Effects on Call of Duty Series (and Military Games in General) if no 2000s Middle East Conflicts?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by ZodiacBeast, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. ZodiacBeast Well-Known Member

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    I admit, I know nothing about these games (other than memes) as I'm more into shooters like DOOM, but I've always wondered about the impact of post-9/11/2001 events on the storylines these games focus on, how they sell and are received/reviewed/etc.

    I see that the first game to not take place in WWII (the appropriately titled "Modern Warfare") was released in 2007, well into the "War on Terror" and the huge increase of American patriotism. If 9/11 didn't occur, thus (maybe) negating the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as not seeing such a dramatic increase in military and government support from the public, what would these games be like?

    Would the stories remain largely the same, with the series being less popular due to less interest in the military? Would the series continue to cover historical wars, instead of branching off into original storylines? Etc.
     
  2. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Probably more WWIII scenarios or some generic brush fire war for some of the more special forces focused games in the series.
     
  3. cra0422 Member

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    I'd see more historical games from WWII and theoretical games set in the future or even alternate timelines (i.e. similar to Call of Duty: Ghosts or the Black Ops Series)
     
  4. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    The plot of CoD4 was mostly about a civil war in Russia, the Middle Eastern levels were just a change of scenery and a fake country which could nuke itself without offending any actual nationality. And that was the CoD game which most prominently featured the middle east in its story...

    Real question is what the Medal of Honour reboots look like without the ongoing War on Terror.
     
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  5. Kalga Yell's Shipyard

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    The Balkans and Africa are the places (since the 90s*) if you want set piece infantry emphasized combat, places falling apart, and grey on grey morality.

    Although both places were getting better (for the most part) since the beginning of the 21st century OTL, so most likely the CoD games will just cashing in on whichever trouble spots that do flare up.

    *funny thing, people bitched about C&C Generals for cashing in on the war on Terror when they forgot that the original C&C (Tiberian Dawn) was totally cashing in on the Yugoslav wars and the violence & disorder in Africa of the 90s. The Red Alert timeline might have been the only one not to cash in on then current events and even then you could argue that they were cashing in on the upsurge of WWII era interest of the latter half of the 90s (although that's a rather stretch).
     
  6. ZodiacBeast Well-Known Member

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    How could I forget the Balkans? (both the real conflicts and everybody's favorite trope, "Balkanization"!)
    The most I know about African modern war history (uh...there was a war in 1984?) is from Metal Gear Solid V...which, I really shouldn't have to state, isn't exactly historically accurate. :closedeyesmile:

    EDIT: The Angolan Civil War. Thanks, Wikipedia.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  7. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

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    WWII games would still fall out of popularity because of market saturation, so we'd still have WWIII-style games (like CoD:MW) with the enemies being Russia and/or China, but with less Middle Eastern references (although that will still happen because of Desert Storm and random Islamist terrorist attacks like WTC bombing and al-Qaeda's other activities). Expect generic Eastern European/African countries to show up too.

    I'd expect these games to still be very popular by the way.
     
  8. The Militant Doberman Well-Known Member

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    What about games set during the conflict(s) in Northern Ireland? I can’t think of any modern shooter games that explore that setting OTL.
     
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  9. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like it would be insanely controversial and could lead to some trouble with the UK market which publishers wouldn't want to deal with.
     
  10. HelloThere Well-Known Member

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    Well, except the new Modern Warfare 2019 no CoD is playing in a War-on-Terror scenario: Modern Warfare is a US vs. Russia world, World at War plays in World War 2 and Black Ops in the Cold War and the future (like Advanced Warfare and Infinite Warfare).

    But I have no idea where games like Insurgency would take place.
     
  11. SadSprinter Well-Known Member

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    Neo-Nazi uprisings seemed like an emerging trope pre 9/11.
     
  12. Laqueesha The Right Honourable and Quasi-Learned Laq'

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    Honestly, just look at the prevailing trends in wargaming during the 1990s and early 2000s and extrapolate from there. We'd probably see more and more hypothetical techno-thrillery "What if?"-type scenarios. Examples could be a revanchist Russia invading Estonia, a Second Korean War, inter-ethnic conflicts in Europe a la Bosnia, so on and so forth. If anything it might give us more compelling games than what we got IOTL, especially in regards to the last scenario.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  13. GDIS Pathe Well-Known Member

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    I mean if you payed attention to some of the dialogue it was pretty clear you were invading a republican Arabia
     
  14. Retro_Reaction Member

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    I could see a lot more espionage type levels taking place in Latin America.
     
  15. Laqueesha The Right Honourable and Quasi-Learned Laq'

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    We kinda got that; CoD: Ghosts basically was that.
     
  16. Coiler Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I don't think it changes very much. On one hand, the OTL FPSes were surprisingly timid (fearing it'd be too close to home?) and on the other, the Middle East was already a popular location for obvious reasons even before 9/11.
     
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  17. Undeadmuffin Muffin want to liiiive !

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    Games before Afghan/Irak war often had operation against a rogue Russia or like one of my old game (I think it was Ghost recon) was during a Russian civil war.
     
  18. Ashley Pomeroy Member

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    I remember the late 1990s. Back then the stock enemies were rogue Russian generals, or Balkan insurgents, or to a much lesser extent the Chinese. Notably the Operation Flashpoint games, which predated the war on terror slightly, had a mixture of rogue Russian generals, Balkan guerrilla groups, and latterly the Chinese and Iranians, but generally avoided war on terror scenarios. The spin-off Dragon Rising (2009), made by another company, also had the Chinese.

    There were of course Gulf War 1 games, but they tended to be flight simulators or tank games. Modern military shooting games didn't really emerge until the late 1990s, with Flashpoint and Delta Force (1998), which off the top of my head was loosely based on Clear and Present Danger, e.g. the enemies were drug cartels in South America or smugglers in the Philippines.

    In fact the Middle East is surprisingly underutilised as a game environment - the Call of Duty games usually involve ultranationalist Russians or South Americans. Firstly I suspect because it's too close to the bone, secondly because on a pragmatic game design level there's only so much you can do with asymmetrical small unit combat in Middle Eastern slum neighbourhoods. The Flashpoint games had tanks and jets - part of their appeal was that you weren't just a footsoldier, you could drive a tank - but ISIS don't have tanks or jets, or at least they don't any more.

    Put another way the War on Terror was much less toyetic than a hypothetical conflict against an enemy that has technological parity with the West.

    As for the broader question of whether military shooters would have been popular in a less jingoistic environment, I think that they would - the appeal of Modern Warfare etc wasn't so much the chance to get revenge on Al-Qaeda, it was a combination of the novelty of a watered-down version of the realism present in Op Flash combined with the rise of a new generation of consoles that could render urban environments in fine detail. Space shooters like Crysis and oddities like STALKER - which were based on invented threats - owed nothing to the war on terror but were also very popular.

    This does raise the question of which war the West would have fought in the absence of a war on terror. Without that giant orgasm of violence, how would we have unleashed our boiling, festering lust for combat? Would it have been even worse?

    I must remember that Philippines is one-two. Millennium is two-two. Mississippi is two-two-two. I must remember that. Accommodate is two-two. Philippines is one-two. Millennium is two-two.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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  19. Gillan1220 Gillan, God Emperor of Craft Cafe Bar

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    It would probably feature the Kosovo War, Gulf War, and small-scale insurgencies in the third world.
     
  20. BigBlueBox Well-Known Member

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    In this day and age controversy is a selling point.
     
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