Activision Admits Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Failure

Posted on February 10, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games with 18 Comments

Activision Admits Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Failure

I’m not surprised that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare hasn’t met expectations. But people misunderstand Activision’s new direction for the series.

And people who should know better, too.

During a financial earnings conference call this week, Activision Blizzard COO Eric Hirshberg admitted that the latest Call of Duty game, Infinite Warfare, hasn’t met the firm’s lofty expectations.

Infinite Warfare had a ton of great gameplay innovations. But it also had a setting that didn’t appeal to all of our fans.

Then he stated the following:

In 2017, Activision will take Call of Duty back to its roots, and traditional combat will once again take center stage. This is what our dedicated community of Call of Duty players and Sledgehammer Games, developing this year’s title, are the most excited about.

But then everyone—including the gaming press, who should know better—attributed the 2017 change to the lack of success of the 2016 title. Which is incorrect.

Folks, Call of Duty games take years to make. Not one year, but years. That’s why there are three studios making these games, with one release each year. So the “setting” of the 2016 title, has no bearing on the coming 2017 title. That new game was locked down a long time ago.

What the disappointing Infinite Warfare results really mean—and, by the way, it was still the best-selling game of the holidays—is that this series will not continue.

And since most of you probably don’t realize this, it’s not the first time it’s happened. In fact it’s the third time. The third time in a row.

After the stellar successes of the Modern Warfare and Black Ops series, Activision and tried and failed to jumpstart new COD series three times, with Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, and now Infinite Warfare.

The first of those, Ghosts, was the last “traditional” COD game, and frankly I am surprised they did not continue with that as a series. The single player was fine, and the multiplayer was superb. Still is. In fact, Ghosts is an under-appreciated high point for the series.

Since Ghosts, Activision has released three “non-traditional” COD games, meaning futurist settings and that the multiplayer featured jet packs and more vertical play styles. Two of these, Advanced Warfare and Infinite Warfare were terrible: It is not coincidental that I stopped playing both in the year following each release; after AW shipped, I just played older 360-based COD games for the next year, and now I’m playing Modern Warfare Remastered instead of Infinite Warfare.

But here’s the thing.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III, the game that sits right between AW and IW and features the same sort of jet pack-based game play as those games, is excellent. It is in fact one of the best COD games ever made. The replayability of multiplayer is amazing, and I still play it now. It’s great.

So the issue with Infinite Warfare isn’t so much the “setting”, nor is it the “non-traditional” nature of its multiplayer game play. It’s that the game just isn’t any good. It’s not about robots or space. It’s about quality.

Some are now wondering if Activision will go back to World War II or something, taking a hint from the success of Battlefield 1. I doubt it, and sort of hope not. But Ghosts would be an ideal starting point for a new series, Activision. Just saying. And don’t drop the jet packs: BOIII proves that can work, and with amazing results.

Or just figure out a new Modern Warfare series. You know the fans want it.

 

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Comments (20)

20 responses to “Activision Admits Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Failure”

  1. 1139

    The only thing that would bring me back to CoD is a WWII one. I loved CoD and United Offensive.

    To each their own, though. I'm not the whole market.

  2. 5477

    I wish Call of Duty could go back to it's roots, and make a WWII game again! Call of Duty 1 was a masterpiece of a game. It was well made, it had excellent gameplay, phenomenal music and really immersed you in the WWII environment. Call of Duty 1 was  actually educational, in that it showed quotes from famous leaders, and also taught you about the weapons during the time. To be honest, all the new Call of Duty games, revolve around the same concept (modern warfare & multiplayer), and don't offer anything new. It is not to say, the new COD games are bad, they are just uninspiring. 

  3. 3072

    Battlefield 1 is set in WW1, not WW2 thus the "1".

  4. 8444

    Ghost was the last COD I liked. Not into all the SF stuff. So I (and almost all my COD friends) moved over to Battlefield 1 this year. The game is great and full of depth.

    They also should do something with their engine. The games look very dated compared to the competition now.  I'm sure that engine can't handle open more environments either. And since last year they resorted to old school FMV cutscenes because the character modelling aspect can't keep up with modern times either.

    I'm pretty sure this still is the COD2 engine with some upgrades and patchwork around it. Also the multiplayer system is very dated. The first 15 levels of gameplay really suck because your arsenal is total crap compared to other players. Modern games have lots of stuff unlocked from the start and the starting kit isn't total crap (Overwatch, BF, etc, ...)

  5. 5240

    It's still the best selling game by far. Any other company would be thrilled to have Call of Duty. There is bound to be some fatigue regardless of the setting.

  6. 6978

    I absolutely did NOT want or cared for the Infinite War version. I admit I only really bought the game for the Modern Warfare Remastered addition (that was my favorite version). I tried to give Infinite War a chance, but the game just feels LAZY in so many areas, like it was just thrown together for the sake of having "something". 

     

    I think Activision knew it would be a failure, which is why they bundled Modern Warfare with it as bait SMH 

  7. 3272

    I have always enjoyed COD games. Have bought and played almost every one of them except ghosts. They were consistently the best "feeling" shooters ever year. I only play campaigns, I have zero interest in any multiplayer gaming and I could not stand this game. I forced myself to complete it and then immediately uninstalled it.

    I couldn't stand the flying sessions, didn't like the anti gravity too much and just felt like the whole game was just...off...wrong. I don't know. I still have AW and BO3 installed and will go back to them when I need my COD fix. In the meantime, there were 2 other FPS games that were much better than COD this year BF1 was really good and Titanfall 2 was amazing. Titanfall 2 was what previous COD games were. It was an amazing game with an amazing campaign. Haven't enjoyed a FPS that much since Modern Warfare.

  8. 3596

    I am begging them to remaster MW2 for the xbox one. I started playing COD with the release of COD4 and feel the franchise has been on the downturn since BO2. My favorite COD game was MW2 with BO2 coming in a close 2nd. I agree with you Paul about the Ghosts series idea. It will be interesting to see where Activision goes with COD in the future.

  9. 7143

    Perhaps CoD: Vercingetorix vs. Julius Caesar.

    Nothing like ancient siege warfare to slow the action down.

  10. 5530

    "it was still the best-selling game of the holidays"

    Fuck me. This is why the games industry is dying and creative new titles aren't about to turn a profit.

  11. 1992

    I agree I am in the realistic camp as well.  I never did like all of those Sci-fi weapons or people with ability jump high in the sky.

    Question - Does anyone know how to gracefully close and exit CoD Modern Warfare?  It drives me crazy that there is no exit button that closes the app and takes me back to the home screen.  Thanks

  12. 5027

    Well statements like 'PlayStation is the new home of Call of Duty' probably didn't help either.

    Games like CoD is better suited for the Xbox crowd I feel, they are more into these types of game compared to Playstation.

    People on Xbox also have a tendency to play games like this longer as well, compared to Playstation users Imo.

     

  13. 442

    Not sure why the attempt to defend Activision on this.  A failure is a failure, no matter how they screw about getting to that end.

  14. 5234

    Hey, you got that Battlefield 2142 in my COD game!

    Honestly, most people looking for sci-fi shooters are just waiting for Destiny 2 later this year.  I think more Playstation players prefer sci-fi than modern-day shooters.  Xbox players seem to be the opposite.  How many people play games like Overwatch or Paragon on Xbox though?  There are some that I see on PS4, but right now, there's a glut of new, good shooters, so players are grouping off and doing their own thing.  DLC's are not keeping users for very long.  The Division's Survival DLC had interest for about a month, but it's tapered off.  Destiny DLC seems to be the only one that attracts a big crowd for more than month.

  15. 127

    Anything after MW, I never really enjoyed the games anymore. 

    Would love to see new WWII games. I would put down €100,-/game happily! But anything MW would do as well

    • 5234

      In reply to Bart:

      War shooters are overused, although I would've liked to have seen what Six Days in Fallujah would've looked like.

      I did play The Bunker recently.  Really good game.  It's basically an interactive movie about life in a nuclear bunker.  It's not so much fantasy like Fallout.  I finished it in 2 hours almost on the dot.  Awesome ending (there are 2, actually).  Makes you think a bit about what nuclear war would be like, and the life scenario that would play out.

  16. johnathan edgecomb

    Well, I for one am so disappointed in the forced lag that was induced by activision in the game infinite warfare. After i found that on a blog. Me and 12 of my buddies are not going to be buying anyactivision products again. Im not sure how many of there friends are doing the same thing. As fps gamers we deal with random lag and some cheaters. But when the games became more about the profit to activision, thats when they started losing people. I love the format of the game but if im in a constant in and out of lag state then i dont want to play. My friends and i are currently looking for any fps games not associated with activision. Call this a boycott if ya want. But im done with activision. Ghost was the best game that was made so far. The perk set up was amazing. If we had jet packs in that game it would have been awesome. My son actually had an awesom idea about a game called halo vs cod. We sat and discussed what the game would offer because halo has over shields and cod doesn't. The jump is more float-ish than cod as well. We came to the conclusion that a game like that would take years to make. Anyway back to the topic. No more games from a dirty company who only cares about the profit. Stop messing with the games so noobs dont die as much. Leave it alone' if they cant play then it's only right to push them out not keep them in fot the micro sales.

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