Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare didn't live up to Activision's expectations, the publisher said today, offering a surprisingly candid assessment of the most recent entry in their yearly shooter franchise.
On an earnings call, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said that Infinite Warfare's sales underperformed and that the sci-fi setting "didn't resonate" with Call of Duty players. "Infinite Warfare had a ton of great gameplay innovations," Hirshberg added. "But it also had a setting that didn't appeal to all of our fans."
The next Call of Duty, which will be out this fall and developed by Sledgehammer Games, will return to the series' roots, Hirshberg said.
This closes the loop on a dramatic year for Call of Duty that began when Activision announced Infinite Warfare in May of 2016. Fans, clearly not thrilled with the game, turned it into the second-most-disliked video in YouTube history. But on an earnings call shortly afterward, Hirshberg defended the game, saying, among other things:
And while of course we see the passionate opinions online, we also look at other measurements. And the fact is, while it's very early, pre-orders are off to a very strong start. Views of the reveal trailer that you referred to are up and in fact the number of likes per view on the Infinite Warfare reveal trailer are also the highest we've ever seen.
Apparently, YouTube dislikes were actually the best way to judge Infinite Warfare's eventual performance. Who would have thought?