Modern Warfare 2 Vs Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

I worked on the original Operation Flashpoint at Codemasters (I am even in the game!). At the time we were mainly a console publisher and were being hammered by PS1 piracy and the console transition. Things were so bad that 20% of the entire workforce were made redundant. And there was nearly zero marketing budget for Operation Flashpoint. So we concentrated on the online community and PR. And we got Flashpoint to number one in every country with a chart (and presumably loads more as well). So it pretty much saved the company.

That was way back in 2001. We had created a world class gaming brand. Yet, amazingly, no sequel has yet been released. This must be one of the most successful attempts not to make money in the history of the games industry. When I left Codemasters in 2005 I was sure that Operation Flashpoint was the biggest brand that the company owned, more valuable than all it’s other brands put together. And I was sure that it was possible to build a world class publisher on the back of it. But it is now 8 long years since the original release.

But, after many delays, we are promised that a sequel will be released this autumn, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. An opportunity for Codemasters to take on the world. But there is a big problem and that problem is Modern Warfare 2, the latest Call of Duty title, which will be released at around the same time.

Modern Warfare 2  is published by Activision, the world’s biggest game publisher. The Call of Duty brand first surfaced in 2003 to critical acclaim, scoring 91% on Metacritic and 92% on Game Rankings. Activision have milked the brand with four main versions and numerous expansion packs and spin offs. The fourth version was called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and was the catalyst for splitting the brand in two. Going forward Call of Duty and Modern Warfare will be two separate brands.

So the marketing team at Activision have done the exact opposite of what Codemasters have done. They have milked the Call of Duty brand for every penny possible and built it into one (or two!) of the world’s greatest game franchises. For example Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was released in Q4 2007 (with Metacritic and Game Rankings both giving it 94%) and so far has sold around 13 million units, making it one of the world’s biggest selling games.

As you can see things are very interesting. Can Codemasters revive the Flashpoint brand and take on Modern Warfare 2? Or will they just be struggling for the crumbs that fall of the edge of the Activision table?

16 comments ↓

#1 Carl on 06.16.09 at 9:43 am

I for one was massively looking forward to this, a game potentially to get me off Call of Duty 4 (still playing some 18 months on!).

I have previously been a fan of Battlefield2 (IMO Bad Company wasn’t quite as good) and there was hope Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising could of been this style of game for next gen consoles (finally).

I was looking forward to playing this through the summer, but further worry that once Modern Warfare 2 is released all other games will suffer (even now COD4 dominates my gameplay hours!).

Unless Dragin Rising is something short of perfection it will likely suffer with MW2 set to break sales records.

#2 Ian Osborne on 06.16.09 at 1:19 pm

What made you leave CodeMasters? It sounds like they needed you.

#3 Frankie Mclean on 07.03.09 at 7:36 am

I am a huge fan of the first Operation Flashpoint. I look forward to playing OFP:DR when it comes out. I also liked Call of Duty 4 and that means I will get Modern Warfare 2. I like both simulation and arcade.

#4 Deric Dempsey on 07.28.09 at 10:49 pm

I for one have been awaiting this game’s arrival in great anticipation and if it doesnt get released soon Im goin on a killing spree because I cant take anymore COD its the same shit over and over throughout all of the titles activision has crapped out flashpoint one was the greatest and most detailed war game I’ve ever played I hope for a much more successfull run for you guys this go round my XLive clan loves what they see and I would like to be the first to boycott Modern warfare 2 for it excessive amount crap spewing from game informer and for the guys at activision try changing something other than the skins and textures you OVER-RATED bums SIGNING OUT xRDxMASTERQW33F

#5 Calvin on 08.30.09 at 4:46 pm

I think OF 2 will be the death of COD. Its simple COD is running out of ideas COD MW 2 its gona be the same old crap out with the old in with the new. The trailer both speak for themselves.

#6 Calvin on 08.30.09 at 4:49 pm

Ohh yeah BIA: HH was better than any COD I played.

#7 acowboy11 on 09.08.09 at 12:48 am

MW2 will be polverized by OF 2, because OP 2 is more realistic, only one sho with the javelin missle lancher not the 6 shot crap, then the enemy will retrace the shot and get u and if u servive a shoot you can call a medic or a evac team to get you out before u bleed out

#8 Alan on 10.05.09 at 3:26 am

Honestly, MW2 will clean up.

OFP2 will do moderately alright, but they haven’t pushed the game enough and too many people are sceptical.

At the same time the games themselves are apples and oranges, so I don’t see much of a competition between the two.

But looking purely at who will do better, the answer is cold and clear, Modern Warfare 2.

OFP2 does have a very unique opportunity to solidify a huge following if the game is solid, the curiosity is huge for this game, especially from the console community.

It needs to have great game play and next to perfect mechanics. People will pick up on it if it does and the franchise could move on to a huge 3rd edition. If the ratings come in at anything less than an 8.5-9 [using a 10 scale] then we are looking at an end.

#9 Nik on 10.16.09 at 8:59 am

The 2 are like chalk and cheese, MW2 is all about close combat, and an arcade shooter to boot. OF2 is more of a strategic war-sim both have their merrits and both will do well in their respective markets. Having already bought and played OF2, I’ll can say it is close to perfect. But it’s not so much of a PvP experience. The angle is more toward co-op. I’ll be buying MW2 too though as I’m very eklektic when it comes to game genres.

#10 boycottmodernwarfare2.com on 10.24.09 at 1:58 am

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#11 Mike on 11.18.09 at 11:38 pm

OPDR2 because way more realistic and modern warfare 2 is gay because u heal on ur own thats gay u have to get a medic on flashpoin yea the gun ups aint that good but still i give modern warfare 8 out of 10 and OFDR2 10 out of 10

#12 Quasar on 12.23.09 at 5:24 am

MW2 is totally not “modern”, still staying in Rambo’s generation.
you can kill enemy by shooting 1 bullet on their foot, but you can staying alive after 1 dozen of bullets on your heads, stupid MW2
OFP2 is the best

#13 IronLance on 12.23.09 at 12:28 pm

I have MW2 for PC and I don’t like it near as much as MW. And neither as much as OFP. The thing I really liked about OFP, and hopefully OF:DR, is the ability to create my own missions, set up enemies to patrol, or even appear, randomly.

The two games really are apples and oranges, as stated previously.

#14 MRGAME on 01.17.10 at 6:37 pm

I thing that ofdragonrising has better lighting than md2 and grass is better in ofdr but better to play is codmd2 it has amaizing mission for graphic it to difficult to choose beacuse both of them have good graphic but codmd2 doesn’t need lot of ram memory so game go much faster than ofdr but in ofdr you can create a mission for my opinion better is codmw2

#15 azzo on 03.08.10 at 4:45 am

flashpoint is far the better game, the trouble with Modern Warfare is, its all about who is quicker on the trigger, where by all gamers can imagine they are just like Rambo, there is no real thinking behind the game. And as far as stealth in the game, well that’s is non existent. modern ware fare is basically the same format as Halo and many more shoot em up games, just different uniforms whereby flashpoint dragon rising (specially playing in hard core mode)is very realistic and it gets you to thinking more about your surroundings and how you use your surroundings the maps are huge. Modern Warfare is really a kids game in comparison even though its got a adult rating.

#16 shaun on 03.26.10 at 3:27 pm

Just bought flashpoint2 dragon rising, id say dont waste your money its crap!, no dedicated servers for online play, when you do get a server popup it takes far to long to start a game

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