There’s no question that Call of Duty: WWII is doing incredibly well for Activision, already generating a weekend revenue of over $500 million and promising to be one of the holiday season’s biggest hits.
But the same can’t be said for last year’s Infinite Warfare. Though the 2016 release did enough to register a profit amongst its community, it didn’t quite go over as well with fans as expected, mainly due to its futuristic theme.
And Activision CEO Erik Hirshberg was quick to address that. Speaking with Newsweek, he talked about the game’s reception.
The initial trailer for the game saw over three million dislikes, a record that still stands tall on the YouTube page. And Hirshberg was quick to note the main reason why fans didn’t get into it – it just didn’t feel like the Call of Duty experience they were expecting.
“When you study longstanding franchises, it feels very risky to change them sometimes. But, in my opinion, the biggest risk you can take is not taking risks. With Infinite Warfare we found the guard rail [of creativity]. At the end of the day it just didn’t feel enough like Call Of Duty. If anything, [Infinite Warfare] just amplified the demand for boots-on-the-ground that much more.”
Fortunately, Call of Duty: WWII does return to that style of play, and that seems to be why players are getting into it so much, because it simplifies things, while still keeping the gutsiness of the gameplay we’ve come to expect from the series in previous outings.
This isn’t the first time that Hirshberg has provided some criticism to Infinite Warfare. He spoke about the game earlier this year, noting that the balance of innovation just couldn’t be reached with it, and it just didn’t do enough to stay true to the franchise, despite the official Call of Duty label.
We thought the game was great, with its accessible single player campaign, multiplayer and Zombies In Spaceland, and so did some other players, but it was obvious a change was needed – and that’s just where WWII came in.