The next entry in the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare 3 is set to release this coming Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 – a mere two weeks after the launch of Battlefield 3, the latest flagship in it’s storied procession. Despite widespread belief that the two titles are actually the same – both publishing giants of their respective brands, Activision (Call of Duty) and Electronic Arts (Battlefield) neglected to incorporate the other title into their own offering.
This comes as somewhat of a surprise considering a nearly year long span in which both titles have been so extensively compared to one another that they have since become inseparable within the community. Despite million dollar advertising schemes specifically targeted at differentiating the two blockbusters, public outcry deems it seemingly impossible to enjoy more than one title in a genre. This has led many industry projectionists to conclude that both titles must be shipped together in order to justify the exhaustive inability to appreciate multiple similar titles for their merits, rather than condemn them for their shortcomings. ”It’s the only possible solution,” said an undisclosed industry analyst, “the demographic has made it clear that there is simply no way for these two titles to co-exist in the same market.” They continued, “both titles must be shipped together as a single offering in order to avoid alienating half of the demographic. When Battlefield 3 was released without the accompanying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, we were.. we were just stunned. It’s going to come out in a patch or as downloadable content, we thought, but that never happened either.”
While each franchise community claims superiority over the other, in terms of quality and overall legitimacy, the sudden realization that neither title is being included with the other has lead some to believe that both games may just actually exist independently of one another after all. We caught up with an employee at a local games retailer to find out what effect this bombshell could have on the community. “Huh?” exclaimed Brian – who asked to have his last name omitted from the publication, “You’re kidding, right?” Though after we explained the seemingly endless comparisons that could only exist if these titles were indeed the same, Brian confirmed, “Oh sure, absolutely. Since they were announced you couldn’t hear about one [of the titles] without some mention of the other. Ya’ know?” He went on to state, “God forbid you express your preference for one over the other and just leave it at that – no, it’s always got to be because the other game sucks. I’ve seen people right here in this shop degraded, humiliated and even threatened when openly stating their opinion. Even had to call the cops once ’cause some dude just wouldn’t let it go. It’s like… seriously dude? It’s a [expletive] video game.”
When asked if he personally had a preference for one title over the other, “Not really. To be honest, I like ‘em both – what’s wrong with that? These are two distinct series, each with their own strengths and unique qualities. Neither will ever be seen as unanimously better than the other because they cater to completely different playstyles. Though because they both have guns and soldiers and helicopters, suddenly it’s like The Highlander and there can only be one? Does that seem right to you?” Brian went on to say, “Hell, my little sister plays Army in the yard with kids from the neighborhood, but you don’t see them calling each other [expletive] because they don’t all play the same way. Her game has better graphics, too – does that make her a real-life fanboy?”
It is slowly becoming clear to members of the community that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 can exist independently, no doubt spurred by the recent disassociation in released packages. Still, a majority of the community seem unable to cope with the sudden news that they might not have to pick a side in the conflict. We contacted an active member of a well respected video game forum, to get the opinion of one who is directly affected by the strange turn of events. Communicating through a private chat room, our contact who goes by the handle “xXxThatzWhatSh3SaidxXx”, elaborated on the situation; “Theres no question its just a beter [sic] game. Id play the other one if I wuz [sic] a total n00b [sic] or something but Im not a camper.” When asked which game they were referring to, they could not immediately recall, though they assured us one of them was undoubtedly “for n00bs”, which they, were not. After repeated attempts to clarify the context of their remarks, ”xXxThatzWhatSh3SaidxXx” was unexpectedly disconnected from the conversation and we were unable to reach them for further comment.
For now, it seems we will have to wait and watch the consequences of these bold moves by the two industry figure-heads. Regardless of the public’s fervor to demonize one title or the other, it’s clear that both companies are the victims in this situation; having to endure the on-going conflict between their games – for which they are in no way responsible. Rest assured, neither company stands to make a great deal of money from the constant combative press and word-of-mouth advertising that has inexplicably arisen in the most unlikely of ways – and certainly not engineered as such. Fortunately Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 will finally both be available on the market in the coming days, so we can expect the public zealotry to fade with the popularity – much like the Microsoft and Sony communities have demonstrated.