Even though Call of Duty is one of the strongest franchises, Activision is aware there are improvements that can be made to the 2017 release of Call of Duty from Sledgehammer Games.
The company said it would be returning to the franchises "roots" with the new COD, something it teased during their recent conference call with investors. Activision COO Thomas Tippl said that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare had "underperformed [Activision's] expectations". This is said to be partly due to Infinite Warfare being a new sub-series, so it's hard to compare it against Black Ops.
Tippl continued: "[I]t's clear that, for a portion of our audience, the space setting just didn't resonate. We have a passionate, experienced studio deeply committed to this direction, and despite the risks we saw, we believe it is important to consider the passions of our game teams in deciding what content to create".
It's good to see Activision are aware of the issues, but shouldn't it have known this half way through the development of Infinite Warfare? Tippl continues: "While it wasn't the success we planned, it allows us to protect the core tenets of our culture that Bobby discussed: empowering our talented teams to have the chance to pursue opportunities that they are passionate about. Providing an environment that recognizes passion is a critical component of our success, and a process to learn from our mistakes is what makes our company special, and it's why the most talented people in our industry are attracted to our company".
As for 2017, Activision will "take Call of Duty back to its roots and traditional combat will once again take center stage," Tippl said. "This is what our dedicated community of Call of Duty players and Sledgehammer Games, which has been developing this year's title, are the most excited about".