Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise. The series began on Microsoft Windows, and expanded to consoles and handhelds. Several spin-off games have been released. The earlier games in the series are set primarily in World War II, but later games have typically been set in modern times or in futuristic settings. The most recent game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, was released on October 12, 2018.
The Call of Duty games are published and owned by Activision. Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games develop several of the titles with the release of the studios’ games alternating with each other. Some games have been developed by Gray Matter Interactive, Nokia, Exakt Entertainment, Spark Unlimited, Amaze Entertainment, n-Space, Aspyr, Rebellion Developments, Ideaworks Game Studio, and nStigate Games. The games use a variety of engines, including the id Tech 3, the Treyarch NGL, and the IW engine.
As of February 2016, the Call of Duty series has sold over 250 million copies. Sales of all Call of Duty games topped US$15 billion.
Other products in the franchise include a line of action figures designed by Plan-B Toys, a card game created by Upper Deck Company, Mega bloks sets by Mega Brands, and a comic book mini-series published by WildStorm Productions.
Call of Duty is a video game based on id Tech 3, and was released on October 29, 2003. The game was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. The game simulates the infantry and combined arms warfare of World War II. An expansion pack, Call of Duty: United Offensive, was developed by Gray Matter Interactive with contributions from Pi Studios and produced by Activision. The game follows American and British paratroopers and the Red Army. The Mac OS X version of the game was ported by Aspyr Media. In late 2004, the N-Gage version was developed by Nokia and published by Activision.
Other versions were released for PC, including Collector’s Edition (with soundtrack and strategy guide), Game of the Year Edition (includes game updates), and the Deluxe Edition (which contains the United Offensive expansion and soundtrack; in Europe the soundtrack was not included). On September 22, 2006, Call of Duty, United Offensive, and Call of Duty 2 were released together as Call of Duty: War Chest for PC. Since November 12, 2007, Call of Duty games have been available for purchase via Valve’s content delivery platform Steam.
Primary developer rotation
In 2006, Treyarch released Call of Duty 3, their first Call of Duty game of the main series. Treyarch and Infinity Ward signed a contract stating that the producer of each upcoming title in the series would alternate between the two companies. In 2010, Sledgehammer Games announced they were working on a main series title for the franchise. This game was postponed in order to help Infinity Ward produce Modern Warfare 3. In 2014, it was confirmed that Sledgehammer Games would produce the 2014 title, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and the studios would begin a three-year rotation.Advanced Warfare was followed by Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III in 2015, Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in 2016, Sledgehammer Games’s Call of Duty: WWII in 2017 and was followed by Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in 2018.
Modern Warfare 2: Ghost is a six-part comic book mini-series based on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The storyline focuses on the backstory of the character Simon “Ghost” Riley. The series is published by WildStorm and the first issue was released on November 10, 2009, alongside the game.
Call of Duty: Zombies is a six-part comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics. The series ties in with the Zombies game mode of the Black Ops subseries developed by Treyarch. The series is co-written by Justin Jordan, Treyarch’s Jason Blundell and Craig Houston. The series is illustrated by artist Jonathan Wayshak and colorist Dan Jackson. The cover arts are handled by artist Simon Bisley. The series was announced by Treyarch on July 2016, with the first issue slated for release in October. After a slight delay, the first issue was released on October 26, 2016. The five other issues were released in the months of 2017: issue #2 released on January 11, 2017; issue #3 released on March 1, 2017; issue #4 released on April 19, 2017; issue #5 released on June 21, 2017; and issue #6 released on August 23, 2017. A paperback edition containing all six issues was released on November 15, 2017.
In 2004, Activision, in cooperation with the companies Plan-B Toys and Radioactive Clown, released the “Call of Duty: Series 1” line of action figures, which included three American soldiers and three German soldiers from the World War II era. While the American G.I. action figure was made in 2004, Plan-B Toys later discontinued a controversial Nazi SS Guard action figure based on the Nazi Totenkopf officer seen in Call of Duty.
In 2008, McFarlane Toys announced their partnership with Activision to produce action figures for the Call of Duty series. McFarlane Toys’ first series of action figures were released in October 2008 and consists of four different figures: Marine with Flamethrower, Marine Infantry, British Special Ops, and Marine with Machine Gun.
Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish is a fan-made prequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and was first shown at Call of Duty XP. The video was produced by We Can Pretend, with visual effects by The Junction, and was endorsed by Activision. The video tells the story of how Captain Price ended up in a Russian Gulag set before the events of Modern Warfare 2.
On November 6, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Activision Blizzard launched a production studio called Activision Blizzard Studios and are planning a live action Call of Duty cinematic universe in 2019. On November 27, 2018, it was annouced that Joe Robert Cole will be writing the sequel.
The Call of Duty games were used in eSports, starting in 2006, alongside the game released at the time, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Over the years, the series has extended with releases such as Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Games are played in leagues like Major League Gaming.
Players can compete in ladders or tournaments. The ladders are divided into several sub ladders such as: the singles ladder, doubles ladder, team ladder (3v3 – 6v6) and hardcore team ladder (3v3 – 6v6). The difference between the regular team ladder and the hardcore team ladder is the in game settings and thus a rule differentiation. Winning ladder matches on a competitive website rewards the user with experience points which add up to give them an overall rank.
The tournaments offered on these websites provide players with the opportunity to win cash prizes and trophies. The trophies are registered and saved on the player’s profile if/when they win a tournament and the prize money is deposited into his or her bank account. Call of Duty: Ghosts was the most competitively played game in 2014, with an average of 15,000 teams participating every season.
For the past 6 seasons in competitive Call of Duty, Full Sail University has hosted a prize giveaway, giving $2,500 to the top team each season. The other ladders give out credits and medals registered on players’ profiles. Tournaments hosted on the Call of Duty: Ghosts‘s Arena give cost from 15 to 30 credits, thus averaging at a cost of about $18.75 per tournament. If the player competes with a team, the prize money is divided and an equal cut is given to each player. Other tournaments with substantial prizes are hosted in specific cities and countries for LAN teams.
The biggest Call of Duty tournament hosted was Call of Duty: Experience 2011, a tournament that began when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was released.
Playing Call of Duty competitively is most popular in Europe and North America, with users who participate in tournaments and ladder matches daily. Competitive players have an average of 500,000 followers on social media.