If the rumours floating around are to be believed, the upcoming instalment in the Call of Duty franchise, Advanced Warfare, took two years to write. When I say write I mean, the story line for the campaign, which is much shunned in the Call of Duty franchise.
I can admit when I am wrong. I just don't think we are there yet. I think that perhaps they are beginning to understand that COD is on top right now and that the only place they can go from there. So, how do you stay relevant when that is the case?
Well, you come in strong with a great single-player for a start. I'm not saying that this is going to be the greatest piece of video game writing, much less story writing, of the last few years. The whole idea of PMCs having no allegiance to a particular government and therefore we can't trust them is a little cliché.
With that said they must have something worth while if they got Kevin Spacey on board with it. Moreover, the story can be mediocre, Spacey is a world class actor and can bring authority and a commanding presence to any role. That should also help them out a bit.
People will argue that perhaps this is the best thing they can do to stay relevant or they can do X or Y. What people aren't suggesting, and to me this is the most obvious thing, stop making yearly instalments.
Also, I don't need a million pieces of DLC. One game every 2/3/4 years that significantly improves on what came before will keep dominance on the top spot. COD doesn't really have any serious competitors right now and it won't for a long time, but if they keep saturating the market with their own product and a breath of fresh air comes along and steals their user base, they have no one to blame but themselves.
Also, before I get the inevitable "BF is way better than COD"... two points:
1) Really? You think so? Did you see BF4's launch?
2) they are entirely different games. COD is procedural and competitive, play it like a robot would and you will dominate. BF is more open and fun. Want a jet to blow up stuff? go for it.
All in all this doesn't bring my expectations of the next COD up to positive levels but it means that perhaps I will refrain from calling it terrible until I see some more footage.