Yesterday we asked whether Infinite Warfare or the upcoming Ghostbusters film is less popular, based off the spiralling number of dislikes that each has received on their respective reveal trailers. The balance has shifted a little further since yesterday, with Infinite Warfare now on 426,651 dislikes from just over 9 million views, making for 4.7% of the views.
And that might be concerning from certain points of view, but Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg was fairly upbeat about the whole situation in his response to during an earnings call yesterday.
First of all, you gotta love the passion of gamers. This is an industry like no other and a fan base like no other. We love that our fans treat this franchise like 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… and that’s a good thing.
Secondly, of course, we know there are people in our community who are nostalgic for the boots on the ground-style gameplay; that’s why we made Modern Warfare Remastered. But we also have millions of people in our community who want to have new innovative experiences in the game each year and Infinite Warfare is going to deliver that.
The good news is this year we found a way to deliver both in one package while keeping our community together. While of course we see the passionate opinions on line, we also look at other measurements and the fact is — while it’s very early — pre-orders are off to a very strong start. Views of the reveal trailer … are up and, in fact, the number of likes per view on the Infinite Warfare trailer are the highest we’ve ever seen.
We’ve seen this in the franchise before. The reveal trailer for Black Ops 2, which took the franchise into the future for the first time, had the most dislikes of any reveal trailer we had ever made at that time. And that went on to become our most successful game ever.
Right now, the franchise has never been stronger. We have more people playing Black Ops 3, a game that takes place in the future, with boost jumps and fictitious weapons, than any game in our history.
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.
For context, the Black Ops 2 reveal trailer hit 59,000 dislikes, which Infinite Warfare is dwarfing. At the same time, 85% of all PlayStation 4 consoles sold last quarter were done so alongside a copy of Black Ops 3.
It’s interesting to see Hirshberg echo some of the points I made yesterday, about the need to push into new areas to try and keep the series fresh and interesting. However, he does little to address the cynicism surrounding the way that Modern Warfare is only being bundled with the pricier editions of Infinite Warfare, and the suspicion that this is simply to drive sales (of course it is).