What makes Call of Duty so popular?

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The first-person shooter (FPS) genre is one of the most popular in the entire gaming industry. Although there are plenty of titles that offer similar experiences, the Call of Duty franchise continues to hold its place at the very top of the mountain. Whether you enjoy immersing yourself in a gripping single-player campaign or fast-paced multiplayer, Activision’s flagship shooter franchise has it all.

In 2022, developer Infinity Ward launched Modern Warfare 2, the sequel to the immensely popular Modern Warfare reboot from 2019. A few weeks later, Call of Duty’s third battle royale offering also arrived, giving players even more ways to get their fix.


According to ExpressVPN's study on gaming habits, the Call of Duty franchise continues to dominate other hugely popular releases. So, what exactly makes it so popular?

The dominance of Call of Duty

After asking 1,000 gamers based in the United States and the United Kingdom, male players are more likely to use the likes of Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 as a platform to connect with friends, while 40% of women would rather drop into some single-player storytelling. In addition to connecting with friends, ExpressVPN’s study reveals men typically prefer games containing plenty of action, with Call of Duty and FIFA proving the most popular at 71% and 56%, respectively.


Call of Duty’s popularity has also captured the minds of female gamers, with 46% dropping into the action on a regular basis. The shooter franchise ranks higher than The Sims and Minecraft, which typically contain far less action than an intense multiplayer match.

Why Call of Duty?

The free-to-play nature of Warzone 2 is one of several contributing factors as to why Call of Duty remains the most popular shooter title on the market. There are also other variables that are responsible for the success of the franchise. 70% of gamers use their phone for gaming, while 61% switch on their console, and a further 50% boot up their computer or laptop. Call of Duty as a series is on all of these platforms, whether it’s the hugely successful CoD: Mobile or the recently released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Aside from Call of Duty’s accessibility, few things are more satisfying than landing a long-distance sniper shot. Most shooter games contain clever nuances and mechanics to master, and once players manage to do so, the regular dopamine hits keep them coming back for more. Gamers in their 30s and 40s jump into the action more than any other age group, with 68% revealing they play on a daily basis.


Short formats also play a key role in retaining a high player base. Compared to other shooter titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and VALORANT, a typical Call of Duty Team Deathmatch lasts a little over ten minutes, which is ideal for gamers that don’t have much time to sit down and commit to a lengthy match. It appears Call of Duty has mastered the shooter game formula, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.