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A Quick History of the Call of Duty Franchise

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The Call of Duty franchise forges a path year after year with the release of a new game title to its ever growing selection of FPS games.

Call of Duty now sits at 19 console releases (wow!) with the release of Black Ops 4. In addition, Activision has released 7 handheld Call of Duty titles and the infamous Call of Duty Online on top of the console releases.

Today, let’s take a little trip through the years and harken back to Call of Duty titles past.

Call of Duty – October 23rd, 2003

The true beginning of the legendary franchise, Call of Duty, was set in World War 2. The game did contain a multiplayer mode alongside its campaign experience, but the primary focus began with the single-player mode. The game took heavy inspiration from the popular Medal of Honor series, which also followed stories of the second World War. The game was released on PC & Mac and was developed by Infinity Ward.

Call of Duty: Finest Hour – November 16th, 2004

Finest Hour, Call of Duty’s first showing on consoles. The spin-off was developed by Spark Unlimited. Multiplayer began to appear as a more prominent feature and had 32 player LAN capability along with 16 player online lobbies. The release came exclusively to the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube console system and never got a PC release.

Call of Duty 2 – October 25, 2005

Infinity Ward’s first model for new kind of first-person shooter came in 2005 with Call of Duty 2. The game employed the regenerative health system for the first time, which then became industry and franchise standard. The multiplayer was widely praised for its snappy, twitch shooter mechanics and also began Call of Duty’s long standing tradition of map pack releases. The game has sold over 2 million copies.

Call of Duty 2: Big Red One – November 1, 2005

Similar to Finest Hour, Big Red One was an console exclusive spin-off. The game primarily focused on a single WW2 Infantry Division and their struggles during the war. The game received generally good ratings, but was largely overshadowed by the success of Call of Duty 2.

Call of Duty 3 – Nov. 7th, 2006

In 2006, Treyarch entered the Call of Duty Scene as Activision began the two-year alternating development cycle between Treyarch and Infinity Ward. The game’s mechanics differed from Call of Duty 2’s and had larger multiplayer maps than the previous releases. Many maps also included vehicles such as jeeps and tanks. The also featured the popular tug-of-war “War” mode and has sold over 6.4 million copies.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – Nov. 7th, 2007

For many, Modern Warfare was the beginning of a journey that still continues. IW’s first release of modern shooter shocked the industry and revamped its own franchise in the process. The game introduce bullet penetration and perk systems as well attachments. The classic class system we all know came from COD4. The game lit a fire that burns hot to this day with over 17 million copies sold.

Call of Duty: World at War – Nov. 11, 2008

Using the same engine developed for COD4, Treyarch adapted the class systems and other popular features of COD4 into a WW2 setting. The game notably included a much darker story and bloodier gore than the previous games. Treyarch also began its production the co-op Zombie modes. The game was not the same blockbuster hit of COD4, but still has sold a hefty 15 million copies.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Nov 10th, 2009

Continuing on the success of COD4, Infinity Ward decided to remain in the modern arena of battle. MW2’s campaign was a direct sequel to the first game and the multiplayer brought a new tier of perks called Pro Perks. The game also was the first time the “Nuke” was introduced. Back then, the Nuke killstreak was simple 25 killstreak and all other killstreak counted towards getting the Nuke. The game roared into stores with 25 million copies sold so far.

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Nov. 9th, 2010

Treyarch saw the success of modern shooters and decided to create its own world within the Cold War. The game began the Black Ops story arc in earnest with major characters like Woods and Mason. Treyarch’s Create-a-Class 2.0 brought the addition of character customization for reticles, emblems, and more. The game broke the bank with an insane 30 million copies sold so far.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – Nov. 8th, 2011

The franchise’s biggest release, MW3, carried much the same gameplay as the previous titles. The Nuke streak was changed to only allow for gun kills to count towards it and other minor changes were made. The game’s development was little haphazard due to a legal dispute that led to big layoffs at Infinity Ward. Sledgehammer Games was brought in to help with the game and the game sold over 30.5 million copies.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Nov. 12th, 2012

Black Ops 2 brought with it the first usage of the Pick-10 system for Create-a-Class, an in-game ranked system called League Play, and introduced the weapon progression systems to level up guns individually. The game produced high critical and fan acclaim, with many community member heralding it as the pinnacle of Call of Duty. The game sold over 29 million copies.

Call of Duty: Ghosts – Nov. 5th, 2013

Ghosts takes place in a dystopian future where the best of the best warriors fight to maintain some control of the US. They are the Ghosts. While the game lacked some Black Ops 2 feature set, it still sold 28 million copies and received decent reviews. The gameplay remained similar to that of MW2 and MW3 with the addition of map-altering dynamic elements. The game also notably was the first to have playable female soldiers.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Nov. 4th, 2014

Sledgehammer Games’ first standalone outing to the Call of Duty franchise brought with it a ground-shaking change. The typical boots on the ground gameplay of previous titles was set aside in favor of jump-packs/booster-packs.

The new mechanic allowed players to fly upwards and boost to either side in quick bursts. The change was seen as a way to spice up the gameplay of Call of Duty as fans were growing tired of the same old thing. Additionally, Titanfall’s (game with similar mechanics) release and success might have also played a role. The game sold over 21 million copies, a significant decrease from previous years.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – Nov. 6th, 2015

Treyarch’s now classic gameplay mechanics and gunplay also took to the skies in Black Ops 3. The gameplay systems such as League Play (now Arena) remained largely intact, but the core gameplay mechanics were changed to booster-packs as in AW. Treyarch own twist on the idea limited the amount of jumping/flying with a boost meter that refilled periodically.

Black Ops 3 also introduced wall-running into the franchise and created Specialists, characters with unique game-changing abilities. The game sold around 26 millions copies.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Nov. 4th, 2016

Infinity Ward’s latest addition to the series carried over the ideas of Specialists (Combat Rigs) from Treyarch’s Black Ops 3 and gave each of them unique “Traits” to choose from. The gameplay predominately resembled Black Ops 3, but with the gunplay of the IW games. The setting has futuristic and the campaign was mostly featured in space or other planets/moons. The game sold around 12.6 million copies.

Call of Duty: WWII – Nov. 3rd, 2017

After three years, Call of Duty returned to the boots on the ground gameplay after fans reception for the previous games proved lackluster. WWII featured a gritty story campaign and naturally primarily focused on the multiplayer of the game. Create-a-Class was changed with the removal of perks and the addition of overarching Divisions which contain the aforementioned perk abilities.

The gameplay was generally faster than previous CoD games set on the ground due to high sprint speeds and kill speeds. The game sold around 12 million copies.

So, there’s all the console releases of Call of Duty. What’s your favorite? Tell us at @CharlieIntel . If you haven’t played one, go out and buy it when its on sale. In addition to the above, below is a short list of the other CoD releases not listed/explained above.

  • Call of Duty: Roads of Victory (PSP)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized (Nintendo DS)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops DS (Nintendo DS)
  • Call of Duty: Zombies & Zombies 2 (iOS)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified (PS Vita)
  • Call of Duty: Strike Team (iOS)
  • Call of Duty: Heroes (iOS & Android)
  • Call of Duty: Online (China Only)

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Blizzard Chief Legal Officer resigns as Activision Blizzard lawsuit controversy continues

Turmoil at Activision Blizzard continues as new investigations & details surface on the harassment lawsuit.

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The turmoil over the lawsuit for Activision Blizzard continues as a high profile executive of the company has announced their departure.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Chief Legal Officer, Claire Hart, has shared on her LinkedIn that she’s left the company on Friday, September 17.

Hart said in her message on LinkedIn that “the past three years have been full of unexpected twists and turns, but I feel honored to have worked with and met so many great people at Blizzard and across the Activision Blizzard businesses.”

She did not comment on whether her departure was related to what was happening at the company currently. Activision Blizzard also declined to comment beyond confirming her departure.

The news of her departure comes as this week the company confirmed new investigations by the SEC over the company’s handling of the lawsuit scandal.

This week, the situation heated up as Activision Blizzard is now under investigation by the SEC for potentially misleading investors over the brevity of the lawsuit and harassment that occurred at the company.

Activision Blizzard confirmed that they are cooperating with the SEC as part of their investigation into the company.

The lawsuit from California State, which surfaced in July, primarily focused on Blizzard Entertainment’s harassment and scandal issues, including sexual harassment, inequality amongst staff pay, and more issues.

Blizzard’s President of J. Allen Brack was the first executive to leave the company, resigning at the end of July. He was replaced by Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal as the new co-leaders of Blizzard Entertainment.

So far, Activision Blizzard has refused to met employee’s demands to chart a better future for the company. An employee group, A Better ABK, has been formed to provide their feedback to the executive team.

In other news in regards to Blizzard, the Executive Producer of Overwatch 2 is departing Blizzard this week.

Chacko Sonny, who was highly respected at Blizzard and seen as the person to chart Overwatch’s future following Jeff Kaplan’s departure, told staff in an email that he’s leaving, per Bloomberg. Sonny was perviously one the masterminds behind Call of Duty ELITE service back in 2011.

We’ll continue to update as the situation unfolds.

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Activision Blizzard provides update on workplace initiatives as US government opens investigation

Activision Blizzard is now being investigated by the SEC over sexual misconduct and discrimination allegations, as fallout from initial lawsuit continues.

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The fallout on Activision Blizzard over the initial revelations of workplace harassment at the company continues as the company is now facing new legal challenges from U.S government agencies.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has issued a report stating that the SEC, the Securities and Exchange Committee, opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard recently over the workplace harassment and pay inequality issues.

The SEC has also subpoenaed Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to appear in court, along with several other Activision Blizzard senior executives. Specific names beyond Kotick were not shared.

The SEC is investigating whether Activision Blizzard’s failure to provide proper information in regards to the harassment and inequality situation prior to it becoming public via the California state lawsuit on July 21, 2021 caused investors to lose money over a drop in the company’s stock prices.

The WSJ states that, per documents and files they’ve reviewed, the SEC is asking for information dating back to 2019.

The agency is specifically inquiring about the communications of senior executives over the harassment and diversity situation and what decisions were made at that time.

Activision Blizzard’s Chief Communications Officer, Helaine Klasky, confirmed to WSJ that the SEC is investigating the company and confirmed they are cooperating with the SEC.

In addition to the SEC, the WSJ reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been investigating Activision Blizzard separately since May 2020 over workplace misconduct and discrimination.

Per reports, Activision Blizzard and the agency are in talks over a settlement agreement which would see the company pay millions of dollars in fines.

Activision Blizzard has been under fire since the California DEFH lawsuit came to light on July 21, 2021.

Employees of the company formed a group, known as A Better ABK, to list their demands and how they want to proceed forward with the company, following a company wide walkout in July. So far, the company’s executives have not met their demands.

Activision Blizzard provides update

Since these new investigations have come to light, Activision Blizzard has issued a statement revealing some progress that the company claims to have made over the last two months.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, “We are deeply committed to making Activision Blizzard one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere. There is absolutely no place anywhere in our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. While we continue to work in good faith with regulators to address and resolve past workplace issues, we also continue to move ahead with our own initiatives to ensure that we are the very best place to work. We remain committed to addressing all workplace issues in a forthright and prompt manner.”

Activision Blizzard confirmed investigations are underway by the SEC and the EEOC, which were reported by the WSJ. The company says that they are “cooperating” with the investigations.

Kotick also said that the Company continues to productively engage with regulators, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) with the goal of improving its workplace policies and procedures and ensuring compliance.

The Company is actively engaged in continued discussions with the EEOC and has cooperated with the EEOC’s investigation concerning certain employment practices. It also confirmed that it is complying with a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoena issued to the Company and several current and former employees and executives regarding disclosures on employment matters and related issues. The Company is confident in its prior disclosures and is cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.

In addition, Activision Blizzard states that they have made several changes to the company and the company’s culture. They state that there have been many exits from the company and have “refreshed” their HR team.

Activision Blizzard recently announced the hiring of Julie Hodges as their new Chief People Officer, who will be responsible for HR. Hodges begins her role on Sept. 21. She replaces the current head of HR, who has left the company.

Activision Blizzard has made a number of important improvements including significant changes to personnel, exiting a number of employees, and expanding compliance resources. In addition, the Company has refreshed its HR organization and, this week, will welcome a new Chief People Officer, Julie Hodges, who joins the Company from The Walt Disney Company. The Company has also expanded training, performance management, and anti-harassment resources.

We’ll continue to provide updates on the situation with Activision Blizzard.

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Activision Blizzard hires new head of HR as harassment lawsuit scandal continues

Activision Blizzard hires two new executives as fallout over the harassment lawsuit continues.

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Activision Blizzard has announced the hiring of two new senior executives as the company continues to face challenges with the harassment and diversity lawsuit.

The new executives will join later this month, with one coming from The Walt Disney Company, and other from Delta Airlines.

The first new hire is Julie Hodges, who will be joining the company as the Chief People Officer. Hodges worked at The Walt Disney Company for years.

Activision Blizzard says she will be responsible for building and reshaping the company’s corporate HR and people team.

Activision Blizzard’s press release describes her role as:

Ms. Hodges brings more than three decades of global human resources experience in entertainment and an impeccable record of shaping corporate culture. She will be responsible for the company’s global talent organization, making Activision Blizzard the destination for top talent. In her role, she will lead all aspects of human resources, including diversity, equity and inclusion, talent acquisition, employee experience, learning and development, compensation and benefits and workforce planning.

“I can’t think of a better person to join our team and help lead our ongoing commitment to an inclusive workplace,” Kotick said. “Julie is the seasoned leader we need to ensure we are the most inspiring, equitable and emulated entertainment company in the world.”

“I share the company’s belief that a work environment should welcome all perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds,” Hodges said. “A workforce where everyone feels valued is critical to the success of our business, as is a trusting, engaging and safe environment that encourages creativity and innovation and in which all employees can thrive. It takes a collective effort to do this, and I’m looking forward to ensuring that we support the diversity of our talent to bring our people together and continue creating amazing entertainment.”

Per the company’s press release, the current Chief People Officer Claudine Naughton is leaving the company. This comes as Activision Blizzard is engulfed in the harassment and diversity lawsuit scandal in the state of California.

The lawsuit, which first came to light on July 21, has shined a light on many of the incidents that took place at Activision Blizzard – from sexual harassment, in-equality, lack of diversity, and more.

The state of California recently further updated their lawsuit to claim Activision Blizzard’s HR team was shredding documents relevant to their investigation.

Ms. Hodges will start her role on September 21 in a rocky time for the company. Employees continue to demand action and change from the executives, including the removal of arbitration clauses. The employees formed a group recently, A Better ABK, to jointly file a labor suit against the company.

The company said in the press release that these new hires will “help the company build a more inclusive workplace as well as diversify and grow its revenue.”

Activision Blizzard also announced another new executive joining the company. Sandeep Dube will join the company from Delta Airlines as the new Chief Commercial Officer. Dube replaces Armin Zerza’s open role, who was promoted to Chief Financial Officer.

Activision Blizzard press release says Mr. Dube will oversee Activision’s global Sales and Go-To-Market teams. He will be responsible for developing and implementing commercial strategy and delivering on the company’s revenue growth plan.

“Sandeep is a rare leader who not only has the ability to expand our global go-to-market teams, but also bring his diverse experience from an accomplished career to unite our commercial group,” Mr. Kotick said. “Our mission is to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment. While Sandeep connected the world through air travel at Delta, he created a growth-oriented culture that was focused on the very best customer experiences. The innovations he inspired created incredible customer loyalty. We are excited to continue our work on revenue growth with an even greater focus on recognizing and rewarding our players.”

Mr. Dube said, “I couldn’t be more excited to join this team and work together to continue building our inclusive culture and to expand our audiences.”

Dube will start his role on September 27.

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