Activision Admits Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Failure

Megalith

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In what could be considered definitive proof that there is something seriously wrong with the direction of the Call of Duty franchise, Activision Blizzard COO Eric Hirshberg has admitted that Infinite Warfare was a critical flop and that they will be going back to the series’ roots. This, I presume, means that we will be seeing more jungles/deserts and less space/moons in future installments. Sadly, Activision seems to be missing the big picture—echoing the sentiments of the writer, their focus should probably be on gameplay, not locale or other gimmicks that have less to do with playability. What was the last good CoD game, and how do we fix the series?

What the disappointing Infinite Warfare results really mean—and, by the way, it was still the best-selling game of the holidays—is that this series will not continue. And since most of you probably don’t realize this, it’s not the first time it’s happened. In fact it’s the third time. The third time in a row. After the stellar successes of the Modern Warfare and Black Ops series, Activision and tried and failed to jumpstart new COD series three times, with Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, and now Infinite Warfare. The first of those, Ghosts, was the last “traditional” COD game, and frankly I am surprised they did not continue with that as a series. The single player was fine, and the multiplayer was superb. Still is. In fact, Ghosts is an under-appreciated high point for the series.
 

Cmdrmonkey

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The original Modern Warfare was the last good COD game. It started to go downhill with MW2, and turned into complete garbage after that as the series creators had left Activision.

The COD series should just end as it's been terrible for a long time. But it makes too much money for that to happen.
 

bufodr_T

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Infinite warfare was the first cod I didn't purchase. I've had them all since cod 1 but not this pile of shit. I hate wall running, boost packs, and other shit like that.
 

Cmdrmonkey

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Infinite warfare was the first cod I didn't purchase. I've had them all since cod 1 but not this pile of shit. I hate wall running, boost packs, and other shit like that.

Yep, it's not really even a COD game. They made a Titanfall knockoff without the Titans.

The sad thing is Titanfall 2 got rave reviews and was an amazing game, but no one bought or played it. Lots of people bought this dogshit knockoff even though it sucked.
 

Gorankar

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Titanfall 2 was not on Steam, the CoD games are. Not saying it is required to be financially successful, plenty of games are without being offered there, but a lot of people simply do not look elsewhere for games. Not being on Steam reduces your audience. That is generally detrimental to a primarily MP game.

I am glad they have realized there is something wrong with CoD, I have not really been a fan since they dropped mod support.
Mod support, and custom dedicated servers lets the community show you what they want.
 

Dan_D

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The original Modern Warfare was the last good COD game. It started to go downhill with MW2, and turned into complete garbage after that as the series creators had left Activision.

The COD series should just end as it's been terrible for a long time. But it makes too much money for that to happen.

CoD4:MW is the apex of the series. There is no doubt about this in my mind. Subsequent games always seemed to take steps forward in one or two areas and then huge steps backwards in regard to player count, dedicated servers, or other things that made the multiplayer aspect of CoD4:MW so fucking awesome. I'll admit that the series has always been somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me as I knew how terrible they were, yet bought them anyway. I genuinely enjoyed aspects of subsequent games though they never matched CoD4:MW. CoD was the closest to the arena shooters that I enjoyed in the early days of competitive online gaming. Though they weren't the same, it was the best option out there for me. Unfortunately, as time went on the single player game got more outlandish and worse to the point where it wasn't remotely believable. The multiplayer never captured my attention with 10 minute match limits, P2P match making and ultra low player counts. I loved deathmatch and team deathmatch. 4v4 or whatever MW2 had in those modes was total bullshit. Once they started copying Titanfall with wall running and other stupid shit like that I completely checked out of the series. I bought Infite Warfare because it had the remaster CoD4:MW which was ruined by shit multiplayer. Since I had CoD:IW I gave it a shot and though the multiplayer isn't for me, I rather enjoyed the single player campaign as a science fiction shooter. It was well constructed and had breathtaking environments. The gun play was good and it was fun. Like any other CoD game it lacks replay value. The story could have been a lot better. Character deaths and "touching moments" are so forced as to appear completely contrived. Still, it was a fun game with enjoyable missions.

CoD:IW is the first interesting CoD game since they started trying to copy Titanfall. I'm sort of bummed that this can't be continued as its own thing, separate from the standard games and that the title was so unappreciated. Call of Duty has needed a total revamp for years now. I don't think anyone can deny that. I also can't argue with the fact that the overall direction of the series was a bad one even if I happened to like the most recent game.
 

Viper87227

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Modern Warfare really did one thing innovative, and that was multiplayer. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't think of any multiplayer game before it (ignoring things like MMOs which are clearly very different) where earning XP and unlocking items to keep long term was a thing. Before that you just played a game, and more or less wiped the slate clean when you were done, aside from basic stat tracking. It made me feel like I was accomplishing something in a multiplayer game, instead of just killing time. On the single player side of things, I think MW was sort of the begining of the end. I've never cared for the "hollywood' COD stories. The first three games, along with WaW, had very enjoyable campaigns. No grand conspiracies or laughable plot lines. I liked being just another soldier in a much greater war. Not special or interesting. It made it feel more real.

If they came out with another historical war game, or a game that feels like it could be a real war, regardless of setting, I'd be into it. If they wanted to stick with something modern there are plenty of existing conflicts to focus on, or else it would be very easy to create a conflict without losing that "real" feeling. I want that. Maybe if they stopped releasing a COD game every year, and started putting more thought into making each release interesting, they could get the series back on track.
 

negachampa

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Well you can only re-skin the same game so many times before people catch on. I gave up on COD when BF3 launched. The BF series with epic 64 player maps, destructible environments, beautiful graphics, planes, tanks, boats, heli ,it really makes COD seem like a joke when you can only play a tiny arena size map. They need a complete overhaul to bring this back.
 

Accursed

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"Ghosts is an under-appreciated high point for the series." He lost all credibility with me after that statement. Multiplayer was garbage. After CoD: Ghosts I vowed never to buy a infinity Ward game anymore and this years offerings affirm that.

I've always enjoyed the Treyarch games even going back to World at War. Next year is Sledgehammer if I remember right. So Treyarch is two years away, 2018.
 

ryno9100

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The first three games, along with WaW, had very enjoyable campaigns. No grand conspiracies or laughable plot lines. I liked being just another soldier in a much greater war. Not special or interesting. It made it feel more real.

World at War was, by far, my favorite CoD game. With Treyarch in line to release the next CoD (presumably this year), and the trend of futuristic shooters, especially CoD, becoming less and less of a major seller, I'm really hoping Treyarch is making World at War 2. Assuming they saw far enough in the future since BO3 release to realize where the market was headed, they'd be mistaken to release a BO4 of any variety.

Even not liking the futuristic stuff though, I always look forward to Treyarch's CoD games. I can't really pinpoint the reason, but I've always like their game better than the Inifinity Ward ones or the one game from Sledgehammer.
 

Uncle

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I only have one question. I'm not a techy in gaming so bear with me. Do the new cards today make the older three gens back cards, make games look better. Eg if you had the top of the line system and vid cards to go with the games when BF1,2,3 or other games of that period, would I see a difference in visuals with a new system and vid card. Or is it all about getting the latest games today with a new system, which I understand.
 

vegeta535

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I as a person that don't care for multiplayer actually enjoyed the single player campaign. It was one of the best in a long time in the series I think.
 

MrTryfe

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I was done with CoD on PC after getting MW2 as a day one purchase, and opening the game, only to find a crap console port. No dedicated servers, no 32/64 player support (hell, not even 24!), and no console either.

A big part of why CoD 4 was popular on PC was also due to ProMod, but we wouldn't get anything like that for MW2 either, due to no dedicated servers.

Hell, even going from PunkBuster to VAC was a terrible move. PB became a little too big brother at one point, and was a hassle to use at times, but it did a far better job against hack infested servers in CoD 4, than VAC did in the back infested lobbies of MW2.

Not sure if any of that changed down the line, but I remember IW being pretty smug about it, several months after release.
 

Yaka

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cod IW sp was pretty good but i think blops 3 hurt it, mp is very similar to blops 3 and the sp campaign of blops 3 was just dire. its telling that even cod4 remastered couldnt save IW sales.

cod mp needs to go back to where cod4 was nice and simple and damn good fun. the tacked on gimicks since just ruin the mp side for me specially since they started adding sci-fi slant to it from blops 2 on wards.
 

Flogger23m

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Strictly speaking of SP, Infinite Warfare was the best CoD since 4, and probably even better than it. The vehicle section, although under developed, was rather impressive for a main stream game. Especially a CoD game. You could even select your loadout before each mission. The story was typical CoD, silly cartoon cut-out villains with no real goal aside from being "evil" but that was the same since 4. But it made a decent attempt to grab at your emotional strings at the end, and at least you somewhat cared about your crew members. Length wise it came it at closer to 9-10 hours to.

Overall, not an excellent game by any stretch but a thoroughly solid campaign. The best thing to come from this series in a decade or more. Possibly even the best campaign experience in the entire series. I was glad they decided to put vehicle combat into focus, especially space based combat. Obviously there were constraints not to stray too far from what CoD is supposed to be. And without a doubt, lots of time constraints given the annual release of a CoD game. One could only imagine the potential if they were allowed to make this a standalone game without any ties to CoD. Likely could have been a lot better. Certainly better than anything CoD.
 

bloodypulp

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Military shooter fatigue. They need to let the franchise take a sabbatical for a few years. There's too many FPS games. The best multiplayer shooter is Overwatch and will be for the near future..
 

CrazyRob

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IMO, CoD's biggest problem as a franchise is that they flooded their own market with subpar games lacking innovation. Had they released less games, they likely would have been more profitable. We don't need the same game re-skinned every year and we certainly don't need over priced dlc immediately upon release. Just work on releasing a quality product every 2-3 years, and they'd have my money up front every time. Sure, their yearly sales figures wouldn't look as big, but their return on investment would surely see a jump.
 

Draax

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I don't play multi-player and the last CoD I played was black ops. I really enjoyed infinite warfare and the sci-fi setting.
 

Nytegard

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CoD just has way too many issues at this time, and needs to die. The game became more consolized as time went on. The maps became smaller and all about corridor shooting vs the original game with open maps like Brecourt and Hurtgen. Player sizes decreased. Remember in Call of Duty 1 where the developers nerfed bunny hopping because it would detract from the game? Yeah, how times have changed. World at War was where I started to notice terrible lag being introduced in the series. Modern Warfare introduced the whole leveling aspect, to guarantee that people who played a lot would have a distinct advantage over newer players, regardless of skill (P90 anyone?). Then you have the whole gambling added in for weapons. They kept making it easier for bad players to appear to be better than they truly were. And you have the whole oversaturation.
 

WorldExclusive

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I traded in Halo 3 for MW1. That should tell you how damn good COD was that year.
Haven't seriously played a COD game since.
 

Cmdrmonkey

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IMO, CoD's biggest problem as a franchise is that they flooded their own market with subpar games lacking innovation. Had they released less games, they likely would have been more profitable. We don't need the same game re-skinned every year and we certainly don't need over priced dlc immediately upon release. Just work on releasing a quality product every 2-3 years, and they'd have my money up front every time. Sure, their yearly sales figures wouldn't look as big, but their return on investment would surely see a jump.

You pretty much just nailed why Counter-strike just keeps growing in popularity while CoD is in decline. CS has great weapon and map balance, and the iterations of the franchise like 1.6, Source, and GO are around and stay popular for many, many years. Valve is also constantly updating, polishing, and balancing CSGO. You can get really invested in CS, but I hardly see the point with a CoD game when it will just be discarded and replaced with another subpar version within a year.

I mean why put money, time, and effort into a multiplayer game no one will still be playing in a year? Don't you want your skills and accomplishments to stay relevant? This is why CSGO is so popular and no one gives a crap about COD these days. It's ironic too because COD is the franchise that pioneered the idea of leveling up and achievements in shooters. But that stuff means nothing when new games come out so frequently. To survive, COD needs to go the Counter-Strike route of only coming out with a new game every 5-10 years, and that new game is super polished and constantly getting more balanced and polished.
 
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illram

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So the first issue is since MW2, this has been a console game. Never worth it to buy on the PC. The second biggest issue, to me, is the in game currency gambling they seem hell bent on doing now. IW hides objectively better guns behind an in game gambling system, where you can either undertake an excruciatingly slow grind to maybe earn enough currency for a handful of guns, or buy "COD points" to spend on a lottery system that may (or may not) award you the same guns. Advanced Warfare also did this. Black Ops 3 had a lottery system but the weapons were mostly gimmicky and not better than the base guns. But in IW, they are superior. I feel they are headed towards an even more blatant play to win system in future games, which would probably be the one thing that makes me quit the franchise. Other than that, I have basically enjoyed every COD since MW1, because the core gameplay is really remained the same, even with the boost jumping, sliding silliness. (I think AW was the worst in that regard, they toned it down in BO3 and IW.)
 

dyzophoria

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It is not about the setting of the game, they can go all space/moons or whatever if the gameplay could be improved. (even the singleplayer story lines gets to be a bit off now and then)
 

Burticus

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Honestly I haven't played Infinite Warfare yet... but the grinding decline has been clear. Advanced Warfare was meh. I hated Black Ops 3. Ghost was meh, although the dog was something different.

It should be about story and gameplay, not re-designing the wheel each time and spending big money on famous CGI faces. I'm talking to you, Frank Underwood.

Edit - so same topic but in the Battlefield world... I miss Bad Company. Don't give a crap about WW1. I'll say that Dice can clearly make a bad ass game engine, but they need to hire some writers.
 

SixFootDuo

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Original COD was awesome.

Everything else was horrible.

That series is nothing but a run and button masher. Zero tactics.
 

G_Sup

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I thought MW and MW2 were good. Treyarch did great with the franchise with the first 2 black ops but after buying Ghosts I felt butt raped and never looked back again. Go back to larger less shoe-boxed maps with zero thought behind them and I might look into it.
 

EvilWays

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IW was actually a decent game, though it would make a better Battlestar Galactica game (one we should have had instead of the crapfests that were released). MW1 was the last best game in the franchise. I gave up on the CoD series midway through the boredom of MW2 and didn't play another one until IW. WaW felt too much like Treyarch took the assets from MW1, changed them slightly, tweeked the story a bit and shat out a game.
 

BulletDust

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But it's a AAA title?! It's gotta be good, well worth $120.00 AU!

The only reason why I would have bought it was for MW2, and that's not worth $120.00! I'm totally sick of lining up an opponent, firing and having them run up bloody walls FFS.
 

Blade-Runner

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Modern Warfare really did one thing innovative, and that was multiplayer. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't think of any multiplayer game before it (ignoring things like MMOs which are clearly very different) where earning XP and unlocking items to keep long term was a thing. Before that you just played a game, and more or less wiped the slate clean when you were done, aside from basic stat tracking. It made me feel like I was accomplishing something in a multiplayer game, instead of just killing time.

BF2 pioneered unlockable weapons before MW1. Personally I hate them because dev's have taken what was a good idea and turned it into a horrible crutch used as a substitute for decent content and innovation between releases. Now every sequel is jam packed full of worthless, poorly balanced and ill conceived unlockables that are routinely broken by patches or riddled with exploits because they were not properly tested to begin with. What's worse is that games with these systems have become a mundane grind which distract people from teamwork and PTFO.

IMO, CoD's biggest problem as a franchise is that they flooded their own market with subpar games lacking innovation. Had they released less games, they likely would have been more profitable. We don't need the same game re-skinned every year and we certainly don't need over priced dlc immediately upon release. Just work on releasing a quality product every 2-3 years, and they'd have my money up front every time. Sure, their yearly sales figures wouldn't look as big, but their return on investment would surely see a jump.

Exactly this, Activision Guitar Hero'ed CoD right into the ground. They have caused irreparable damage to the brand by saturating the market with cynical hollowed out games designed to be trojan horses for DLC.

CoD4:MW is the apex of the series. There is no doubt about this in my mind. Subsequent games always seemed to take steps forward in one or two areas and then huge steps backwards in regard to player count, dedicated servers, or other things that made the multiplayer aspect of CoD4:MW so fucking awesome. I'll admit that the series has always been somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me as I knew how terrible they were, yet bought them anyway. I genuinely enjoyed aspects of subsequent games though they never matched CoD4:MW. CoD was the closest to the arena shooters that I enjoyed in the early days of competitive online gaming.

Although I enjoyed MW1, I consider United Offensive to be the pinnacle in terms of MP game play......64 players, drivable vehicles, massive maps. It was a blast and the only legitimate competition to BF1942.
 
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Activision should really consider CoD to be released annually and focus on how to make the gameplay more innovative and implement features players really want, because it seems rushed and they obviously don't care about the product quality which was pretty much their downfall of the series, but Activision only cares about the sales, which is understandable from a business financial perspective but they seem to repeat the same mistakes every year and I doubt they will learn from Infinite Warfare. They should just take time to release a CoD game that is actually decent and not rushed.
 
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