Call of Duty 2017 is going back to its roots. This is the message that publisher Activision has shared. Considering how far the series has come since its very first iterations, this must be great news to long-time fans.
The indication for the first-person shooter series’ change of pace comes after Activision announced its 4th Quarter 2016 earnings. Its last main title, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, came out of 2016 as the US’s best selling game. However, its sales were still slightly lower than expected. The company attributes that to the game’s futuristic space setting, which “didn’t resonate” much with players.
“Infinite Warfare had a ton of gameplay innovations,” Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said, “But it also had a setting that didn’t appeal to all of our fans.”
Call Of Duty 2017: Back To Basics
Given that Call of Duty is the most successful franchise of the last twenty years – sales-wise, at least – Activision’s success rides on every new game they publish. And they’ve been doing that on a yearly basis since 2005’s Call of Duty 2. Not a single year has passed since that a CoD game wasn’t released.
The franchise’s aesthetic has steadily evolved as well, moving from World War eras, to modern day wars, to visions of futuristic warfare. Some have been sweeping success (Modern Warfare 2). But some have also fallen flat on their face (Ghosts). And despite the series’ commitment to consistency for its fans, none of its last three games (Advanced Warfare, Black Ops III, and Infinite Warfare) has scored higher than 83 on Metacritic.
The decision to bring back Call of Duty back to its roots seems to be Activision’s way of responding to that. “Traditional combat will once again take center stage” in Call of Duty 2017, according to COO Thomas Tippl. That’s likely to mean its earliest roots, which refers to the World War games of the mid 2000’s. But, as Forbes has pointed out, it could also mean its Modern Warfare roots.
The Modern Warfare games are arguably what launched the series into mega-hit status, and crafted the mold for CoD games of the last decade.
Point And Shoot
Despite critical and commercial success, the Call of Duty games have remained the target of much criticism. It has been largely compared with other FPS franchises like Battlefield or Medal of Honor – all of which have been criticized for a lack of creativity beyond point-and-shoot gameplay. The online communities of FPS games have also become the subject of numerous memes online.
That doesn’t touch on how critical the fans of the franchise itself have been. The Infinite Warfare trailer has become the second-most disliked video on YouTube for apparently straying too far from series expectations.
Activision and developer Sledgehammer Games will try to address all that with the Call of Duty 2017 release. If the last twelve years are any indication, we won’t have to wait too long to get our hands on it.