Now, that depends, of course, on what you mean by “beat” it. As such, let us start with the basics:
”Call of Duty” is a videogame franchise consisting exclusively of First Person Shooter games, which became notorious for delivering games yearly.
”Star Wars” is a brand spanning several types of products, spanning roughly 30 years, first popularized by the original three movies by George Lucas. Now, upon acquisition by Disney, the franchise received a soft reboot. Still, since the fan base is divided between the two continuities, I shall refer to “Star Wars” in its entirety.
Now, on to the question at hand. Does Call of Duty “beat” Star Wars? The result of the problem needs an in-depth analysis from multiple perspectives:
In Terms Of Popularity
Star Wars wins by a landslide. Call of Duty as a franchise has quite a dedicated following in the competitive multiplayer component, but the games themselves are relatively shallow in content.
While it did have its gems, especially with Modern Warfare 2 and the first Black Ops, the franchise is aiming at diehard fans of Counter-Strike-like multiplayer or amateurs of flashy graphics.
On the other hand, Star Wars spans a three-decade-long empire stretching across comics, movies, TV series, books, video games, toys, and tabletop games. COD has a dedicated cult following and fanbase of millions stretching beyond the love of the UniverseUniverse and into the love of the brand.
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Now it is important to say; CoD is very popular in itself. But when we are talking about all aspects of Star Wars as a brand, from effective content to promotional material, the numbers don’t compare.
In Terms Of Setting
The two franchises are vastly different. Call of Duty chooses a more realistic, traditional approach, setting itself in a slightly modified real world. Meanwhile, Star Wars establishes itself as a Space Opera, in what could be described more as Science Fantasy than Science Fiction.
Now, since we are talking about different genres, comparing the setting in itself is stupid, as they are vastly different. Instead, I will compare world-building and thus give it to Star Wars.
Unlike Call of Duty, which primarily focused on gameplay and flashy visuals, and as such, has very little world-building, despite being a franchise of many games, throughout its many years of running, Star Wars constructed a vast UNIVERSE.
Species with individual languages, cultures, very different visuals, anatomy, sciences, etc., metaphysics of the Force, and technology. Thousands of years of history, complete with the rise and fall of empires and civilizations, ancient artifacts, and wonders.
While the Expanded UniverseUniverse is mostly responsible for this level of world-building, the movies alone have good world-building to rival and surpass CoD in the sheer amount of content.
In terms of the story
Call of Duty is known to be relatively shallow in terms of story. When talking about the series as a whole, however, the story is boring. Mostly establishing itself on usual war tropes like “the Russians have this bomb, disarm it, kill the Russians” or “terrorist x hides here, and kill the terrorist.”
Now, there is a redeeming quality: in most of these games. You will play as a soldier, and as such, the setting and story are meant to reflect that.
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There is no reason, and it would make no sense to have anything else for an account. Instead, it should focus on the experience of the soldier in the war, which is still somewhat lackluster in terms of execution.
When it comes to Star Wars, it depends on the story: solely on the movies, while everything feels epic. The story in itself is not that big of a deal.
There is little in terms of difficulty. The path taken represents a hero’s journey, while the execution is debatable, especially when it comes to the prequels. The story is pretty straight for wars, and it highlights its merit through its characters.
From Vader to Luke, from Obi-Wan to Yoda to Emperor Palpatine, the cast is diverse, exciting, engaging to watch and understand, witty and tragic. While simple, the story still feels alive, and character motivations tend to be sympathetic or at least somewhat understandable.
The Disney sequels are controversial. Referring strictly to those, it would call the overall story worse than CoD. Many things didn’t make sense, and the characters felt inhuman (not shallow, as tends to be the case in CoD, but plain ruthless, unbelievable).
Things were added and subtracted for the sake of some convoluted plot they meant to be “deep.”
The Force Awakens may not be judged as harshly since it was the first. As such, it opened many holes that waited for closure in the sequel.
In Terms Of Sales
Star Wars once again wins by the sheer diversity of merchandise and a long history.
To conclude, everyone is entitled to their own opinion in terms of what they prefer. Still, statistically, we would give it to Star Wars, if only for its vastness bringing to real surface gems and a following that only grew throughout the years.