Why Battlefield will never outsell Call of Duty
So, let’s be realistic shall we …
©2011 Kent Sobey
You’ve read the title, and now you’re in a fit of rage. “How can this fanboy propose such a preposterous idea?!”
Well, I’m not a fanboy and I love both franchises equally. I play more Call of Duty online than Battlefield but am well versed in both nonetheless.
To put it simply, I’m a realist who enjoys the best of both worlds.
I am not here to decide which game is better, I just thought a little insight into why Call of Duty sells so well might be interesting.
Firstly, what makes a good game?
I think it’s a combination of several hundred things that all grab our attention in the right way that make a game good. Graphics, plot, character development, player controls etc. Etc. Etc. I also think it’s pretty safe to say that both of these franchises have got it almost spot on since the start.
So why then does one of these giants have a bigger following than the other?
At the end of the day it all comes down to the online modes – you all knew this already I presume.
Call of Duty, simply put, is not realistic and Battlefield is.
Ok, so maybe it’s not realistic but it’s about as close as you can get. This, however, is not necessarily a good thing, is it? Well I happen to think it’s both a good thing and a bad thing. For single player campaigns it is fantastic, for multiplayer I don’t like it.
I am looking for one simple thing when I am playing online and that is to have fun. The truth is that I am not very good either so a lot of the time I am not having fun (which is co-incidentally when the Xbox gets turned off). (Ed- I’m with you there! My teen son kicks my butt.)
Who is playing?
If you’ve played a bit of Modern Warfare back in the day and now want to give Black Ops a try you will more than likely be ok. So you’re not going to be amazing but you will know what’s going on, get a few kills and generally have a good time.
I am fully aware that this might be why some people play Battlefield but this article is simply about the number of players and why people choose what they do.
Sometimes less is more.
My next point is very closely linked to the first one but I thought I would mention it anyway. Vehicles in online gaming are always great fun but sometimes they make things a little more complicated than they need to be.
If you’ve ever been the guy who jumps into a vehicle that a newbie manages to run off a cliff or crash into the ground at high speed then you probably did a little shouting.
Shouting at newbies scares them off. I hear some of you saying, “good, we don’t want the newbies anyway”. Well the truth is that these franchises do, because newbies become . . . erm . . . oldies.
It is a pity though, because the vehicles are indeed good fun to play with. Maybe some thought should be given into how they can be included into the game, without scaring people off? It’s an ‘accessibility’ thing again really.
Numbers create numbers.
My next point is one that unfortunately will be extremely difficult for the Battlefield developers to do anything about. Call of Duty already has a massive online following which for some people is one of the main reasons they play it.
Their friends are playing it and if they want to find a game it only takes a few seconds.
The bottom line is that the more people are playing a game online the more people will be drawn to it.
Not much can be done about this to change anything, it is simply a fact. Play with your friends, or play with strangers? Ok, so it’s not that dramatic because a lot of people play Battlefield too but you get the point.
So, how do we gauge fun?
Call of Duty online is more fun because more thought has been put into the game modes, classes (weapons etc.) and overall usability.
There, I said it and I won’t take it back.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect but I believe that the “jump in, jump out” nature of CoD online means you can have a quick game when you feel like it, or you can play all day like some people do.
• Battlefield 3 & Modern Warfare 3 battle it out
Not everyone has hours and hours to spend playing games in the evening so it’s nice to get a 15 or 20 minute session in when you can. Battlefield doesn’t cater for this as well.
Now I have said my peace and won’t offend anyone anymore. People can bash CoD and it’s players as much as they want but the bottom line is that they are making money which is what they set out to do… so good for them.
Keep the Call of Duty games coming because people will buy and play them for a long time to come.