Why Are Call of Duty Updates So Big? [3 Reasons]

Call of Duty updates are large to optimize storage space, integrate new content across multiple games, and meet the expectations in a competitive market.

Updated on Oct 13, 2023
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Why Are Call of Duty Updates So Big? [3 Reasons]

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Optimizing The Call of Duty Modern Warfare Game

Often, the update file size for Modern Warfare approaches COD Warzone file size for the original installation package, which may seem ridiculous to many gamers. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, the reason for this is to save on storage space.

Because of the scope of the game, so much space on the hard drive is needed for COD, and the developers are well aware of the hardware limitations for PCs, Playstation, and the Xbox series.

Many of COD's large updates are actually to solve the problem of insufficient storage space on most devices, by overwriting files and compressing game data, and therefore reducing the size of the original Call of Duty Modern Warfare game file. This means not much more storage space is actually needed with each update, despite the massive download size.


CoD Big Update

This file compression (although likely in a very light form) and data optimization helps Activision maintain the huge amount of content, and graphical quality, without overloading older CPU resources.

Of course, the other part of optimising the game is updating the security software and software environment, ensuring the game matches the constantly evolving operating system of modern PCs, as well as attempting to fix any temporary glitch, server issues, or graphical glitches in the current game.

Plus, keep in mind that Activision has to deal with hackers, and therefore they need to also update CoD Warzone Anti Cheat, which can also take a bit of space on your hard drive.


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New Call of Duty Modern Warfare/Warzone Content

Activision is always updating Call of Duty Modern Warfare's Warzone, especially now the Warzone game mode is supported and hosted by multiple Call of Duty games, including Vanguard and Black Ops Cold War.

As each new game releases, guns from the new game need to be integrated into the Warzone map, along with tweaking gun balances across the game.

As if it wasn't hard enough balancing guns for one game, Activision needs to balance several games' worth, from Modern Warfare to Cold War! To find out more on Call of Duty's history of balancing, read our article on the most broken guns in Call of Duty history.

All of these new content drops must also account for players having enough storage space. Along with the weapons, Activision have consistently released new features into the Warzone, as well as more sporadically creating new maps for the players to enjoy – which of course means pretty meaty updates.


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The Addition of Infinity Ward & Community Expectations

At the end of the day, Infinity Ward has tried multiple times to bring down the file size of Call of Duty Modern Warfare, such as reducing the overall file size by 30GB in a 2021 update.

If players want Modern Warfare to be better than other games in the FPS genre, then all the asset packs, high-resolution textures and features are going to require larger, continuous updates.

As gamers expect bigger and better games, developers like Infinity Ward will be forced to increase the overall size of their games, even if it means taking up more CPU resources and more storage space. The best games are often the biggest games, and they will require more space.

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