Has the success of Call of Duty ruined a generation of shooter players? According to Tripwire Interactive’s John Gibson it has. In a recent interview, Gibson explains that Call of Duty ‘takes skill out of the equation’, and that developers of other games must make their shooters to appeal to the Call of Duty crowd.
“I feel like Call of Duty has almost ruined a generation of FPS players. I know that’s a bold statement, but I won’t just throw stones without backing it up,” said Gibson. In developing his latest game in the Red Orchestra franchise, Gibson said he kept running into problems with testing. He says that players kept complaining that the game ‘doesn’t feel like Call of Duty’.
Call of Duty has lots of devices that get kills with zero skill, says Gibson
“One of the things that Call of Duty does, and it’s smart business, to a degree, is they compress the skill gap. And the way you compress the skill gap as a designer is you add a whole bunch of randomness. A whole bunch of weaponry that doesn’t require any skill to get kills. Random spawns, massive cone fire on your weapons. Lots of devices that can get kills with zero skill at all, and you know, it’s kind of smart to compress your skill gap to a degree. You don’t want the elite players to destroy the new players so bad that new players can never get into the game and enjoy it.”
Gibson believes that in order to boil down shooters to appeal to this demographic, other developers need to take many of the realistic elements out of the equation, as well as pander to the new players. Old school shooter fans have been echoing Gibson’s sentiments for years, but Activision has continued to churn out iteration after iteration of the Modern Warfare brand of Call of Duty. And why not? The mass market is lapping it up, but it might be ruining an entire generation of shooter fans, according to this developer.