Call of Duty World at War came out this year.  Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t come out until next year.  But look at it this way, you can start the 2009 review with the same phrase. It’s like 0.5% of the work is already done.