The Call of Duty (CoD) franchise has been a staple of the gaming landscape for the majority of the last decade. Publisher Activision’s (now Activision/Blizzard) flagship franchise has always been popular and done huge sale numbers with it’s annual release schedule in autumn of every year. However, it’s no secret that interest in the franchise has been dwindling over the past few years as fatigue over playing a new game every year with different mechanics and developers has led to less and less people playing and watching content related to the Franchise.
Now, the latest addition to the Franchise is set to rekindle the fire that many gamers once felt at the release of a new CoD title. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has already done more than it’s two recent predecessors when it comes to advertising and marketing the game. A meme-fuelled advertisement campaign featuring Popular artist Post Malone’s face in comedic situations has added a much needed dose of Comedic Star-power to the launch of the game and according to Activision’s own reports has led to launch day sales doubling those of the previous year.
But is Black Ops 4 really that revolutionary for CoD? Can it really be expected to enthuse a fan-base that have been fatigued from the excitement of a new release every year since 2003? Well, it has already started doing just that. Interest in media relating to the game has been overwhelming. Twitch Livestreaming can give a wide and important overview on the level of excitement people feel for any game and a new CoD title is no different. How many viewers are watching other people play the game can show whether the game has multi-media legs and will survive the entire year-long lifespan of the game.
So has Black Ops 4 reached a level of multi-media popularity to propel it forwards beyond this month of it’s release? Well, compare it to last year’s title Call of Duty: WWII. CoD:WWII was watched by around 25000 people across 700 different channels for a whopping total of 18 million hours in its month of release. Thus Far, in the month of october, Black Ops 4 has utterly obliterated those viewership numbers. In fact, just in the month of September the Beta alone matched the figures from WWII’s release numbers with 18 million viewing hours. The Figures for October’s release are dramatically higher than this. With 42 million hours of gameplay being watched on Twitch since the game released on the 10th of October; Black Ops 4 is already on track to beat the viewership numbers Call of Duty: WWII across the game’s entire lifespan in just the first few months.
Whether or not this upwards trend in the Call of Duty franchise is a fluke to do with comedic marketing or the hype surrounding the new Blackout Battle Royale gamemode; We may never know. But when a sequel is so popular it reaches the viewership numbers of its predecessor’s lifespan in its first month it can only mean good things for the future of the game and franchise as a whole.