Talk about the ultimate Tug of War. The Call of Duty series (one of my personal favs) has been in the middle of an intense battle between two developers: Treyarch and Infinity Ward. The companies themselves don't actually square off. But there are die-hard supporters for each side's interpretation of the series. These people frequently spar, especially when new installments of the franchise hit shelves. Here is how it all breaks down. Just the facts ma'am.
Treyarch: USA. 1996. For being a developer that is almost 15 years old, Treyarch has a pretty short list of titles. While many developers have made their names by improving an engine or element of gaming overall, Treyarch has remained low key. They have definitely been one of the few developers that have been really in tune with their audience. They offer frequent updates on developing games, public Beta testing, even free iPhone applications. They also know how to give gamers all the crazy stuff they want. Pack of blood-thirsty dogs? Why not. Flamethrower? Yes please. Nazi zombies? Like you had to ask. One of Treyarch's emerging skills is their ability to be realistic and true to history, (minus the Nazi zombies). Their major contribution in the last decade have been Call of Duty 2, 3, 4 for the Wii and World at War. Old school shooters are now what they do best. Keep your eyes peeled for Call of Duty 7 which will supposedly draw strongly on the movie Apocalypse Now.
Infinity Ward: USA. 2002. This developers originated with a team of about 20 employees who broke off together after working on the Medal of Honor series. Infinity Ward has not made any games outside of the Call of Duty franchise, but their contributions have changed the course of the series. Their strongest input to the games includes raising the bar of weapon management. Every time this developer touches the series, there are more weapons, additional attachments, and realistic applications. They are also known for adding one of the most controversial moments in gaming when the player is given the option to participate in a level where they begin by executing a large crowd of civilians in an airport. While some viewed the optional mission as tasteless, others acknowledged that it was definitely one of the most emotionally powerful moments in video game history.
There is something that people might be able to notice about the descriptions of the two companies. They worked hand-in-hand on some titles. Yes, TOGETHER. Both companies publish and work directly with Activision. The teams even work cohesively on titles like Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty 4 for the Wii. Both developers are great in different ways. Infinity Ward has branched to a far more modern style of shooting game. They love to utilize technology and cutting edge weaponry. While Treyarch likes to put lots of detail into their maps and surroundings as well as really invest time in their fanbase. The bottom line on the two developers: they are both great. I love them both and you will too.
On a more personal note, the universe should take time to congratulate my co-blogger Lindsey on giving birth to the world's newest gamer. May her tiny skull grow to be filled with a wealth of weapon loadout knowledge and multiplayer maps. Congrats lady face !