Fan-Service Or Recycled Asset? Does It Matter? Call of Duty: Ghosts Shares A Moment With Modern Warfare 2

While we enjoyed Call of Duty: Ghosts quite a bit, the internet — as it does whenever a new entry in the blockbuster franchise is released — is kicking and screaming about how the series hasn’t received any meaningful changes for the past four years. Those who have made it their job to complain about the series’ “stagnation” have found some new ammo. Yesterday a video released that showed a side-by-side video showing both one of the closing scenes of Modern Warfare 2, and a very early scene from the recently released Ghosts. While the similarities are striking, it’s safe to say that this isn’t worth getting up in arms about.

Whether this was intended to be fan-service or if it was just a reused animation is unknown, as Activision and Infinity Ward have yet to comment; and in all sincerity, they don’t need to. I tend to think that it was an intentional nod to one of the most memorable moments in the series. The animation — while it it does appear to have been brought over from the Modern Warfare 2 scene — was altered, even if just slightly; so it wasn’t just a thoughtless copy/paste, work still went into making the Ghosts scene. However, even if it wasn’t intended to be fan-service, and was just a way for the developer to quickly throw-together a scene, should this eighteen-second clip really be the talk of the internet as it is? Of course not. Especially when you consider that no one is upset about the other games that are guilty of the exact same thing.

The recent Mario games, the Assassin’s Creed games, the list goes on of game series that borrow assets from past iterations, and modify them either slightly, or not at all. It speeds up development time, and usually goes unnoticed. While it could be argued that those two franchises have been subject to more changes than Call of Duty has in recent years, calling this eighteen-second sequence “a sign of the series’ stagnation”  is just silly, especially when there are a wealth of other arguments that better support that shaky accusation.