World at War 2 has been something that Call of Duty fans have wanted for a long while. After the long distance from the World War era that the franchise has taken, it brings up questions on whether or not the game will ever revisit the era again. However, perhaps a World at War 2 or another World War era game is actually on the horizon for the upcoming year(s) in the Call of Duty franchise.
We haven’t seen the slightest hint of past context or setting in Call of Duty for a while, save the flashbacks with Sarah Hall in the Black Ops 3 campaign. The last we saw a past setting Call of Duty was in November of 2010, over half a decade ago, with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops. Since then, fans have either seen modern, a semi-near future, far-future and distant-future settings. So it’s clear that we’ve gone away from it, but the odds of returning may be larger than we may initially be led to believe. In June of 2015 during E3, Activision’s CEO Eric Hirshberg interviewed with IGN and talked about the ideology of returning to a World War 2 setting or some other time shortly therebefore or thereafter. In his own words, he described the possibility of a Call of Duty comeback to World War 2 as “certainly possible”.
“There are these moments where certain ideas seem to be floating in the collective consciousness, and there are two 'meteor hitting the earth' movies in one summer and were both in production for years." Indeed, video games experienced a similar occurrence when WWII-themed the Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Medal of Honor series (and other imitators) saw regular releases for generations.
"Those kinds of things happen," Hirshberg mentioned, "so there’s definitely a chasing of innovation and new ideas within a well-worn genre that lead people to similar conclusions like changing time periods. And of course I think that opens up the opportunity for what is old is new again."
So now the question comes into play, when if at all, will a World at War 2 or an equivalent Call of Duty World War 2 title come? With seven years passed since the last past era game in general, let alone World War 2, it’s well overdue. Additionally, it is a perfect time for this to happen. The current state of the gaming industry and in more specifics, the FPS genre, has regained its love for old war shooters. It was previously tremendously saturated with the likes of Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor and the many others that took center stage over a decade ago. However, these titles are making a comeback.
Battlefield 1 led the charge in the AAA category this past year with a World War I shooter and it had help in the genre from games of the likes of Sniper Elite. Not to mention that some insanely great titles such as Enlisted and Battalion 1944 are on their way in the near future. So why not, if you’re Call of Duty, try to capitalize on the pie that is World War 2? The market is regaining interest and as Hirshberg said, what is old is new again.
With the heavy possibility that we get a Vietnam era Call of Duty for 2017, we may see the World at War 2 dreams pushed back until 2018 with Treyarch’s next titles. What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their title in 2008, World at War, than with a sequel a decade later? World at War 2 seems like a great possibility for 2018 given that fact and add in the fact that zombies will be making a return then as well. The entire Zombies storyline is built upon the ideology of loops and cycles, yet another perfect sync and tie-in… Repeat the loop and cycle all the way back to the beginning and bring back the original Nazi Zombies, innovated upon and made even better than before with all new content and a continuation of the overarching Zombies storyline.
While no ETA is currently available on what we can stoutly call World at War 2, the return to World War 2 for Call of Duty seems imminent and in the near future. With the long departure from the time frame and the general interest in the era again from the mainstream gaming community, it seems only logical that we will be going back to the past to make what is old, new again… And we for certain, welcome that idea with open arms!