COD: Modern Warfare Crossplay & Progresssion Could Energize Competition

Jason Fanelli,

May 31, 2019 1:52 PM

Two major additions to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare could become a catalyst for a whole new era of Call of Duty's competitive scene.

Activision and Infinity Ward has finally unveiled the next installment of Call of Duty, a full re-imagining of the lauded Modern Warfare. Familiar characters will find themselves in a new era of warfare, the “modern” aspect reflecting today’s environment rather than that of 2007 when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare released. While the reveal focused on the gritty new campaign, two small nuggets of information could change the way we play CoD competitively: cross-play and unified progression.

One Game, One Progression

The first thing that popped out to us was the idea of unified progression, that campaign, cooperative, and competitive will all gain the same experience. No longer will the three have separate levels and segmented experience gain, it’s all one big happy family in Modern Warfare.

The implications of this are obvious: if one player decides to play all the way through the campaign, learning the game’s mechanics as the story progresses, that player won’t have to start from scratch when the campaign’s over. All of that experience, all of those perks, and everything else that’s earned will move with the player to co-op or competitive, which makes the barrier of entry much lower than before. This may convince the small sect of players who only play CoD for the campaign to join in the online fun, meaning more players sticking with the game for longer. It’s a win-win.

These three soldiers could be playing on three different consoles for all we know.

Call of Duty Cross-Play

Along with unified progression came another surprising piece of news: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will support full cross-play across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Both Co-Op and Multiplayer modes will allow players from all three environments to connect and play together, a feat not seen since Fortnite enabled the option last year.

This is crucial for two reasons: one, it looks like Sony may finally be softening its stance on cross-play, even if only in certain high-profile cases. Two, and perhaps more importantly, a name like Call of Duty embracing cross-play to this magnitude is a potential gamechanger. Other top franchises across the industry could use Modern Warfare as a hands-off experiment: if cross-play works, you can bet the rest of the industry will follow suit. If it doesn’t work for Call of Duty, then perhaps the idea will need to be shelved until a future generation of consoles.

Beyond that, the joint atmosphere could raise the bar for competitive CoD as a whole. No longer will players be cordoned off into different communities based on what console they’re playing on. This increased pool of players will increase the quality of play, potentially creating a new crop of esports superstars. The addition of cross-play will be something to keep an eye on when Modern Warfare finally drops, as its ripple effects could have far-reaching consequences for all of gaming.

It may go without saying that mouse and keyboard players may always have advantage over console controller players in an FPS, but that doesn't make the thought of players on all fronts of CoD able to compete any less appealing.
It may go without saying that mouse and keyboard players may always have advantage over console controller players in an FPS, but players on all fronts of CoD able to compete is still appealing.

These two pieces will not only make Modern Warfare a more approachable game, but could increase the level of competitive play in Call of Duty esports. Two major barriers are being broken down, how a player progresses and who can be challenged online, and both are leveling the playing field in the process. Just as CoD 4 did in 2007, this new Modern Warfare could issue in a new golden age of Call of Duty, particularly in esports.

For more on all things esports, check out the full LoL Rift Rivals 2019 schedule, or take a look at the latest patch notes for Super Smash Bros Ultimate.


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