Surprise, there will be a new Call of Duty game this year. It’s Infinity Ward’s turn to hit and we’ve known for some time that its next game is the sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare. Today, Infinity Ward formally announced the name of the game along with a logo: Modern Warfare 2.
If you’re thinking, “Wait, Activision already used that name the last time there was a second Modern Warfare game,” you’re correct. Just as Modern Warfare confusingly mimicked the name of the 2007 Call of Duty game that kicked off its popularity, the new Modern Warfare 2 has an identical twin, Modern Warfare 2, released in 2009.
This last Modern War was very good, so I’m excited, but wow, what a name confusion. I didn’t mind the replay as much with the first Modern Warfare reboot because, at least in this game’s case, the two games have slightly different names – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare vs. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Some people call the old game just “Call of Duty 4”, so distinguishing between them isn’t too bad. Not the case when it comes to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 vs. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It’s just two different sequels with the exact same name.
I think Infinity Ward marketed itself into a corner when it named the first reboot. If you want fans to know that your new game is a direct continuation of your last one, especially in a series like CoD that zigzags between three simultaneous sub-series, it’s a good idea to put a ‘2’ on it. Modern Warfare 2-2 (2022) won’t be confusing for anyone following the series, but it’s sure to cause a headache somewhere down the road.
It doesn’t help that, in every way that matters, this new Modern Warfare series is entirely different from the original trilogy that ended in 2011. Modern Warfare 2019’s story doesn’t follow the 2007 original – it should be its own thing. His only real connections come from his decision to rip out recognizable names like Captain Price and Gaz and attach them to completely new characters played by different actors. It’s as if a new generation of Power Rangers has taken up the crime-fighting mantle, but also decided to keep the names of the last teens who wore the suits.
I’ll at least take some comfort in the fact that Infinity Ward makes pretty good Call of Duty games these days. The last time they did a CoD, it became the most popular game in the series (a feat Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard couldn’t achieve) and spawned Call of Duty: Warzone. That’s probably why Infinity Ward is also tasked with making the next iteration of Warzone, whatever it looks like.