The CoD franchise is in trouble – again

It seems like every other day that a new contender for the military FPS throne steps into the ring. Electronic Arts screamed loudly from the rooftops that they had a “CoD killer” on their hands with Battlefield 3. Sales figures didn’t exactly echo their opinion: according to EA, Battlefield 3 sold 5 million units worldwide in the first five days of its release. Modern Warfare 3 sold 6.5 million in the first twenty-four hours… in the US and UK alone. Yeah, total “CoD killer”.

Anyway, with EA failing to kick the world’s most lucrative entertainment franchise in the nuts, Activision is left to rule the military FPS genre. But wait! What’s this? A new company stepping into the ring to take on the king of military FPS games? Is that? It can’t be; that’s Dusty Welch.

Dusty Welch is an ex-Activision bigwig and was also senior VP for the publisher. He was at the reins when Guitar Hero started. Oh yes, he also created the Call of Duty franchise.

It’s probably safe to say that Welch knows this genre pretty well. He himself is more than alright about blowing his own trumpet about that fact. He’s started a Seattle based development studio called U4iA, and their goal is to (you guessed it!) dethrone the very franchise he created.

“I created Call Of Duty to dethrone the established leaders back in the early 2000s, and you bet my goal at U4iA is to repeat that success again,” he told in a recent interview. How is he going to take on the CoD franchise? By “providing a AAA, first person shooter experience in a browser is really what the end game is for us. And I think that’s going to help lead the new dynamic and a transition of gamers into the social.”

In a browser? Ala Quake Live? Looks like that’s their goal, and it’ll be free-to-play. Not sure whether he’s even going for the same target market with that idea, but let’s see how things pan out. He’s certainly positive about the whole thing:

“I think you look at my track record of knocking off the established players and you can imagine that my goal for U4iA is to once again dethrone the established players, across the spectrum, across the space and allow gamers to again unite and experience the best consumer proposition that’s available, and usher in a new genre experience. That’s what U4iA is going to provide.”

I’m not sure how one gets Microsoft to agree to a free-to-play, browser-based game on the Xbox 360 though.