On May 17, 2018, Activision, the publisher of the smash hit action FPS Call of Duty, has finally revealed their 15th CoD for their never-ending annual release: Call of Duty Black Ops 4. Fanboys, as always, are extremely psyched up for the game this October after watching various trailers of different game modes including the not-surprising multiplayer, another set of zombies and an entry that is entirely new to the series—Battle Royale.
Unfortunately, the time-long tradition of over-the-top explosive single-player campaign is suddenly gone from this year’s CoD. To many players, this is a dismay. For about half of the fans of the franchise, they’re alright with it. The mainstream crowd may look up for this year’s release but there is no denying true gamers, Twitch and YouTube content creators that this is just another cash grab tactic by the bigwigs of Activision.
Call of Duty has been around in the video game community ever since its debut back in 2003. Its first 4 releases, including the console exclusives Big Red One and Call of Duty 3, were set in high-octane, edge-of-your-seat World War II shooter. Unlike the WWII games before it such as Wolfenstein and the Medal of Honor franchise where you get to be a one-man army, Call of Duty changed the war shooter standards by making you feel vulnerable like any soldier that gets killed in an instant in a battlefield.
The game had you rely on other ally-AIs since the enemies were countless and smart. Combine that with superb sound effects, fast but tactical gameplay and stories that keep you compelled and you have yourself a recipe for a great title.
The introduction of the multiplayer in Call of Duty 2 was the first of many multiplayer shooters in which CoD is extremely known for today. Back then, it was the usual multiplayer shooter, but then it all changed in just a couple of years.
In 2007, Activision raised another bar for gaming by breaking their own WWII tradition: to create a new Call of Duty with everything modern: it was called Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. CoD4 was a groundbreaking multiplayer FPS that introduced new forms of gameplay: ludicrous customization for weapons, the introduction of class perks and killstreak rewards. It was an instant success and became one of the most accomplished games of the last decade, even bagging the Game of the Year trophy along with other multiple awards. In fact, it was the perfect shooter game—an engaging storyline for the campaign, topnotch sounds, realistic graphics and a highly addictive multiplayer that brought a lot of players to sleep deprivation and cutting classes and work.
It was from here that CoD would evolve for the next 11 years, making the title the best-selling gaming franchise of all time.
With such gripping multiplayer. It wasn’t soon before long that players would live stream their Call of Duty MLG 420 NO-SCOPE TRIPLE KILL reflexes to show off to the world.
Its biggest exposure, however, began in the holidays of 2012 with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The following year, the game peaked to as high as 12,000 viewers. It was regarded by many, especially pro players, as the best and most balanced multiplayer title for the professional CoD tournaments. It was for numerous reasons: it didn’t have any killstreaks but rather scorestreaks where you earn killing perks and map exposure for settling with objectives rather than just blindly killing other players. It was also considered to have the best maps for the competitive scene too, such as the fast-paced Hijacked map, the community-favorite Nuketown (in 2025 edition), Plaza and Magma. It didn’t have any of the fancy wallrides or jump jets at all. Just the regular quick gameplay but with some more skillful and tactical approaches than what the game had the years before. Not to mention, the old-favorite Zombies mode came back with fresh new maps and new stories to unravel. That alone was a hit in the Twitch community.
The following years from 2013 to 2018 were never years with high viewership. With the non-stop release by Activision every year, who wouldn’t be upset about it after Activision kept on bragging how everything was so “next-gen” starting from CoD Ghosts but it barely was anything different from their previous titles. Overall, the highest number of viewership was 8,000 viewers on regular days, according to Socialblade.com based on the CoD WWII views. If it’s a pro league, it turns into 25,000, which is still low considering it’s an esports event.
Now with Call of Duty Black Ops 4 on the rise and obviously looking to compete with other successful multiplayer games, will it finally reach an all-time high on Twitch based on viewerships? We will soon find out this October.