In the span of 10 years, Call of Duty has gone from a PC-only shooter to a billion dollar behemoth. The release of Call of Duty: Ghosts marks the 10th game in the main series, not counting the handheld and spin-off releases, and the series shows no signs of slowing down.
From Infinity Ward’s PC beginnings, the series dipped its toes in the console pool with Treyarch’s Call of Duty 3, but it was really Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that changed everything and made the series one of the top games on any platform. The follow-up from Treyarch took a decent, but unremarkable step sideways with its World War II-based World at War, and from there the series exploded. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 shattered entertainment records. After that, each subsequent Call of Duty game from both Infinity Ward and Treyarch raised the bar higher and higher, each earning more money than the last in a shorter period of time.
It is tough to put a measure on exactly how influential the series has become. It wasn’t the first online competitive shooter, but it is certainly the biggest. It didn’t design the control scheme it uses on consoles, but it made it so that scheme is the standard.
With all that in mind, it seems like a fitting time to look back at the series and see how far it has come.