Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise published by Activision. Starting out in 2003, it first focused on games set in World War II. However, over time, the series has seen games set in modern times, the midst of the Cold War, futuristic worlds, and outer space. The games were first developed by Infinity Ward, then also by Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. Several spin-off and handheld games were made by other developers. The most recent title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, was released on October 25, 2019.
The series originally focused on the World War II setting, with Infinity Ward developing the first (2003) and second (2005) titles in the series and Treyarch developing the third (2006). Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) introduced a new, modern setting, and proved to be the breakthrough title for the series, creating the Modern Warfare sub-series. The game's legacy also influenced the creation of a remastered version, released in 2016. Two other entries, Modern Warfare 2 (2009) and 3 (2011), were made. The sub-series received a soft-reboot with Modern Warfare in 2019. Infinity Ward have also developed two games outside of the Modern Warfare sub-series, Ghosts (2013) and Infinite Warfare (2016). Treyarch made one last World War II-based game, World at War (2008), before releasing Black Ops (2010) and subsequently creating the Black Ops sub-series. Three other entries, Black Ops II (2012), III (2015), and 4 (2018), were made. Sledgehammer Games, who were co-developers for Modern Warfare 3, have also developed two titles, Advanced Warfare (2014) and WWII (2017).
As of February 2016, the series has sold over 250 million copies. Sales of all Call of Duty games topped US$15 billion. Other products in the franchise include a line of action figures designed by Plan-B Toys, a card game created by Upper Deck Company, Mega Bloks sets by Mega Brands, and a comic book mini-series published by WildStorm Productions.
World War II games
Call of Duty
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game based on id Tech 3, and was released on October 29, 2003. The game was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. The game simulates the infantry and combined arms warfare of World War II. An expansion pack, Call of Duty: United Offensive, was developed by Gray Matter Interactive with contributions from Pi Studios and produced by Activision. The game follows American and British paratroopers and the Red Army. The Mac OS X version of the game was ported by Aspyr Media. In late 2004, the N-Gage version was developed by Nokia and published by Activision. Other versions were released for PC, including Collector's Edition (with soundtrack and strategy guide), Game of the Year Edition (includes game updates), and the Deluxe Edition (which contains the United Offensive expansion and soundtrack; in Europe the soundtrack was not included). On September 22, 2006, Call of Duty, United Offensive, and Call of Duty 2 were released together as Call of Duty: War Chest for PC. Since November 12, 2007, Call of Duty games have been available for purchase via Valve's content delivery platform Steam.
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 2 is a first-person shooter video game and the sequel to Call of Duty. It was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. The game is set during World War II and is experienced through the perspectives of soldiers in the Red Army, British Army, and United States Army. It was released on October 25, 2005 for Microsoft Windows, November 15, 2005 for the Xbox 360, and June 13, 2006, for Mac OS X. Other versions were made for mobile phones, Pocket PCs, and smartphones.
Call of Duty 3
Call of Duty 3 is a first-person shooter and the third installment in the Call of Duty video game series. Released on November 7, 2006, the game was developed by Treyarch, and was the first major installment in the Call of Duty series not to be developed by Infinity Ward. It was also the first not to be released on the PC platform. It was released on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, and Xbox 360. Call of Duty 3 follows the American, Canadian, British, and Polish armies as well as the French Resistance after D-Day in the Falaise Gap.
Call of Duty: WWII
Call of Duty: WWII is the fourteenth game in the series and was developed by Sledgehammer Games. It was released worldwide on November 3, 2017, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is set in the European theatre, and is centered around a squad in the 1st Infantry Division, following their battles on the Western Front, and set mainly in the historical events of Operation Overlord.
Modern Warfare series
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the fourth installment of the main series, and was developed by Infinity Ward. It is the first game in the series not to be set during World War II, but set in the modern day. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on November 7, 2007. Download and retail versions for Mac OS X were released by Aspyr in September 2008. As of May 2009, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has sold over 13 million copies.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is a remastered version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that was released alongside the Legacy Edition, Legacy Pro Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on November 4, 2016, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It was later released standalone on June 27, 2017, for PS4, and July 27, 2017, for Xbox One and PC. The game was developed by Raven Software and executive produced by Infinity Ward.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the sixth installment of the main series. It was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. Activision Blizzard announced Modern Warfare 2 on February 11, 2009. The game was released worldwide on November 10, 2009, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows. A Nintendo DS iteration of the game, titled Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized, was released alongside the game and the Wii port of Call of Duty : Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare 2 is the direct sequel to Call of Duty 4 and continues the same storyline, taking place five years after the first game and featuring several returning characters including Captain Price and "Soap" MacTavish.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a first-person shooter video game. It is the eighth installment of the Call of Duty series and the third installment of the Modern Warfare arc. Due to a legal dispute between the game's publisher Activision and the former co-executives of Infinity Ward – which caused several lay-offs and departures within the company – Sledgehammer Games assisted in the development of the game, while Raven Software was brought in to make cosmetic changes to the menus of the game. The game was said to have been in development since only two weeks after the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Sledgehammer was aiming for a "bug free" first outing in the Call of Duty franchise, and had also set a goal for Metacritic review scores above 95 percent.
The game continues the story from the point at which it ended in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and continues the fictional battle story between the United States and Russia, which evolves into the Third World War between NATO allied nations and ultra-nationalist Russia.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the sixteenth entry in the Call of Duty series and is also a reboot of the Modern Warfare series. The story has been described to be darker and realistic than previous Call of Duty games. It is set in a separate timeline from the other Modern Warfare games (however, characters such as Captain Price and other fan favorites from the series make a return). The game was officially revealed on May 30, 2019, and released on October 25, 2019.
The second main battle royale installment in the Call of Duty franchise, titled Call of Duty: Warzone, was released in March 2020, as a part of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video game but does not require purchase of it. The title exceeded 50 million players in the first month after release.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the eleventh main installment in the series, developed by Sledgehammer Games with assistance from Raven Software and High Moon Studios. It was released in November 2014. The game was the first game in the series to feature advanced movements, such as double jump and boost slide.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the thirteenth main installment in the series, developed by Infinity Ward, and was published by Activision. The game was released on November 4, 2016.
Black Ops story arc
Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: World at War, developed by Treyarch, is the fifth installment of the main series. Released after Modern Warfare, it returns to the World War II setting of earlier titles, featuring the Pacific theater and Eastern front. The game uses the same proprietary game engine as Call of Duty 4 and was released for the PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 consoles and the Nintendo DS handheld in North America on November 11, 2008, and November 14, 2008 in Europe. As of June 2009, Call of Duty: World at War has sold over 11 million copies. It acts as a prologue for Treyarch's next game, Black Ops, which is in the same universe, sharing characters and story references.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Black Ops is the seventh installment in the series, the third developed by Treyarch, and was published by Activision for release on November 9, 2010. It is the first game in the series to take place during the Cold War and also takes place partially in the Vietnam War. It was initially available for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 and was later released for the Wii as well as the Nintendo DS.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the ninth main installment in the series, developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. The game was revealed on May 1, 2012. It was the first game in the series to feature future warfare technology, and the campaign features multiple branching storylines driven by player choice and multiple endings. It was later released on November 12, 2012.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the twelfth main installment in the series, developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. The game was released on November 6, 2015.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the fifteenth main installment in the series. It was developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. The game was released on October 12, 2018. It was the first featured Call of Duty game to ditch single-player campaign game mode, focusing only at the multiplayer aspect of the game. The game also introduced an entirely new battle royale game mode, called Blackout, in addition to multiplayer and zombies coop mode.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Call of Duty: Ghosts is the tenth main installment in the series, and was developed by Infinity Ward. The game was released on November 5, 2013. It was the first game to be developed for eighth-gen consoles such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Primary developer rotation
In 2006, Treyarch released Call of Duty 3, their first Call of Duty game of the main series. Treyarch and Infinity Ward signed a contract stating that the producer of each upcoming title in the series would alternate between the two companies. In 2010, Sledgehammer Games announced they were working on a main series title for the franchise. This game was postponed in order to help Infinity Ward produce Modern Warfare 3. In 2014, it was confirmed that Sledgehammer Games would produce the 2014 title, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and the studios would begin a three-year rotation. After Sledgehammer developed Call of Duty: WWII (2017), they began developing a new Call of Duty entry alongside Raven Software due for release in 2020. However, there were conflicts of interest between the two, which resulted in Treyarch taking over control of the project in order to speed up the development process.
Call of Duty: Finest Hour
Call of Duty: Finest Hour is the first console installment of Call of Duty, and was released on the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game include an online multiplayer mode which supports up to 32 players. It also includes new game modes.
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One is a spin-off of Call of Duty 2 developed by Treyarch, and based on the American 1st Infantry Division's exploits during World War II. The game was released on GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox.
Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts
Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts is the PlayStation 2 adaptation of Call of Duty: World at War. Developed by Rebellion Developments, Final Fronts features three campaigns involving the U.S. fighting in the Pacific theater, the Battle of the Bulge, and the British advancing on the Rhine River into Germany.
Call of Duty: The War Collection
Call of Duty: The War Collection is a boxed set compilation of Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty: World at War. It was released for the Xbox 360 on June 1, 2010.
Call of Duty: Roads to Victory
Call of Duty: Roads to Victory is a PSP game which is a portable spin-off of Call of Duty 3.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized is the Nintendo DS companion game for Modern Warfare 2. Developed by n-Space, the game takes place in the same setting as the main console game, but follows a different storyline and cast of characters. Playing as the S.A.S. and the Marines in campaign mode, both forces are trying to find a nuclear bomb.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Force Recon
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Force Recon is the J2ME mobile game for Modern Warfare 2. Developed by Glu Mobile, the game takes place after 5 years Modern Warfare in Mexico.
Call of Duty: Black Ops DS
Call of Duty: Black Ops is the Nintendo DS companion game for Black Ops. Developed by n-Space, the game takes place in the same setting as the main console game, but follows a different storyline and cast of characters.
Call of Duty: Zombies and Zombies 2
Call of Duty: Zombies is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ideaworks Game Studio, and published by Activision for iOS. It is a spin-off of the Call of Duty series, and based on the "Nazi Zombies" mode of Call of Duty: World at War. A sequel for the iPhone and iPod Touch includes Shi No Numa that was originally released on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified
Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified is a PlayStation Vita Call of Duty game.
Call of Duty: Strike Team
Call of Duty: Strike Team is a first and third-person shooter game developed by The Blast Furnace, and published by Activision for iOS. The game is set in 2020 with players tasked with leading a U.S. Joint Special Operations Team after the country "finds themselves in a war with an unknown enemy". The game was released on September 5, 2013.
Call of Duty: Heroes
Call of Duty: Heroes was a real-time strategy game developed by Faceroll Games, and published by Activision for Android and iOS. The game takes a resemblance to Clash of Clans and was released on November 26, 2014.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty: Mobile is the franchise's mobile title for iOS and Android developed by Tencent Games' TiMi Studios. It was released on October 1, 2019. Previously, it was first announced on March 18, 2019 at the year's Game Developers Conference. As of October 4, 2019, the game has surpassed over 35 million downloads worldwide.
Call of Duty Online
Call of Duty Online was announced by Activision when the company first stated their interest in a Massively multiplayer online game (MMO) in early 2011. By then, it had been in development for two years. Call of Duty Online is free-to-play for mainland China and is hosted by Tencent. Since Activision had lost the publishing rights to Call of Duty and several other franchises in China due to a legal dispute on most of the Western gaming consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii), it had been rumored that it would be Microsoft Windows-exclusive, since PCs hold the dominant share of gamers in mainland China.
The Call of Duty games were used in esports, starting in 2006, alongside the game released at the time, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Over the years, the series has extended with releases such as Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Games are played in leagues like Major League Gaming.
Players can compete in ladders or tournaments. The ladders are divided into several sub ladders such as the singles ladder, doubles ladder, team ladder (3v3 – 6v6) and hardcore team ladder (3v3 – 6v6). The difference between the regular team ladder and the hardcore team ladder is the in-game settings and thus a rule differentiation. Winning ladder matches on a competitive website rewards the user with experience points which add up to give them an overall rank.
The tournaments offered on these websites provide players with the opportunity to win cash prizes and trophies. The trophies are registered and saved on the player's profile if/when they win a tournament and the prize money is deposited into his or her bank account. Call of Duty: Ghosts was the most competitively played game in 2014, with an average of 15,000 teams participating every season.
For the past 6 seasons in competitive Call of Duty, Full Sail University has hosted a prize giveaway, giving $2,500 to the top team each season. The other ladders give out credits and medals registered on players' profiles. Tournaments hosted on the Call of Duty: Ghosts's Arena give cost from 15 to 30 credits, thus averaging at a cost of about $18.75 per tournament. If the player competes with a team, the prize money is divided and an equal cut is given to each player. Other tournaments with substantial prizes are hosted in specific cities and countries for LAN teams.
The biggest Call of Duty tournament hosted was Call of Duty: Experience 2011, a tournament that began when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was released.
Playing Call of Duty competitively is most popular in Europe and North America, with users who participate in tournaments and ladder matches daily. Competitive players have an average of 500,000 followers on social media.
Activision launched a 12 team Call of Duty League, following a similar city-based franchise structure as the Overwatch League, in January 2020. The league's teams include those from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, London, Minnesota, New York, Paris, Seattle and Toronto, and with two teams from Los Angeles.
Modern Warfare 2 controversies
Modern Warfare 2 on release had a number of controversial matters. Most significantly, one level "No Russian" had the player experience a massacre of civilians at a Russian airport.
Fallout with Infinity Ward leadership
As Infinity Ward's founders Jason West and Vince Zampella started new contract negotiations to continue developing the Call of Duty Activision around 2007, a number of legal issues around between Infinity Ward and Activision. Ultimately, West and Zampella were forces out of Infinity Ward, later forming Respawn Entertainment within Electronic Acts. West and Zampella, as well as several Infinity Ward staff that left around the same time, filed lawsuits against Activision related to unpaid royalties and bonues. These lawsuits were ultimately settled by 2012.
Trademark infringement claims by AM General
AM General, the manufacturer of the Humvee, sued Activision in 2017 for using the Humvee in multiple Call of Duty games. A federal district judge gave Activision a summary motion in its favor to dismiss the case in April 2020, stating that the purpose of the use of the Humvee in the games, to provide military realism, was far different than the trademark purpose that AM General had established, for selling to the military.
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