Launch sales of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare were down 48.5 per cent compared to last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.
Both Infinite Warfare and Blops 3 launched on a similar Friday in November. Both games had a huge marketing push. But, for a number of reasons, Infinite Warfare sold only half as well.
That’s not to say Infinite Warfare flopped – far from it. Infinity Ward’s sci-fi shooter was still 2016’s second-largest launch in the UK – behind FIFA 17 – despite losing half its sales year-on-year.
But what caused all those lost sales?
Firstly, Infinite Warfare launched without PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 editions, as Black Ops 3 did.
However, even accounting for the loss of last-gen platforms, Infinite Warfare’s sales were still down by 43.6 per cent, UK numbers company Chart-Track noted.
In a financial briefing last week, publisher Activision said it expected Infinite Warfare to sell less than last year as it was a new sub-brand, compared to the return of the popular, established Black Ops franchise a year ago.
This will have been a factor – Black Ops is by far the biggest sub-brand for the series.
But to suggest this as the only cause overlooks the huge negative backlash against Infinite Warfare which has persisted among many fans since its unveiling.
Many COD players have not warmed to Infinite Warfare’s space-set gameplay. Others have criticised Activision’s decision to only bundle Modern Warfare Remastered with premium Infinite Warfare editions.
Fan reaction has been tempered since the game’s unpopular unveiling back in May (when the trailer was downvoted to become one of the most disliked videos in YouTube history).
As for how good the game is – well, Eurogamer’s review will be online shortly now we’ve had a chance to play the game on live servers. Edwin’s already weighed in with his view on Infinite Warfare’s campaign, however – branding it “slick, morbid and a bit dull“.