Activision’s Call of Duty Franchise Going ‘Back To Its Roots’ With Traditional Boots On The Ground Gameplay

We have the feeling that Activision Blizzard wasn’t anticipating that backlash that came with the announcement of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in May of last year. However, once the initial trailer for the game popped up on YouTube, the venom flew furiously at the thought of not only taking combat into space, but also messing around with gameplay mechanics. The Moonraker-esque battles in the trailer lead gamers to launch a massive “dislike” campaign on YouTube (as of today, the reveal trailer has 3.4 million dislikes compared to 567,000 likes).

CoD Infinite Warfare

So, what is Activision Blizzard to do in order to right the ship? Well, it was announced that Sledgehammer Games is taking the lead for the 2017 Call of Duty release. More importantly, Chief operating officer Thomas Tippl said that Sledgehammer Games “will take Call of Duty back to its roots, and traditional combat will once again take center stage. This is music to the ears of gamers that were incredibly disappointed to what Infinite Warfare brought to the table.

The negativity surrounding Infinite Warfare seeped into sales, with NPD reporting in December that sales were down nearly 50 percent after one month compared to Black Ops 3. It also didn’t help that Battlefield 1 was released around the same time and garnered much praise for its story, graphics, and retelling of an underrepresented segment of the gaming market: World War 1.

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 added that Infinite Warfare “didn’t appeal to many of our fans.”

We don’t have any specifics on the exact setting or character details behind this latest installment of Call of Duty, but it will be great to have players’ boots firmly on terra firma for a change. The game has been in development for roughly two years and we should get our first glimpse of what to expect sometime this spring. Maybe this time around with Activision Blizzard looking to return to what made the Call of Duty games so great will prompt enthusiasts to leave their Haterade in the refrigerator.