Why It's Stupid To Hate Call Of Duty

Among many of those who like to label themselves as a "gamer", there is no franchise more reviled than Call of Duty. The merest mention of its name sends people flying to post anonymous comments blasting the game as the very model of everything that's wrong with video games today.

Take a look at any comments section on almost any video game site on Earth and you'll see the same thing. People wondering aloud why the series is so popular, complaining about its incremental updates, mocking its design and lambasting those who have the tenacity to actually enjoy it.

Those people are idiots.

There is nothing wrong with not liking Call of Duty. Everybody has different tastes in gaming, and what might compel one person to line up for hours in the middle of night might cause another to...stay at home and get a good night's sleep. Some people will like what the series offers, others won't, that's life.

But there's something wrong with hating Call of Duty, especially to the level many people bury themselves in at this time of year. I mean, what drives you to hate a video game? To work yourself up into such a state that you feel the need to project that hate, to continuously remind the world of how much you don't enjoy it?

It's a question that's often perplexed me, much like it did Lisa Simpson when she wondered "why would they come to our concert just to boo us?". But it's also a question I think I have an answer for.

You don't really hate Call of Duty. But you do enjoy being an obnoxious elitist.

Maybe you preferred it when video games were seen as "uncool". Maybe you feel the media attention and mainstream acceptance the series draws is somehow unfair. Maybe the people who enjoy the games aren't the kind of people you hang out with on vicious internet forums, so don't fit your myopic vision of what a true "gamer" constitutes.

It could be any one of those things, any combination of them, or many more, it doesn't matter. Hating Call of Duty is part of the identity you've created for yourself. You're not some mainstream thug who only buys Madden and Call of Duty once a year. Those people aren't "real gamers". You're a real gamer, someone who pre-ordered Dark Souls, who has been collecting JRPGs since childhood, who still visits arcades, who somehow has the ability to love one multinational corporation and hate another, even though their goals are exactly the same.

Running around the internet screaming about how much you hate Call of Duty is thus part of this identity. It's the enemy, the other, the yang to your yin. You wouldn't be the gamer you think you are if you didn't hate everything this series stood for.

The thing is, the identity you're clinging to is bullshit. You can't own a passion for a medium, or hope to dictate its tastes by whining about it. People don't walk around calling themselves "moviers", and pretend they're the only ones allowed to watch films. Everybody watches movies, some more than others, everyone with their own likes and dislikes. Same with books, same with TV, same with music.

So let it go, will you? You're not preserving anything. So what if millions of people enjoy a video game you don't? Let them! There are plenty of valid reasons to criticise the franchise, sure, but there are plenty of valid reasons to love it as well, and if people want to love it - and millions of them do, every November - you raining on their parade every chance you get isn't going to stop them.

It's just going to make you look like an arsehole.


    COD should be applauded for bringing gaming to the mainstreams so we dont look so geekish talking about what video game we are playing at a party.

    I feel like this was written directly to Neo-Kaiser.

      How the fuck was it written to me when I like the CoD series, have been playing the CoD series since the first, clearly detailed what I mainly hate about the CoD series (that isn't related to the actual game) and hate the trolling hate it's been given?

      Christ, learn to actually read what people say instead of assuming anybody who doesn't praise it is being an elitist dick.

        I feel like this was written directly to Luke Plunkett.

    Yeeshk. I'm going to say some people dislike the series because it's taking away some of the staples of PC games like dedicated servers. But hey, I'm fairly open minded and tend to like any decent game really.

    What is the point of this? A fan boy post saying people who don't like COD are arseholes and stupid? Fabulous.

      Without these bizarre rants from time to time, Kotaku US would consist only of single-line 'articles' about some picture or YouTube clip, or copypasta from sites with real journalism like RPS (or Kotaku AU!).

        Seems that way doesn't it. Do they even approve articles? Surely any sort of editor wouldn't allow such tripe to go out...

          Hahaha, Mike. "Do they even approve articles? Surely any sort of editor wouldn’t allow such tripe to go out…"

          Remember, these are the same people (correct me if I am mistaken) that let http://gizmodo.com/5833787/my-brief-okcupid-affair-with-a-world-champion-magic-the-gathering-player have the go-ahead.

          Actually this is the exact sort of tripe that Kotaku US want's.

          As they are owned by Gawker(i believe) which pays it's author's by the hit's for their articles not the quality.

          So posting a Video is free money hence the 1 line articles.

          And posting stuff like this which is obvious nerd bait. created to get hit's and stir debate in a hope of having people return to the article to see the furious rant's in the comment's.

            I both hate Kotaku for putting this obviously attention-grabbing headline to justify its revenue, and myself for clicking the link. I shall now know better in future!

      Hate's such a strong word, I prefer indifferent.

    I have no love for CoD but +1 to this article.

    How are you enjoying that $79 map pack you call "MW3"?

    I hate it because Activisions decisions spread to other publishers, and what Activision sees as justifiable will eventually spread to other games. This is inherently a bad thing (refer to Dedicated Servers, Mod Tools, Console).
    I also dislike those who buy the games because you are putting money into the pockets of a company who has lost sight with what it is to develop video games, rather seeing it as a business and simply riding the cash cow.

    I now hate working in the games industry and wish I'd studied economics or business instead of working my arse off to earn a degree in video games (Yeah, they exist).

    I also disagree with you comparing games to movies, tv and music. People hate certain kinds of music. I guarentee you that many people hate slipknot and that stupid death metal music genre. Others don't. However those people who hate slipknot are entitled to their opinion.

    When it comes down to it, I know plenty of people who hate (not just "dislike") TV shows such as Friends, Seinfield, *Insert newest reality tv show*.

    Essentially what you're saying is you don't believe people "Hate" certain movies/tv/music which shows that you are either a complete idiot, or have a rather different opinion on the definition of the word "hate"

      Also, if you want an example of a games company who listen to their fans and responds accordingly, refer to valve.
      I've only ever heard a handful of people say they "hate" any valve game, with the exceptions referring to the art style of TF2.

      *cough* Forgot to call you a cod fan boy

        Very very very well put. Luke basically is saying that if you dislike COD and voice your opinion about it you are a moron and elitest WHO JUST DOESNT GET IT MAAAAAAAAAAAHN.

          It's nothing to do with not getting it dude, conversely it's about people who "get it" to such a large degree that they think it is below them and purely the domain of more casual or mainstream gamers. That is my thoughts anyway... I think the point is... why hate something when it is just a product to make money off you? Just like every other game. It's like the Apple/PC thing going on at the moment, just see Gizmodo for examples of this boring anti-Apple thing. I mean, I'm not a huge fan of Apple, but then again I'm not a huge fan of Windows, and I'm not a fan of other PC manufacturers. I think brand relating fanboyism or anti-fanboyism is really stupid. Wow this entire comment is a mess. Anyway, I don't mean anything in a totally negative or hateful way or nuthin, it's Friday afternoon! Just ma two CENTZ.

            The best justification i have ever heard for someone ranting about their dislike of COD's current direction. Is that other games tend to follow the same pathways, Hell Homefront could and should have had a wicked story and game but instead was just another quick 4 hour game with a cliffhanger.

            Something which doesn't exist in other avenue's because companies try to do there own thing's to a larger extent. MAC's are hardware locked crap imo, but i don't need to rag on them because it's not like everything else is trying to do the same thing.

            Because once someone has a MAC they don't need another one until that one breaks/becomes crap. However when it comes to a shooter. Well in 3-6 month's people might want to play a new one even if it's only to take a break from COD for a month. And the mainstream players who weren't here 10 years ago and only really know COD and Halo. Want games that play like those 2. They don't want to learn new system's or new game mechanic's.

            It run's the risk of doing what WoW did to MMO's, Creating alot of inferior clone's in the hope's of tapping into the same market. MMO's ran into the problem that they want a subscription which you probably aren't forking out for when you play a clone and as a result the genre is starting to evolve again.

            However aside from add on DLC, All a generic COD clone needs to do is sell you the game, and hope they make enough sales before the shelves are full of used copies to make a profit

        Chazz, Charles and a few others are some of the very few that understood the article. Firstly, the article is directed towards people that something (not just Call of Duty) with a passion and for the simple reasons of being "obnoxious elitist". There are people who do hate COD for genuine reasons, and there's no problem with that; you can actually justify why you hate it and are probably not so outspoken about it either. But if you feel offended by what Luke has said in this article, you prove the exact point he is trying make. His overall point is that you shouldn't go out of your way to hate a form of entertainment, because in the end, what the hell is point of it!

      Congratulations on not understanding the article at all. His problem (and mine too) is not about wether or not people hate a certain game/movie/album/artist/brand of rice. It's about making such a huge deal out of it.
      If you don't like the game or the series or the company, just dont buy it. There, I've solved your problem. If there is a shit movie which is somehow still popular (eg Transformers 3) I don't jump round the internet screaming at how aweful i think it is. I just dont watch it.

      On another note - Luke, this article should have been writen without COD as a basis. The principle applies to almost every other thing people "hate". But with that heading your going to pull the wrong crowd ^

        No, I think he understood the article. He says he hates COD because its massive success suggests to the industry that some of the things it doesn't do or doesn't do well aren't that important. Choosing not to give Activision your money won't do much about that.

        Honestly the only tool that feels effective to signal to publishers that dedicated consoles, mod support and level design that requires you to engage with its mechanics is to whinge loudly in comment threads and forums. Whether it is or not is another issue, but the point is it feels like a job done.

        Admittedly the games industry is a lot less follow-the-leader than it's ever been, thanks to the wholesale destruction of the mid-tier developers. Remember when every publisher and their dog had a WW2 shooter?

          Sure, there are VALID reasons to dislike Call of Duty. No one is arguing against that. But to the extent that people go to, to make it known that they 'hate' or 'dislike' Call of Duty is far fetched. People hate on others simply because they prefer a game that they personally don't.

          Who gives a shit? Don't like the game, for whatever reason? Don't buy it, don't play it. Problem solved.

      Selling video games is a business. If you can't understand that, I suspect you may have struggled with economics anyway..

        I agree. I get the article, just don't agree with it.

        The game itself is not the problem. It's the ethos it embodies.

        "That'll cost extra".

        It's the executives that push the "1 COD a year" philosophy that piss people off. COD isn't about creating an enjoyable game for it's players, it's about "monetizing" them.

        Think back to Quake for example. ID promoted a community. There were free mod tools. Want a map?: go to one of a hundred free map sites.

        Now I'm all for making games profitably (Mr Carmack has a nice Ferrari), but milking customers for every cent is weak.

        When people say "We Hate COD", they are not taking about the game. They are saying "We Hate Getting Screwed".

          Except, they aren't getting screwed because next to zero developers are doing mod tools anymore, because they make more money selling maps as DLC because yes, this is a business, and no, you apparently still don't understand how that works.

            So despite working holding a university degree in the industry for the past 4 years I don't understand video games are a business?


          It's a game. If it wasn't enjoyable, nobody would buy it. Simple.

    I don't hate COD - it is a well-made series- but it does surprise me that so many people would pay full price every year for so little change. Maybe it's because I'm the single player type that likes to buy games that have lasting value and are worth experiencing over and over again but the idea of something that's designed to last only as long as the newest one replaces it the following year, isn't something I can get behind.

    Really it's not just about COD and it's not about elitism. The viability and continued huge success of any annual series threatens any risk-taking in the industry. It's particularly worrying when we get a game that actually tries something different and then you have people complaining because it's different to whatever other popular game they like.

    Elitism certainly drives a lot of the distaste for COD, but it's not the only thing.

    millions watch twilight, doesnt make it a good movie.

    and its critics, not moviers.

    your game sucks plunkett.

    I love being and arsehole.

      What does this even mean?

        That you have learned to post a reply.

        well done good sir.

        happy posting for the future.

          That was the worst comment ever.

    All I know is that after liking the game for a period of time is that I started to realise it was the same shit in a different colour bucket each time, and that I have perfectly legitimate reasons to dislike it and whinge and moan every time I see someone blatantly defending it. You can like it, I am allowed to not like it and you're not allowed to call me an arsehole and stupid for believing that. This article is wrong.

      I think I understand the comment referring to them recycling the same game.


        This made me lol.

        While it is likely some dev just had a brain fart and wrote 2 instead of 3 in that message box, the fact that is also very likely they just copy-pasta'd the whole game and changed the maps makes this so funny :P


    Luke seems to be implying (rather, outright stating) that anyone who really dislikes this game has something wrong with them and is an idiot.

    Troll article? EL OH EL.

    I hate it because in the battle between developers wanting to create and innovate, and the money men insisting on playing it safe and churning out yet another sequel, it's the standard bearer for the latter. How many games could have been created for the development budget of MW3?

      and how many creative movies could have been made for the cost of Transformers 3? It's pointless to speculate. I totally agree in theory, but if the shoe was on the other foot and someone said 'MarkD, would you like to make this high selling game and get 16 million dollars, or this more creative one and get 100,000 dollars?' I'd find it pretty difficult to go with the later.

    I couldn't care less about COD vs BF or trying to gain stripes in an internet dick waving match. I paid $ 90 for new game and instead got a map pack.

      You've pretty much summarised my entire problem with the franchise. Felt absolutely ripped off when I bought MW2 cause I paid $80 for some new maps. Not making that mistake again.


      hahaha! I agree.....but it won't happen.
      not as long as fanboys remain just that - "close-minded,my game is superior to yours in every way, your game sucks even if it has sold more copies, did i mention my game is superior, you suck, go die N00B!" mY [email protected] 4eVA!!! "- fanboys....

      I do believe you can be a fanboy, and not be a dick as well. They are a rare breed, but they're out there...

    Working at an ISP you learn to hate it because Activision put "NAT STRICT!!!!! ITS YOUR ISPS FAULT YOU DROP OUT OF GAMES!!! NOT OURS!!" and people call us asking for help on something we have no control over.

    Actually, if anything this post makes you look like an arsehole, no offense.

    I don't hate Call of Duty, I just don't enjoy it so I didn't buy it. The problem with the Call of Duty franchise is the way it has been turned into a cash grab by EA. The fact that the millions of people who buy it are then buying the DLC that contains a pathetic amount of content but then fragments the community for those who choose not to purchase said content by kicking gamers out of the room they were in because they don't have the map pack that magically appears more often in the rotation. But since people purchase these packs in droves the rest of the market wants to get in on this cash cow and offers similar DLC with little content and we're expected to just lap it up. If it wasn't Call of Duty it would be Halo or Gears of War or some other competitive game that everyone plays that we would be complaining about but the main source of that complaining is at the industry who is putting less and less into games in order to increase their profits.

    So instead of addressing the issue, people like YOU ridicule those that seek to judge the industry instead of entering into mature discussion, furthering the issue because people who are ignorant take your word, as someone part of the industry, as gospel and use it as an argument as to why they are right and everyone else is wrong.

    Granted this is your opinion but you just abused a lot of your readerbase for no other reason than to make yourself look good. I have news for you, you don't.

    Have a great weekend :)

      "The problem with the Call of Duty franchise is the way it has been turned into a cash grab by EA."

        you mean activision not ea

          Yeh sorry, was thinking that but cbf checking, just as bad as each other :P

      That's entirely the point - you're an informed gamer and you don't have to buy it or take part in it - the people that buy it are still most likely going to enjoy it and it's not going to change any time soon. It's like people who actively post negative comments and 'dislike' Justin Biebers Youtube videos - you don't HAVE to pay attention to it, and it's not a sign of a terrible music industry and 'there's no good music anymore wah wah wah' (sorry I get worked up about the music thing). If you don't like it, get over it, it's not going to change any time soon from a few negative comments on a video games blog. HAVE A GOOD FRIDAY AND WEEKEND TOO! I mean that unironically by the way.

    TBH, it's not the game that I dislike. I have enjoyed every single COD title; it's the people who play it online...nothing like being sworn at by a 12 year old because you killed him and he didn't like it.
    You can only put up with that sort of thing for a limited period of time before giving it in.

    Screw you Luke. I hate Call of Duty. I even hate Battlefield. I hate all of those modern-type war games. Not because I'm an "idiot" or an "obnoxious elitist", but because the thought of shooting realistic people in a realistic and pointless war sickens me. People have different ways of seeing things.
    I find articles written specifically to attract site hits by trolling the target audience much more obnoxious and idiotic than someone who says they hate a specific game.

      ...then get off the site? You claim to dislike bigotry however you display the same sentiments here....

        Did you hit the wrong reply button?
        Because nowhere in my post did I claim to hate bigotry, nor was I displaying bigotry myself.

      I think he may have been talking about a more specific form of hate. Whereby people hate the game for the sole purpose of hating something successful and mainstream. They then go on to spout vitriol towards the game, the publisher and their customers, just because the game doesn’t suit their own tastes and is too commercial. That type of person may think that the annual release structure results in a poor value game, but, since value is something that is perceived differently by everyone, how can they judge the game or the players based on that premise?
      Your dislike of war based games is rationally thought out and considered, whereas the people Luke is talking about base their “hatred” of the game/company/community on nothing more than subjective nonsense.
      I.e. I’m pretty sure you are not the demographic Luke’s identifying.

      (Hi Strange!)

        Oh I'm fully aware of what he meant, he just went about it completely in the wrong way. Insults were unnecessary and even kind of negated his point.

          Fair enough

            (Hi Eff!)

            Oh, and I probably should have been all mature and refrained from the "screw you" bit. But what the hell, sometimes you've got to live a little. :P

          His insults were well aimed, Strange. You know that. As much as we should try to always be polite there comes a time when one must call a spade a spade, even when it means being harsh. I have no love for KotakuUS but Luke has been nothing but 100% spot on with this article so whether his intentions were to generate hits or to make a point is irrelevant as he is still correct.

    Not sure if the "moviers" analogy was suitable.
    There are movie snobs out there who consider their own taste in films to be superior and deride people who enjoy mainstream/blockbuster films.
    Avatar is a great CoD comparison. The movie didn't have a lot of depth and was ridiculed for it's lack of story, but it was a visual feast and was overall an enjoyable film. It was a blockbuster. However, due partly to its huge success, the backlash towards it was extreme. It received far more criticism than was necessary. People "hated" the film for petty reasons in much the same way that some game snobs hate CoD.

      Wow, I was just about to make the exact same comparison. Avatar/COD mirror each other pretty well (besides the annual release schedule obviously :P).

      Anyway, this article could be written in reference to just about any major game, new console, etc and it would still have the same point. Everything that is popular (Mario comes to mind), has a vocal minority that will automatically 'hate' it in the comments (not so much on this website though, thankfully) and an article worded like this one isn't going to settle any of those dramas.

        Except the graphics in Avatar make you say "holy, F*n, Jesus." If a game is just a cheap thrill, the least they can do is wow us with awesome graphics...

    I enjoyed this rant - trolls needed a good public slap to the face. Why hate on other people for enjoying something - surely your time is worth more than that...or maybe it is't. That being said, I don't like the cheap shot at Dark Souls :(

    I hate it because of what it does to industry standards and how it creates negative precedents for developers. The game/series itself is not terrible by its own merits, but the spillover effects are the concern.

    The effects of the Call of Duty franchise run deep throughout the industry. The problem that people have with the franchise stem from the games, but they are contained outside of them, in their surroundings. No-one's sitting there saying "PEOPLE SHOULDN'T PLAY/ENJOY THIS GAME HURRRRRRRR", but they are worried about the effects of Call of Duty's immense success and what it means for the design of other games.

      ^ This this and this. I don't care about COD, its a popcorn game that I little interest in playing or paying attention to. What I find most worrying is the trend that games are being produced more and more for the masses, which is something that is a massive negative. People say the increasingly mainstream nature of video games is a good thing.. Good for who exactly? Shareholders or gamers?


    I like being an asshole on the internet because it makes people like Luke cry out like this. The whole article screams of butthurt.

      and you're the kind of person that makes 'gamers' retain the image of 'gamers', which since I play games, annoys me that I am associated with you.

        gamers are gamers - what are you on about?

    oh the irony of your article. i enjoy a few games of CoD occasionally with mates but not to often. Just because CoD made itself Mainstream does not mean it made Gaming Mainstream. Almost everytime I have been into a game shop or talked about games in public if im not talking about CoD i still get branded nerd and faggot (somehow these two are related) by guess who? Other CoD Players oh how awesome. 3 days ago in the video store i work in a young teenager asked if we had MW3 in i said no they are all out at the moment i suggested he could try something else. he said sure what you got i mentioned BF3 and various other shooters and he replied do i look like a fag to you?

      So you're going to do what? Paint all CoD fans with the same brush because of a few incidents? How about this, take a stroll through other articles (on any site) about CoD and notice the immature attitudes of those who hate on the franchise. No one group of fans is more mature than the other, whether in real life, online or in-game. There are ALWAYS people on ALL sides who act like idiotic children with a rage hard-on.

      It's about time people learnt this.

      You should have told that c**t to leave the store.

    Funny how the people raging back at this article are the same people who have been doing EXACTLY what Luke described.

    Great work folks, you've just proven his point.

      What? The same people who are doing EXACTLY what Luke describes? I disagree. Luke Plunkett seems to be describing hardcore elitist "REAL GAMER" types who HATE CASUALS, etc. A lot of people here are citing legitimate reasons for disliking it. It's worth noting that there ARE plenty of legitimate reasons for disliking, so it's silly to assume people who don't cite any reason dislike it because they are elitist arseholes.

        Maybe you should take a stroll through ALL the BF3 and MW3 articles of the few months on this site alone. It is indisputable fact that the majority of immature, elitist remarks are coming from those who prefer BF3.

    cod3 and skid marks...whats the difference?

    I'm an 'idiot' and 'obnoxious elitist' for disliking a game series?

    Fucking hell Kotaku AU; can't you just annex all US Kotaku material? Their 'journalists' are terrible.

      Wow. Really?!?!?

      "There is nothing wrong with not liking Call of Duty. Everybody has different tastes in gaming, and what might compel one person to line up for hours in the middle of night might cause another to…stay at home and get a good night’s sleep. Some people will like what the series offers, others won’t, that’s life.

      But there’s something wrong with hating Call of Duty, especially to the level many people bury themselves in at this time of year. I mean, what drives you to hate a video game? To work yourself up into such a state that you feel the need to project that hate, to continuously remind the world of how much you don’t enjoy it?"

      Learn to read.

        There's a difference between "dislike" and "not like".

          Disable is not able, to disadvantage is to not give advantage, to disagree is to not agree, to disaffirm is to not affirm, to dislike is to not like.

Join the discussion!