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 One Night With the Most-Hated Game on the Internet

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HolyHandGrenade
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PostSubject: One Night With the Most-Hated Game on the Internet   Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:48 am

You’d be hard pressed describing spending the night playing Modern Warfare 3 as some kind of chore, at least to people who only ever really engage with video games casually. Sounds fun enough, they presume. It certainly beats laying bricks or pulling beers; it’s not like it’s work.

To closer friends of mine, however, my plan to play MW3 for the night was met with mostly mild bemusement – from regular Call of Duty players and staunch non-fans alike. The former were surprised I’d resisted for so long, assuming I had some kind of long-running beef with the series. The latter failed to grasp why I’d bother and were confused as to when and why I’d suddenly become extraordinarily partial to Call of Duty.

The truth is in neither, really. I don’t feel especially strongly about Call of Duty either way. Not these days, anyhow. I finished the single-player campaign of Modern Warfare 3 at some point during the weeks following its release, shelved it and haven’t touched it since. My favourite Call of Duty title remains Call of Duty 2 and I can’t see that changing in the near future.

I didn’t want to play Modern Warfare 3 because I love or hate the series. I wanted to play it because it’s simultaneously one of the most loved and most hated game ever made.

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Very little about the way a game like MW3 will be remembered will actually make sense to our children. According to Activision’s reports more than 6.5 million copies of MW3 were sold on launch day (in just the US and UK alone). It grossed more money in five days than any other form of entertainment ever, nabbing $775 million in less than a week. Even today, it’s still the most-played game on Xbox Live.

The teams at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games know the figures. They can see how many millions of fans are playing every day, every week. But every time they visit Metacritic they’re met with a user score that places it amongst some of the most universally disliked games this generation. Every time they decide to wade through the comments of a Call of Duty article they’re swamped with vitriolic comments from gamers who dislike the series (although can’t help but click).

The strange thing isn’t that there are gamers who don’t like Call of Duty. The strange thing is they’re so much more prominent than the gamers that do.

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