Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare may go down as the most despised successful video game of all time. Infinite Warfare may have sold over 12 million copies, but a segment of the Call of Duty audience hated the game’s heavy sci-fi focus, transforming game’s trailer into the most disliked video in YouTube history. And then, directly following the Infinite Warfare debacle, Activision unveiled the back-to-basics Call of Duty: WWII and everybody was all smiles again! From the outside, Call of Duty: WWII kind of looks like Activision hitting the panic button, but, apparently, that simply isn’t the case.
According to Activision vice president Rob Kostich, Call of Duty: WWII was in development before the publisher even had a hint of the coming Infinite Warfare fallout.
“Given our three-year development cycle, we made this decision long before we even knew what the response would be to Black Ops III, let alone Infinite Warfare. As you know, Black Ops III has gone on to become one of the most successful games in Call of Duty franchise history, so World War II was a bit of a departure at the time, but we felt it was the right creative direction, and the right time to go back to where it all started. After seeing the response from the reveal, it is pretty clear that it was the right decision."
Kostich elaborated on why World War II seemed like the right move three years ago…
“We felt WWII was definitely the right direction. We hadn’t revisited that era since World at War in 2008, and we thought Sledgehammer would do a great job with the game."
So, there you are, Call of Duty: WWII was just a lucky break. That said, I do think the reaction to Infinite Warfare has effected how WWII is being marketed. I bet there wouldn’t be such a hard focus on grittiness, realism, and “boots on the ground” action if Infinite Warfare had gone over better.