Tippl confirmed NPD's analysis of Infinite Warfare sales this week during the company's Q4 earnings call, stating that the title "underperformed" and that it was clear "for a portion of our audience [that] the space setting just didn't resonate".
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg reiterated that while Infinite Warfare's gameplay innovations were well received, its setting "didn't appeal to many of our fans".
It's no secret that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare saw a ton of negative press from its reveal right through to its final release. Meanwhile Sledgehammer is looking for graphic designers and artists to complete the work on the new iteration of Call of Duty expected in 2017.
It's wonderful to think that, despite Infinite Warfare's incredible earnings in 2016, it could have been even higher.
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Okay, so maybe saying that Infinite Warfare didn't sell very well is a bit of hyperbole, since Call of Duty was still the top gaming franchise in 2016. Lots of the negative reception of the game was angled toward the series' continued trip down the rabbit hole of rapid technology expansion, which culminated in the game literally traveling to space. Activision Blizzard noted that it earned $3.6 billion from in-game sales in 2016.
Such a move might pay off for Call of Duty and Activision, as Capcom has found success in Resident Evil 7 by once again making horror as the game's focus. "What we are seeing develop fairly quickly is that recurring digital revenues and in-game transactions are becoming a much larger part of the mix". Going by the developer cycle, this year's Call of Duty will be developed by Sledgehammer Games before going back to Treyarch next year in 2018.
In addition to the success of the aforementioned game, Blizzard also oversaw a resurgence of popularity in the long-running World of Warcraft. Will Call Of Duty finally return to World War II? Let us know what your expectations are for the franchise!
The company's CEO, Eric Hirshberg, was also on hand to note that fans did respond positively to numerous gameplay innovations present in Infinite Warfare.