Surprise that comes a new Call of Duty game this year. It’s Infinity Ward’s turn to strike, and we’ve known for some time that its next game is the sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare. Today, Infinity Ward is formal announced the name of the game together with a logo: Modern Warfare 2.
If you’re thinking, ‘Wait, Activision already used that name the last time there was another Modern Warfare game,’ you’d be right. Just as Modern Warfare mistakenly mimicked the name of the 2007 Call of Duty game that started its popularity, the new Modern Warfare 2 has an identical twin, Modern Warfare 2, which was released in 2009.
The last Modern Warfare was pretty good so I’m excited, but wow what a mess with names. I did not mind the repetition with the first Modern Warfare restart, because at least in the case of that game, the two games have slightly different names – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare vs. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Some people just call the old game “Call of Duty 4”, so it’s not that bad to distinguish between them. Not the case when it comes to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 vs. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. These are just two different sequels with the exact same name.
I’m guessing that Infinity Ward marketed itself in a corner when it named the first reboot. If you want fans to know that your new game is a direct follow-up to your last one, especially in a series like CoD that zigzags and zags between three simultaneous sub-series, it’s a good idea to hit a ‘2’ on that. Modern Warfare 2-2 (2022) will not be confusing to anyone watching the series, but it will definitely cause headaches somewhere along the line.
It does not help that this new Modern Warfare series in every way that matters is completely different from the original trilogy that was wrapped in 2011. The story of Modern Warfare 2019 does not follow the original from 2007 at all – it should be its own thing. Its only real connection comes from its decision to pick recognizable names like Captain Price and Gaz and associate them with brand new characters played by various actors. It’s a bit like if a new generation of Power Rangers took up the crime-fighting cloak, but also decided to keep the names of the last teens wearing the suits.
I would at least take comfort in the fact that Infinity Ward is making pretty good Call of Duty games these days. The last time they made a CoD, it became the most popular game in the series ever (a feat that Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard have failed to match) and spawned Call of Duty: Warzone. This is probably why Infinity Ward is also responsible for making the next iteration of Warzone, whatever it looks like.