In a recently held earnings call discussing the company's performance in the fourth quarter of 2016, Activision revealed that the Call of the Duty franchise will be going "back to its roots" with this year's release in the series.
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.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Fails To Meet Expectations
Tippl's statement coincides with a report released in December 2016, which claimed that retail sales for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare over its first month is 50 percent lower compared to what Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was able to achieve over the same time.
Speculation brought up a few reasons on why Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare did not sell as well as its predecessor. One theory is that players do not appreciate how the franchise continues to push the futuristic theme, as first evidenced by the reveal trailer of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare becoming the second-most disliked video on YouTube.
Tippl said that it was clear for Activision that for a part of its audience, the space setting and futuristic theme did not resonate. While Call of Duty remained the top franchise in North America for the eighth straight year and the top franchise among consoles globally for seven of the past eight years, the publisher knew that changes were needed to be made to the series.
2017 Call Of Duty To Highlight Traditional Combat
The 2017 game for the Call of Duty franchise, currently being developed by Sledgehammer Games, was said to be taking the franchise "back to its roots."
According to Activision, traditional combat will once again be the focus for the next Call of Duty game, which will be a welcome change to the franchise. The first Call of Duty game, released in 2003, focused on World War II scenarios, but since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, released in 2007, the franchise has been going further into futuristic combat with advanced weapons and gadgets.
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said that the next Call of Duty game, which was greenlit into production more than two years ago, will balance keeping the franchise fresh with new innovations and placing it in a setting that the fans of the series will appreciate.
Activision usually reveals new entries into the Call of Duty series in the spring, so gamers looking forward to know more about the next game in the franchise will need to wait two to three more months.
Performance Of Other Activision Games
According to the publisher, Overwatch set the record for the strongest launch year in terms of financial performance for any game in the 25-year history of Blizzard, with the multiplayer shooter reaching 25 million registered players faster than any other Blizzard franchise.
World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, meanwhile, saw their monthly active user numbers for 2016 grow by 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year.