Many franchise fans feel that combining the stories of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops was a poor decision. The iconic first-person shooter series has had annual releases since the first installment in 2003, but multiple developers creating multiple different sub-series has kept things fresh for years. The first in the Modern Warfare line, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, released in 2007 while the first Call of Duty: Black Ops game released in 2010.
While the Call of Duty franchise has traditionally featured several separate sub-series and storylines, lately the line between these series has started to blur. Much of this crossover can be attributed to Call of Duty: Warzone, a free-to-play battle royal installment that has crossed over with both 2019's Modern Warfare and 2020's Black Ops Cold War. The game recently entered its third season, which transitioned Warzone's Verdansk map back to a version from 1984. This change to the map's layout includes a number of tributes to maps from the Black Ops franchise, which suggests that Warzone, Modern Warfare, and Black Ops all take place in a single consistent timeline. Captain Price, a staple character of the Modern Warfare titles, was also recently added to Black Ops Cold War as a playable Operator. While this crossover could simply be for fun, it is also another piece of evidence towards the two sub-series occupying one single timeline.
Many Call of Duty fans are not happy about the crossover between Modern Warfare and Black Ops, as evidenced by a recent Reddit post by user Tank9301. The passionate fan outlines how combining the two series messes with the timeline established by both previously separate storylines. For instance, 2019's Modern Warfare was a reboot rather than a continuation of the Modern Warfare trilogy that began in 2007. The fact that this title now takes place after the Black Ops series essentially makes it into Black Ops 5, rather than its own title. It is also pointed out that the two series are tonally distinct, with Modern Warfare being more grounded and gritty while Black Ops leans more heavily into fantastic elements such as mind control.
While fans debate over the crossover between Modern Warfare and Black Ops, the Call of Duty series as a whole shows no signs of distress. The colossal first-person shooter franchise recently passed 400 million lifetime sales, making it one of the most popular and influential video game franchises of all time.
The Call of Duty franchise has found a nice balance between frequent releases and consistent quality, and much of this success can be attributed to the multiple franchise developers. While a new game releases every year, the different sub-series ensure that neither the gameplay nor the ongoing story becomes too stale. Unfortunately the crossover between Modern Warfare and Black Ops risks upsetting that balance by making fans, such as Tank9301, question the validity of previous games in the series.
Thomas McNulty is an avid reader, writer, player and watcher from New Jersey. Movies, TV shows, video games, books and pop culture are personal passions, and he is thrilled to be writing about topics that are near and dear. If someone has a story to tell, they should be able to tell it. He is committed to delivering accuracy with every article and staying true to his voice.
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