When a franchise as gargantuan as Call of Duty hops onto your trend, it’s probably time to move on.
I’m happy to admit that only last month I was surprisingly entertained by the card game within NBA 2K17’s companion mobile app. I’m equally happy to tell you all that I’ve since stopped playing the game, precisely for the reason a reader helpfully pointed out: it’s unashamedly reliant on pay-to-win mechanics, and I got burnt out.
But hey, if the mobile card game spin-off works for Evolve, The Elder Scrolls, Titanfall, and seemingly everything else, why not Call of Duty?
The game, which promises the ability to customise over 40 cards featuring characters from the upcoming Infinite Warfare, soft launched in Australia on iOS today. It’s the first mobile spin-off for the COD series since the free-to-play base builder Call of Duty: Heroes was released a couple of years ago.
There’s a bit of inspiration from Clash Royale as well, as you’ll see in the gameplay below.
It’s interesting that one of Activision’s biggest franchises had a mobile hiatus in the first place, considering how prolific the publisher is with spin-off titles. The zombie mode from Call of Duty: World at War and the original Black Ops both got readapted for phones, and in 2013 Activision published a premium Call of Duty title, complete with first-person shooting sequences.
But in a post-Hearthstone world, card games are big business. And if you can get users to buy supply drops for your mobile game as well as the actual game, why not?
I was hoping that phones had become powerful enough that big publishers could just start spinning off mobile remakes of their original titles. But that’s akin to yelling at a cloud at this point, given how successful the strategy has been. Ask 2K.