XDefiant: How the "Call of Duty Killer" Became a Flop in the Market

XDefiant: How the "Call of Duty Killer" Became a Flop in the Market image

📖 Published on: July 3rd, 2024

✍️ Updated: July 3rd, 2024

⏳ 7 mins read


It cannot be denied that Call of Duty has become the reigning shooter game in the world. From single-player experience all the way to competitive multiplayer features, this Activision Blizzard shooter has wowed a lot of fans and players all over the world over many years. But when a competitor tries to take on the challenge of taking down Call of Duty, why does it fail to meet expectations for many players?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet XDefiant.

What is XDefiant?

Ubisoft, known well for the popular hit game series such as Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, The Division, and many other titles, has recently tried to enter the shooter genre with the hopes of competing with Call of Duty, which is arguably the most dominant shooter in the world. We have seen how Medal of Honor and Battlefield – both competitors of COD in the past few years, have faded away from existence, and Halo itself has taken a turn for the lesser side with less competitive games in the past few years.

XDefiant was hyped to be a "Call of Duty killer" image

XDefiant is the latest entry by Ubisoft in the free-to-play first-person shooter genre, and it was even hyped to be a “Call of Duty killer” by so many critics, only to be disappointed as it turned out to be one of the games where Ubisoft has chased yet another game trend only to disappoint at the end of the day. Since its release in May 2024, the game has garnered satisfactory ratings from Metacritic, earning scores of 69/100 (PC), 71/100 (XSXS), and 68/100 (PS5) on three different game platforms.

Sure, it managed to tally 1 million unique players in just two and a half hours upon launch, and 3 million players in two days. However, there have been reports of several server issues, inconsistencies for in-game experience, and many other issues have prevented it from actually reaching massive heights that are quite comparable to Call of Duty, which says a lot about the tough break that it has endured from time to time with differing feedback from game critics.

How XDefiant Became a Market Flop?

So how it became a market flop? Well, XDefiant may have had some strides in the number of players they have accumulated so far, but there are a lot of factors that have played into the huge dislike that players have been complaining about from time to time, which just proves how tough the reception has been for the game so far.

Let’s break down the toughest issues that have contributed to its downfall in the market.

Unbalanced Match Making

SBMM is not present in XDefiant's early releases image

SBMM or skill-based match-making is crucial for giving all players an enjoyable experience since it filters the players you can play with or against in a single game depending on your skill. This algorithm allows you to find opponents and players in the same skill range to ensure that no side would be dominant so easily for the whole game or a team is beaten up hard without much of a winning chance to begin with. It is quite disappointing to say that XDefiant has not deployed this algorithm in its games, which is why there are a lot of talks as to how the unbalanced match making has led to some disappointing games from time to time. No SBMM present in games means that a level 1 player could run into a level 100 player and have no idea who he is playing against until it is too late.

Limited Accessibility in Games

Accessibility is an important part of any game, regardless of its genre or developer. For XDefiant, however, we have seen a lack of various accessibility settings that could have been a basic part of every game. These features are crucial in creating a balance for a competitive PvP experience. Sure, we are seeing some adjustments when it comes to dead zones, and sensitivity, but non-verbal communication support such as opponent markers, object pings, and many other crucial aspects that are not present in the game. To be fair, however, the color change for flash grenades, which can be switched to black from bright white is a feature present in the game that has only been recently added even in Call of Duty, which to a point, means that XDefiant is not that far behind.

Accessibility in the game is a massive issue image

Lack of Familiarity in Game Modes

Game modes lack diversity image

Game modes are certainly important in any multiplayer game since you can’t just play a free-for-all game all the time. When it launched, there was only a handful of objective-based modes available, such as Zone Capture, which is like the Capture the Flag mode in other games, where players need to secure a certain area of the map for a set period of time before it is secured for their team. Escort, a mode that is present in Counter-Strike and Overwatch’s Payload, where players have to defend it until it reaches a set point in the map are just a few to name. The closest that XDefiant offers to counter a Team Deathmatch may find Hotshot Mode to be confusing since these are quite uncommon names for a game mode.

Is XDefiant a Game Worth Trying?

Considering the fact that it is a free game, one can say that XDefiant is a game worth trying. Just jump into the game and give it a little bit of feel to see if you can enjoy the game with its features that are immersive enough to give fans a bit of excitement. For Ubisoft game lovers, you can definitely enjoy having various references from different games, but it would bre really nice if the game can integrate an Assassin faction, Star Wars, or even Avatar to make some appearance in the game factions o even as a promising DLC.

The game is worth trying simply because it is free image

Still, if you are keen to try something new for a change, then there’s no harm in actually going for XDefiant. It is still a Ubisoft game to begin with, and one has nothing to lose considering that it is free to play, so go out there and enjoy the best of your game with XDefiant!

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