Call of Duty Koto

Call of Duty marks 20 years with a fresh look

The cult game franchise’s refined branding was developed by design studio Koto over the course of a two-year collaboration

Since Call of Duty made its debut in 2003, it has grown from a single-player PC video game to a global entertainment empire. The launch of hugely successful titles such as Modern Warfare and Blackops have seen the Activision Blizzard-owned franchise (which was recently acquired by Microsoft) sell over 425 million units worldwide and generate billions in revenue.

After two decades of existence, it’s not surprising that the Call of Duty brand needed unifying in order to bring greater consistency across a multitude of in-game experiences, premium titles, marketing strategies, and partnerships.

The team behind the franchise faced three key challenges. Firstly, the need to strike a delicate balance between unique identities for individual series and unity within the broader franchise; secondly, to develop a cohesive brand strategy that speaks to its diverse player base; and finally, to not lose the essence of the existing brand.

The end result comes off the back of a two-year collaboration with Koto, which saw the studio introduce a new franchise logo, a masterbrand identity and guidelines, and custom typeface Hitmarker.

The bespoke variable typeface is inspired by military heritage and modern gaming sensibilities. It has been designed for use across the entire franchise, supports over 300 languages, and is integrated with marketing, social media, web platforms, and live gaming experiences.

The collaboration between Call of Duty and Koto also includes supporting the launch of premium titles such as Modern Warfare II and III, the creation of the Warzone Mobile identity, seasonal identities for the live game, and the Haunting seasonal in-game event.