This week, Jorge and I talked about Call of Duty: Ghosts on our podcast. At one point in the conversation, Jorge raised a good question: Why do Call of Duty games still have campaigns and who plays them? It’s difficulty to get solid numbers, but cobble together some sporadic achievement data as well as anecdotes from the community and it starts to seem possible that less than half of the people who played Black Ops 2 finished the single-player campaign. Seeing as how the game sold monstrously well and that its campaign was (in my opinion) much better than that of Ghosts, it seems safe to assume a similarly low completion rate.
This brings us back to Jorge’s “why and who” question. I am one of those people who play CoD largely for the campaign, and while I can’t speak for the masses, I think my experience represents some of the practical and philosophical reasons why single player persists in an environment dominated by multiplayer. I’ll start with the practical aspect and work my way towards wild philosophical speculation.