There is no denying the success and cultural impact the Call Of Duty franchise has had on the video game world. First developed by Infinity War, and published by Activision for the PC in 2003, the first-person shooter has become a best seller with gamers across the world having logged over 25 billion hours playing time.
Taking players through a series of campaigns set during World War II, the original game received rave reviews from critics and quickly gained a rabid fan base. The games continued success can be attributed to a combination of things, including high-level marketing, involving in-game campaigns, challenging gameplay, superior graphics and an addictive online component. All of these factors have helped COD become one of the most successful gaming franchises in history, having sold over 250 million copies and earned Activision over $15 billion.
Despite recent incarnations of the franchise failing to live up to the hype (we’re looking at you Call Of Duty: Infinite War), gaming fans still can’t get enough of COD, with the 14th installment, Call Of Duty: WWII, set for release later this year. Despite COD having a massive number of fans, there is an abundance of surprising information regarding the games that many players aren’t aware of. To help educate fans, we’ve delved into the franchise’s history and come up with some of the most interesting and hard to find facts for Call Of Duty diehards to digest as they wait.
16. Modern Warfare 3 Is The Fasted Selling Game Of All Time
The third and final installment of the Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare saga was not only a critical success but a massive commercial success for Activision. Released in November of 2003 on the PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii, the game’s release became the largest day-one shipment in the industries history at that time.
Over an amazing 6.5 million copies were sold on launch day in the USA and UK, grossing over $400 million in just 24 hours. In its first month, the game went on to sell 8.8 million copies, smashing all previous sales records, including that of Call Of Duty: Black Ops, the previous highest selling game with 8 million copies sold.
15. North Korea Used COD Footage…
As the relationship between North Korea and the rest of the world teeters on a knife’s edge, sometimes it’s nice to step back and enjoy a silly side of things. Well known for using propaganda material to keep citizens in check, the government used footage from Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as part of a three-and-a-half minute video highlighting their technology while predicting the destruction of America.
The clip begins with a North Korean man dreaming he’s on a space shuttle orbiting earth before cutting to a city covered by an American flag being bombed. Unbelievably the grainy footage was taken from COD: MW3 and is bizarrely accompanied by an instrumental version of Micheal Jackson’s “We Are The World.” The clip was quickly pulled from YouTube after Activision complained about copyright infringement.
14. What Do The Mannequins Do
13. Face Swapping Russian
Non-playable characters in Call Of Duty are important in moving the game’s storylines along but most of them don’t swap faces during the game like Dimitri Volsky. The Russian was a key character in Call Of Duty 2 and acted as a unit leader throughout the Soviet campaign.
A handy tactical fighter, Volsky was also said to be a talented magician. These skills came into play during the level, Comrade Sniper, where Volsky can be seen wearing an entirely different uniform and face. While most likely a glitch in the programming it’s fun to envision Volsky using his magic skills to disguise himself as another person in the game, adding an air of mystique to his character.
12. “The” Mission Is Banned In Russia
One of the most infamous missions in Call Of Duty history is the No Russian campaign from Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Playing as an undercover CIA agent, you are tasked with infiltrating a Russian terrorist group. To help maintain your cover players can participate in a horrifying mission aginst unarmed civilians at an airport by the Russian terrorist organization.
Knowing the controversy this would cause, the developers gave players the option not participate in the shooting or skip the level entirely. As you can imagine, the Russian’s weren’t too fond of this depiction of themselves and the level was cut completely from that version of the game. The German and Japanese versions were also altered, with players unable to shoot civilians during the mission.
11. Four Call Of Duty Games That Never Got Made
While there have been 13 major Call Of Duty titles released over the years and a host of offshoot games, there are four titles that never made it past the development stage.
Call Of Duty: Combined Forces was set to be a sequel to Call Of Duty: Finest Hour but was halted due to cost issues. Call Of Duty: Devil’s Brigade was a first-person shooter set during World War II and concerned the Italian’s involvement. Third-person shooter Call Of Duty: Vietnam was put on hold after Sledgehammer games went to the rescue Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Another one bites the dust: the historic Call Of Duty: Roman Wars was set to allow players the opportunity to battle across the world as part of the Roman army before Activision got cold feet and canceled it.
10. Become A Zombie In Advance Warfare
Ever since they appeared in Call Of Duty: World At War as a bonus game mode, zombies have become part and parcel of the COD universe, but did you know you can become one yourself?
You can unlock a playable zombie character in Call Of Duty: Advance Warfare in multiplayer mode. To gain access to the zombie skin you need to head into Exo-survival mode and play the Riot map. Upon completion of the 10th wave of soldiers, you’ll unlock a bonus wave of zombie soldiers. Once defeated, a cutscene plays and then you are able to choose from a variety of zombie items to decorate your player, including creating a new face, helmet, eco-skeleton, pants, gloves, and boots.
9. Nuketown Is Easter Egg Heaven
As mentioned earlier in this list, the Call Of Duty: Black Ops level Nuketown, is one of the most enjoyable maps to play, with one of the reasons being the amount of easter eggs hidden throughout. The entire level is full of hidden secrets and pop culture references, with the 1950s suburban town based on the abandoned small town at the beginning of Indian Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
Nuketown also features an identical house to the one seen in The Brady Bunch, a doomsday clock counting down the minutes remaining in the match and a “Welcome To Nuketown” sign displaying the number of players in the game, along with random appearances of mannequins. Nuketown proved so successful with gamers that the level returned for the Black Ops sequels and was included as part of the zombie mode in future installments.
8. Hidden Teddy Bears
One of the weirdest re-occurring phenomena throughout the Call Of Duty franchise is the mysterious appearance of teddy bears. The first sighting occurred in Call Of Duty: The Finest Hour where players came across a room filled with teddy bears. Grabbing one of the teddies recharged a players health and was accompanied by the message, “This teddy bear is adorable.”
Since then teddy bears have appeared in almost all incarnations of the game, featuring as target practice in Call Of Duty 2 through to being hidden inside televisions in the level The Hornet’s Nest from Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. While there is no explanation why they appear, it’s rumored they are a tribute to one developer’s daughter who became ill and passed away during the making of COD: FH.
7. Modern Warfare Time Paradox
The time paradox achievement in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is another one of the franchises added bonuses that will satisfy time travel lovers, particularly those who enjoy The Terminator films. You can receive the time paradox trophy by assassinating dastardly villain Vladimir Makarov.
If the name seems familiar it’s because Markarov was the antagonist in Modern Warfare 2 and 3, so killing him in the first Modern Warfare game means the sequels never existed. Markarov was added to the mission One Shot, One Kill in the remastered version, whereby after killing the intended target Zakhaev you can quickly eliminate Markarov and create the time paradox. This is something even Doc Brown would be proud to have figured out.
6. COD Zombies Inspired By Flash Game The Last Stand
Everybody loves a good zombie game, and the developers behind Call Of Duty are no different. During the creation of Call Of Duty: World At War a number of designers were trying to think of alluring extras they could incorporate into the game to give players something new and exciting to experience. Wanting to implement a tower defense level, they used the zombie flash game The Last Stand as inspiration.
The idea of the flash game is to stop zombies breaking through barricades. This was adapted to the mini-game first called as Zombie Nazis that could be unlocked after completing the COD: WAW main campaign. Proving a massive success with gamers, the game mode appeared in multiple future versions of COD and was a big hit in the multiplayer arena.
5. Hidden LOL Aliens
Along with teddy bears and zombies, aliens are also part of the strange and wacky world of Call Of Duty. The best example can be found in the underwhelming Call Of Duty: Ghosts. Despite the game not being up to standard, the hidden LOL aliens are one of the more enjoyable aspects of the first-person shooter.
When you come to the Lodge Motel sign during the Point Of Contact map in Extinction mode, if you shoot the letters L, O, and L in that order in under five seconds while using a sniper rifle the phrase LOL will appear in bright purple text. Then for the next two minutes, every alien killed will explode into a pile of gold alien dolls like those seen in the Nuketown 2025 map from Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2.
4. Secret Mile High Club Mission
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare features one of the hardest yet most fulfilling gaming experiences of the entire COD franchise. The Mile High Club mission is an unrelated bonus mission that’s unlocked once you’ve completed the single player campaign. Available after the credits end, the mission is set on a hijacked airplane and involves racing against the clock to eliminate the terrorists on board and rescuing the V.I.P. hostage.
There are no fragmentation grenades or explosive weapons available to use during the mission adding to the degree of difficulty, making it widely regarded as one of the most challenging COD levels of all time. Interesting fact; this level was the inspiration for parts of Destiny 2.
3. Black Ops Hidden Arcade Games
It seems the makers of Call Of Duty: Black Ops wanted to make sure gamers got their money’s worth by including two hidden games. When the menu screen appears you’ll find the main character tied to a chair in an interrogation room. Quickly tapping the left and right triggers breaks the restraints and allows you to control the character. From there you have access to an old computer where you can play two bonus games.
Typing DOA into the computer reveals the top-down zombie killer game Dead Ops Arcade, while entering ZORK unlocks the text-based classic adventure title Zork I: The Great Underground Empire. Later installments in the Black Ops series featured other arcade games including Hero, Pitfall, River Raid, and Kaboom.
2. Hollywood Take Over
Voice-over actors earn good money voicing video game characters but the last few years has seen them face stiff competition from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Video game companies have realized recruiting famous film actors and actresses adds another element of prestige and star power to their product.
The Call Of Duty franchise has one of the most impressive lists of famous voices over the years with the likes of Micheal Keating, Ed Harris, Heather Graham, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, Kit Harrington, Michelle Rodriguez, and Kevin Spacey lending their dulcet tones to various COD games. Incredibly, even The Transporter himself Jason Statham featured in the first ever Call Of Duty game as Sergeant Walters.
1. Space Mission Cut From Modern Warfare 2
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the short campaign featured in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were the exotic locations players visited. From centuries-old Afghanistan cities to the Chinese mountains and Russian wilderness, players received a geographical education, but things could have been even more impressive with a scarped level set to take place in space.
A space battle was meant to occur but was nixed due to developers believing space combat too far-fetched for the storyline. The scene was replaced by a short interactive sequence whereby an astronaut on the International Space Station witnesses a missile attack before being sent flying into space after the space station he is on explodes. While disappointing this mission didn’t feature in the game, Call Of Duty: Ghosts more than made up for this with its final deep space mission.