The nature of the gaming industry has drastically changed with the release of next-generation gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. There are a number of things that may be at play here, including the fact that despite games’ increased complexity and profundity, players have started to swarm to older games.
There could be several reasons why this phenomenon is occurring, indicating that releasing new games every year within the same franchise is losing its appeal for many gamers. Nowadays, players seem to prefer complete games that do not rely heavily on micro-transactions. As a result, major gaming companies face a difficult decision when developing the next iteration of their game, such as deciding on the time period, abilities, characters, and where to add new content to an already established game.
The influence of gaming streamers and channels cannot be underestimated in keeping certain games relevant. These streamers play a crucial role in informing their followers of the latest updates and trends, thereby keeping players engaged and knowledgeable about the latest changes in the game.
Has the dominance of Call of Duty ended?
It is widely recognized within the gaming community that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) was an exceptionally popular game that set several gaming records. During the height of the pandemic, the game maintained a significant number of concurrent players for nearly a year, making it one of the most played games in history.
Given its massive success, one might expect the follow-up, Modern Warfare 2, to have a similar level of engagement. However, this has not been the case. The game has received public criticism from streamers, and many professional esports players and teams have withdrawn from major tournaments.
Criticism of the game has centered on mechanics that were popular in the previous installment but have been altered, such as slide canceling, time-to-kill, and, most importantly, the lack of content at launch. Since the release of Fortnite, many game developers have adopted the strategy of releasing downloadable content (DLC) to keep gamers interested and entice them to purchase in-game items.
One possible reason for this trend is the changing iGaming landscape, with many players now gravitating towards older games and classic casino games like online craps, which have retained their popularity over time. With online craps, players have the option of trying out both Practice Mode and real play, depending on their goals, whether it’s to improve their skills or to bet real money. As more gamers become frustrated with the inconsistency of their favorite gaming franchises, traditional games are gaining traction in the digital realm, offering the consistent level of excitement that many gamers desire.
Favorite characters make a comeback and take the stage
As Modern Warfare 2 loses its player base, many gamers are turning to older games with active developers who continue to add new content, such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Rocket League. These games are good examples of developers who cater to their players by making changes and additions that enhance the gaming experience. For instance, Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, has made mounds of changes and additions, such as the ‘no-build’ mode, and affiliated with massively popular games, movies, and personalities.
Similarly, Rocket League is currently experiencing its highest concurrent player count month after month, approaching its 10-year anniversary. Battlefield 2042 had a rocky start with a broken and unfinished game release, but developers have since introduced refreshed content and various seasons, and reviews of the game are gradually improving.
Players want a full game upon release with regular and fan-centric content being added regularly, as seen in games like DayZ, Apex Legends, and Fortnite. The upcoming season 3 update in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 may be able to revive the player base with the introduction of content that has been missed, such as redeploy balloons, deployable buy stations, and the re-introduction of some franchise classic weapons from previous editions. Game developers need to listen to their players and cater to their needs if they want to retain and grow their player base.