Activision has revealed that this year’s Call of Duty game will be ditching the futuristic space combat of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, after the latter game didn’t live up to expectations, the publisher announced Thursday during an earnings call.
According to Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg, Infinite Warfare’s sci-fi setting “didn’t resonate” with players and the game’s sales underperformed. “Infinite Warfare had a ton of great gameplay innovations,” Hirshberg said. “But it also had a setting that didn’t appeal to all of our fans.”
Sledgehammer Games is developing the next Call of Duty, which will be out this fall, and Hirshberg said that the game will return to the series’ roots. “Traditional combat will once again take center stage,” he added.
Despite negative reactions to the game’s announcement trailer — which quickly became the second-most disliked video in YouTube history — Infinite Warfare was still the best-selling game in the United States for 2016, but didn’t reach the heights of previous entries in the series, which just goes to show how high Activision’s expectations are for their biggest franchise.
Hirshberg didn’t comment on what the next game’s setting will be, although a return to World War II would be an obvious choice given EA’s success with the World War 1-set Battlefield 1 last year.