During Activision Blizzard’s Q4 Earnings Call, Activision confirmed that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare did not meet Activision’s sale expectations for the year.
Activision said “sales underperformed’ and confirmed that they heard our feedback, saying, “It’s clear that the space setting didn’t resonate” with a majority of the community.
Activision Blizzard Chef Operating Officer Thomas Tippl said:
“Activision’s November Release [Infinite Warfare] was a high quality, innovative game that paired with Modern Warfare Remastered offered a tremendous amount of value and gameplay variety. However, sales underperformed our expectations, and it’s clear that for a portion of our audience the space setting just didn’t resonate.
Activision confirmed that “Infinite Warfare was not the success we planned.”
While it wasn’t the success we planned, it allows us to protect the core tenants of our culture empowering our talented teams to have the chance to explore new opportunities that they are passionate about.”
Activision CEO followed up later in the call with more background into what happened last year. He said that the key thing they have to work on is striking a balance between what players love about Call of Duty and working on innovation.
As I’ve said many times before, any long standing franchise like Call of Duty there’s a balancing act that we need to strike between staying true to the things people love about the franchise and also the need to never become complacent and to keep pushing for innovation to keep the franchise fresh and vital. I would argue over a period of many years now, we’ve managed that balance on Call of Duty better than anyone.
He confirmed that last year, with Infinite Warfare, they failed to keep that balance for fans, resulting in many unhappy about how the game turned out.
Last year, I don’t think we got that balance right. Infinite Warfare had a ton of great gameplay innovations that many of our fans appreciated, but it also had a setting that didn’t appeal to all of our fans.
The good news is is that I am excited to say that in 2017 we think we have this balance in perfect harmony, with a game that our teams are very passionate about with a lot of great innovations, but that also has the traditional combat that we know our fans are going to love.
The game is being made by Sledgehammer. They are a proven team, passionate about this title. We green lit it over 2 years ago now, and they’ve been hard at work ever since, and we can’t wait to unveil it to the world soon.
Without discussing too much about what we’ve got in our Call of Duty pipeline, I can also say that fans are going to love those games as well. We’ve never been more excited — neither creatively nor commercially — our 3 year Call of Duty slate.