The First Person Shooter is a gaming genre that took the nation by storm in the early 1990s, and since then there have been two franchises that own the Wartime FPS market. Call of Duty has become one of, if not the most, well known FPS in the world. With its imaginative storylines and renowned online capabilities, it’s hard not to see why. However its latest installment, Infinite Warfare, with its weird sci-fi setting and lack of graphical upgrades, has garnered the series a massive amount of backlash from it’s fans. The trailer for the game alone has 3.4 million dislikes and only 570,000 likes. Then, like a dark horse, Battlefield did it’s best to swoop in and steal a win from its longtime competitor. But did it work? Has Battlefield finally beaten Call of Duty? Was Call of Duty ever in front to begin with? Let’s take a closer look in this episode of The Infographics Show; Call of Duty vs Battlefield.
Call of Duty was originally developed by a new company known as Infinity Ward, an American Company based in Woodland Hills, California and founded in May 2002. Although a newcomer to the development scene, the majority of the team had worked on the FPS Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and so decided to stick with the war based FPS, and on October 29th, 2003, Call of Duty was released for the PC.
In 2005, Infinity Ward decided they wanted to get into the console market, so parent company Activision brought in Treyarch to develop a console game to go alongside the up and coming Call of Duty 2. Treyarch was quite established at this point, with several PS1, PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube titles to its name.
In 2009, an unknown company called Sledgehammer Games made a pitch to Activision about creating a spin off for the Call of Duty franchise. The game was approved but eventually dropped when the creators of Infinity Ward were fired, taking the Modern Warfare branch with them, and leading to Sledgehammer being brought in to assist the remaining team to finish Modern Warfare 3, which was near ending its development.
Now the three companies work separately on each installment, with each company producing a new game every 3 years, leading to a new Call of Duty every year. Treyarch is responsible for the Black Op Series, Sledgehammer for Advanced Warfare, and Infinity Ward for Infinite Warfare.
Battlefield’s history, on the other hand, is a lot simpler than its competitor. Digital Illusions (known as DICE) was founded in 1992 and had a wealth of experience with PC gaming when they created Battlefield a decade after the company’s founding. The original Battlefield, Battlefield 1942, was released on September 10th, 2002, for the PC, which is also more than a year before Call of Duty.
The only other developer to ever work on a Battlefield game is Visceral Games. Visceral Games also had a large number of games to their name, and were therefore given ownership of Battlefield: Hardline.
To date, Call of Duty has 13 games within the main series franchise, selling roughly 260 million units world wide (not including Infinite Warfare), stacking up more than $11 billion. Battlefield isn’t far behind with 11 games in its franchise. However, they’ve only sold 60 million units, totalling about $2.2 billion, less than a quarter of the Call of Duty sales.
Due to the number of game releases of Call of Duty, and the variety of games within the franchise, its Campaign Modes average 6.8 hours of playtime, ranging from 5-9 hours. Battlefield shines in this area, with its campaign modes across all games averaging 7.7 hours of play time. This is because Battlefield’s games all have full stories, with no game being less than 6 hours and one game having a staggering 15 hour campaign mode.
But what does all of this mean? The franchises have been going for more than a decade, and the best one seems quite cut and dry. Call of Duty has more games on more consoles, and has sold more copies…job done. Except it’s not. Since its creation, Call of Duty has been the more popular franchise, but the numbers from their latest games show the tides might be turning.
Call of Duty’s latest game, Infinite Warfare, is receiving an average of 76% in its reviews on Metacritic, which is a small downgrade from its preceding 80% average. Battlefront, on the other hand, is on the rise, with its predecessor averaging 82%, and its current iteration 87%. So far, there is a clear difference, but nothing too dramatic; it doesn’t look too bad for Call of Duty…until you look at the sales figures.
Infinite Warfare was the best selling game of 2016. However if you compare it to the numbers from the previous game, Black Ops 3, you see there is a clear decline. Black Ops 3 sold 32.5 million copies. Admittedly, Infinite Warfare has only been out for 3 months, so that would explain the low sales, however Black Ops 3 made $550 million on its opening weekend, while Infinite Warfare sales were down 50% in comparison.
The last main title in the Battlefield series, Battlefield 4, sold underwhelmingly compared to Black Ops 3, with about 14 million copies. Battlefield 1, on the other hand, already sold 15 million copies in just 4 months. Ultimately, Battlefield 1 was the 2nd best selling game of 2016.
With numbers like this, it is clear something is definitely wrong in the Call of Duty camp. Maybe these numbers will improve with the next release, or maybe the audience’s trust in the franchise is gone for good and moving over to the more consistent Battlefield? All we know is…Call of Duty, overall, is the more successful franchise, by quite a huge margin, but if they do not listen to criticism, this could signal the beginning of its end.
So, which do you think is the better franchise? Let us know in the comments! To get a daily comparison or fact in your feed, follow us on social media. All the links are in the description of the video. And don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share! Thanks for watching and see you in a few days.