Lots of people have complained that this game was not released at 100%, or that the skins are lazy or whatever. That's never been an issue for me. For me it's only the gameplay that matters. I don't play much multiplayer and no zombies, but in my opinion Blackout did an incredible job with shooting mechanics and movement vectors for a BR. The map is fantastic, and weapon balance is such that you can do well with most weapons depending on play style. Nearly every death I can trace back to decisions made during the game or the nature of a BR.
But ultimately, I am going to lose interest and stop playing this game without the ability to track statistics in a public arena. COD is not an oligarchy on the gaming community, and in the coming years the market will be flush with AAA shooters and BRs.
I've been a Black Ops fanatic since Treyarch's first go at the series. I competed in the gamebattles season 1 playoffs of Black Ops 1 and my team nearly took the championship. I've been playing competitive FPS since Halo 2 and the dawn of Xbox live. I have seen the rise and fall of franchises, and let me say that desperation is a stinky cologne.
There is a large market of people who play a game like this and want to see how they measure up to their friends and the population. It's also very important if you're looking for a group, which becomes virtually impossible unless you're simply looking for a warm body. Take away lobby leaderboards, that's fine I get it. Don't put global leaderboard functionality in the game, I disagree but ok. But don't restrict access to the API and shut down third-party tracking sites. That is low. The average casual does not bother to look up their stats on websites, and it's not like they don't know what they are because they can see their own (limited) stats in-game. You're going to cripple your core userbase. Casual players may bring in the money because there are so many of them, but without a core userbase nobody gives a shit. There is no fanfare, no subreddit, all the people who care enough to foster social media interest, brag to their friends, make videos, stream on twitch or mixer. You lose these people and the casuals stop coming.
I don't buy that it is a "toxicity" issue or that it's losing them users. Fortnite has no problem allowing access to the API, they did just fine. Every shooter I've ever played has had this ability in some capacity. I can only assume that it is as others have said, and Treyarch is attempting to hide the number of active users. It's a really sad thing for me to accept because I've enjoyed playing the game so much, and I hope that Treyarch changes their mind and allows sites like the tracker network to continue operating.
In my opinion, Treyarch should make a dedicated BR every 2 years, and IW should make a dedicated multiplayer every 2 years. As it stands, they've set the expectation of yearly obsoletion, so it shouldn't be surprising that the userbase drops off after 6 months. They could have released an extremely polished BR with all the pieces that other people want so much, multiple maps, more frequent content rollout, etc, and wouldn't have to resort to API restriction to hide user count. But that's a conversation for another day.
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