Activision Blizzard developed its latest offering in the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare III, in much less time than its predecessors, a factor that could contribute to its negative reception. Bloomberg report notes the game, released in the middle of Microsoft Acquisition of Activision for $69 billionwas criticized for its rushed storyline.
Developers under pressure
Typically developed over a three-year period, Modern Warfare III’s production was condensed to less than 18 months. This accelerated schedule put immense pressure on the development team, who were not allowed to speak publicly on the subject. The stress of this truncated schedule is likely a contributing factor to the game’s perceived shortcomings.
Reception of the game
Although it is a key revenue generator for Activision, with over $30 billion in revenue over two decades, Modern Warfare III’s rushed development has raised concerns. Critics have analyzed the game’s story, noting its lack of depth and coherence. The Bloomberg report highlighted internal conflicts and changes during development, including a mid-stage shift from a smaller-scale spinoff to a direct sequel with global reach.
Internal conflicts and changes
Development of the game, initially planned as an expansion of the previous title, evolved into a full-fledged sequel. This change, along with a mid-development reboot of the story, compressed the production schedule even further. Developers expressed frustration with the speed of the process and changes in direction dictated by upper management, which contributed to the game’s negative reviews.
Reception by game points
Major gaming media outlets criticized Modern Warfare III’s storyline. GameSpot and IGN, among others, pointed out the apparent rush of the game’s narrative development. This feedback focused only on the story missions, without covering the multiplayer and zombie modes.
Impact on the franchise
Analysts suggest that while this release may not have a lasting impact on the Call of Duty franchise, a continued decline in quality could cause Microsoft to reconsider its strategy for the series. The annual release schedule, a staple since 2005, could be revised if the trend toward compromised development cycles persists.
The rushed production of Modern Warfare III highlights the challenges of balancing quality and on-time release in the competitive gaming industry. As developers and studios face these pressures, the impact on game quality and staff well-being remains a major concern.