Warface is the new Call of Duty
Since the original Modern Warfare was releases, the Call of Duty franchise has experienced soaring highs in both sales figures and worldwide renown, though not without its persistent naysayers. As we know, any news piece or video or anything to do with Call of Duty will have the comments section filling up with the usual negative opinions about the game’s current quality. That generally applies to most AAA games, but is specially vehement in Call of Duty players who, almost without fail, will draw comparisons between their favourite entry and the most recent one, between Infinity Ward and Treyarch, putting down Battlefield games in their eternal flamewar – but will also inevitably buy whichever COD game is newest, complaints or no. This reveals a definite discontent among the game’s fanbase, and that’s why Crytek’s Warface poses a bigger risk than any game has before.
Warface’s beta began officially this year, on the 17th of January, and already its numbers are climbing. In Russia, Warface boasts 9 million users (based on beta players). Seeing as that’s just one territory, and that the game isn’t yet out of beta, it’s easy to see the competition Crytek’s new game poses to current FPS heavyweights Call of Duty and Battlefield. And part of its success is Crytek’s opting to adopt a free-to-play model for Warface. One of the biggest drawbacks of BF and COD is that they sell at retail price, and then go on to offer map packs, VIP passes, and other content at rather high premiums. Whereas Warface is free, making it cheaper to play than an expansion pack. That accessibility makes it a no-brainer for fans of twitchy, competitive FPS gamers who want to try something a little different. And running on CryEngine 3 makes it a large step up from the aesthetic impetus COD currently offers.
Is there really a way to dethrone the behemoth of Call of Duty? Battlefield is the largest attempt at that to date, and that merely created a separate niche and fanbase, drawing new players to it, not jaded COD veterans. It’s quite possible that Warface will similarly create yet another environment for gamers to play in alongside other games, and not leech players out of other franchises entirely. That creates an interesting dynamic of fanbases, since zealotry is still so common in spite of cross-franchise support from players.
It is, of course, still early in Warface’s presence in the combat arena, but it is an undeniable new force in the gaming industry. Only time will tell if it is enough to topple the kings, but even if it doesn’t quite get there, its place in gamers’ regards is cemented and guaranteed.