While Call of Duty: WWII is getting plenty of critical acclaim – including from us with our review – it wasn’t always the initial direction that Sledgehammer Games wanted to take with its next Call of Duty project.
After it finished up Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare back in 2014, the company had a different idea of what it wanted to work on – a direct follow-up.
Speaking with Newsweek, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg noted that, “Sledgehammer wanted to make Advanced Warfare 2.” And it was a sound decision at first, considering how the first game ended, and how the battle against a private military faction could raise the stakes dramatically for a follow-up.
But Activision decided to take a closer look at sales trends, as well as fan reception of previous titles, and managed to convince the studio to return to World War II instead – a decision that paid off rather well, considering the game’s record-breaking sales over the weekend.
“We knew they would become historians, that they would tackle it with authenticity, give it tremendous care and we also knew they would capture the unspeakable scale of World War II,” Hirshberg explained. “What I love about this game is that anyone’s who’s looking forward to going back to the roots, the gritty, human-scale, boots-on-the-ground, militaristic, authentic experience that Call Of Duty is known for, this game delivers it in a big way.”
It indeed paid off, with a well-rounded package that includes everything, including a strong single player campaign that literally takes you on the front lines of World War II; a Zombies mode that truly brings out the scary side of Call of Duty; and grounded multiplayer that focuses more on boots-to-the-ground style of gameplay, even though you can earn perks, like loot boxes that magically float out of the sky, and nukes that level the playing field.
And now that WWII is completed, who knows? Sledgehammer could very well be hitting the ground running again on an Advanced Warfare follow-up, one that introduces a new villain and several new factors that lean more towards the contemporary style of play that some fans have gotten used to over the years. We’ll have to see what 2020 brings, as that’s when Sledgehammer’s next game is slated to release (following Treyarch in 2018 and Infinity Ward in 2019).