Call of Duty 2017 is going “back to its roots” and CoD: Infinite Warfare is officially a retail disappointment

It’s official… Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has been a disappointment for Activision. During a quarterly financial presentation yesterday, executives from the publisher confirmed that sales of the sequel “underperformed our expectations.”

COO Thomas Tippl speculated that the sci-fi trappings of Infinite Warfare’s plot might have been responsible for the sales downturn, saying, “It’s clear that for a portion of our audience, the space setting just didn’t resonate.”

However, Activision’s senior staff are very excited for Call of Duty 2017, which is currently in development at Sledgehammer Games. Tippl confirmed the game will launch this Fall, and said it’ll feature “traditional combat” that takes the franchise “back to its roots”:

In 2017, Activision will take Call of Duty back to its roots, and traditional combat will once again take center stage. This is what our dedicated community of Call of Duty players and Sledgehammer Games, who has been developing this year’s title, are the most excited about.

During the Q&A portion of the presentation, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg added that Call of Duty 2017, which is known as “Lethal Combat” internally, will offer a better balance of traditional elements and new innovations than Infinite Warfare did:

I’ve said many times before, with any longstanding franchise like Call of Duty, there’s a balancing act we need to strike between staying true to the things that people love about the franchise and also the need to never become complacent and to keep pushing for innovations to keep the franchise fresh and vital.

Last year I don’t think we got that balance right. Infinite Warfare had a ton of great gameplay innovations that many of our fans appreciated and loved, but it also had a setting that didn’t appeal to all of our fans. The good news is, is that I’m excited to say that in 2017 we think we have this balance in perfect harmony with a game that our teams are incredibly passionate about, with a lot of great innovations, but that also has the traditional combat that we know our fans are going to love.

Barring some catastrophic change in Activision’s operational style, Call of Duty 2017 will likely be released this November.

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned’s Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

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