Ever since the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii, the gaming industry has seen a crazy amount of overrated activity from media sources, gamers, and retail employees. I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that this generation has “sold out” to the whores of the industry more-so than any other and it’s getting to be a little much. Gone are the days of when great titles stood alone due to the sheer quality that they offered and gone are the days when Collector’s Editions were reserved for franchises that had long-time followers and devoted fans.
Nowadays, we see titles like Dead Rising 2 which carries 2-4 different Collector’s Editions that you can buy from a myriad of retailers. We see media websites like IGN as well as others beefing up the release of a high profile title to high review scores and overall consumer disappointment (Grand Theft Auto IV comes to mind). This isn’t to say it’s always the case or that it’s happening every single day, not at all. However, the ridiculousness of it all is getting a little out of hand and it’s starting to ruin the wallets of gamers everywhere.
To be honest, do you think the used game market would be as large as it is today if it wasn’t for media outlets hyping up every $10+ million dollar budgeted game this generation? Would we see hundreds of used copies of games like Haze if all of that hype wasn’t put into the product prior to release? Where has the honesty of it all gone? The only reason the used game market is now as large as it is is because of the media, gamers, and retail employees adding the peacock effect onto every product that comes through the industry. The media is trying to push a product to gain favor with a publisher (this does happen, don’t kid yourself), the gamer is pushing a title to justify his/her own purchase (console war anyone?), and the retail employee is trying to push pre-order after pre-order to meet a quota so he can keep his underpaid trashy job.
With all of that being said, I’ve narrowed down the first five years of this generation to what I believe to be the most overrated franchises that are most guilty of duping gamers entirely.
The Call of Duty Franchise
Now, I know I’m probably going to catch a lot of flack for this one, but think about it. The Call of Duty franchise has sold well over 30 million copies this generation alone. These sales have come on the heels of highly scored reviews, great word of mouth, and high exposure in retail stores. The only question remains, is it justified? My answer? Hell no.
The original high selling Call of Duty franchise this generation was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare released to critical acclaim and it was deserving of that praise. It brought forth innovation to a genre that had become stale and started to wear on gamers in general. I’m not going to give the franchise disrespect when it isn’t entirely due — obviously Modern Warfare helped turn a leaf and I respect that. However, Modern Warfare also helped Activision fall into the mold of what it has become known for and that is delivering the dairy goods — milking.
Due to the highly deserved success of Modern Warfare, Treyarch released Call of Duty: World At War. Due to namesake alone, World At War managed to sell roughly 10 million units across all platforms. However, the quality and decision to remain in the 1940s left a lot of gamers wishing for more. How could a title with this much disappoint reach so many homes? The hype, the anticipation, and the attention that so many individuals gave to it as though it would hold a candle to Modern Warfare. Unfortunately for all of us, we were duped and wasted $60.