In a new lengthy interview with Polygon, prior to Activision’s Call of Duty: WWII reveal, Activision CEO spoke a lot about the decision to take Call of Duty back to its roots.
In that interview, he also talks about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and what happened this past year with Call of Duty and Infinity Ward. Eric Hirshberg said that he believes Infinite Warfare is a ‘high quality game’ from the Infinity Ward team, but it was the wrong game to deliver in 2016. The company has been working to find the right time to deliver titles, and Infinite Warfare missed that mark.
“I think it’s a really good game,” Hirshberg said about last year’s installment. “I think it can be simultaneously true that it was a really high quality game that Infinity Ward did a really terrific job with and the game was delivered at a very high level, creatively — and that it might have been the wrong game at the wrong moment in terms of getting that rhythm right with the audience and with the culture.”
With the Call of Duty three year development cycle, it’s become more of a challenge to predict the future market and precisely guess what fans want each year. The last three Call of Duty games were all futuristic with advanced movement. But Activision CEO still highlights that the benefits of the 3 year development cycle.
“The advantages of a three-year cycle are clear: there’s more time to innovate, there’s more time to polish, there’s more time to iterate, there’s more time for all the things that gamers care most about development teams having. At the same time, it increases the degree of difficulty, to an extent, getting that balancing act right,” Hirshberg explained, referring to the balance between consistency and freshness, a theme he returned to throughout our call. “The good news is we’ve gotten it right more often than not and more often than most. But I think, in the case of last year, I think both things were true.”
See more about the decision to go back to the roots in our other post here.