Activision Blizzard’s regular investor call took place yesterday. Among other things, executives addressed the hate being poured onto the newly released trailer for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
At the time of this writing, the trailer’s roughly approaching 400,000 dislikes, which is double the number of likes it currently has. Don’t even bother scrolling down into the comments; there be monsters.
Activision, though, doesn’t sound too worried.
“First of all, you’ve gotta love the passion of gamers,” said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. “This is an industry like no other, and a fanbase like no other, and we love that our fans treat this franchise like it’s their own and have such strong points of view about it. There just aren’t many entertainment franchises on Earth that can generate the kind of passion that Call of Duty can. That’s a good thing.”
Hirshberg added that the same thing happened with the trailer revealing Black Ops II. That was the first game that took the series past “modern” warfare and into futuristic stuff. Black Ops II, of course, went on to be the most successful game in the franchise, and Black Ops III was seen by most as an improvement over the last couple entries in the series.
“What we know for sure is that if we always just did what worked in the past and never took any creative risks, we wouldn’t have a franchise. The day to worry is the day we stop trying new things.”
Activision has to spin things in a positive light, of course, and his first words sound a bit like the idea that it’s better to be hated than ignored, but he’s not wrong, either. While sports games can update mechanics and rosters to keep things fresh, a shooter has to offer more if it’s going to come out every year. The franchise has a responsibility to adhere to certain core ideas, but it needs to experiment from there, or it’ll end up forgotten.
Only time will tell if the changes Infinity Ward is bringing to the series will ultimately work out, but if nothing else, it at least is different enough to tell at a glance.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare hits PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 4, 2016 and, for the first time, won’t be heading to Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.