Call of Duty: Vanguard underperformed because nobody wanted a WW2 game, says Activision

Activision latest call of Duty Effort, vanguardShe didn’t have a good start in life. Earlier this year it was reported that the game made 36% fewer sales than its predecessor – Black Ops Cold War in the first few months of sales in the UK.

Going up against Battlefield and Halo would always make 2021 difficult for CoD.

A report by suggested that the game’s sales were down 40% year-on-year, and even anecdotally that there’s been less coverage and gossip about Vanguard than any other CoD game over the last 10 years.

Despite all that, a new annual report from Activision has found that the reason for Vanguard’s below-expected sales was due to a lack of innovation in the game… and the WWII setting that didn’t land for players anymore accustomed to the aesthetics of modern warfare.

“While Call of Duty remains one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time, our premium 2021 release fell short of our expectations, which we believe is largely a result of our own execution. [Vanguard]The WWII setting didn’t resonate with some of our community and we didn’t deliver as much innovation in the premium game as we would have liked.”

The game also went up against some other fairly big FPS players in space, of course – both Battlefield 2042 and Halo: Infinite (as well as Activision’s own free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone) would have eaten their way into the game’s potential audience. And after an annual game in the series that’s launched like clockwork over the last 16 years, perhaps there’s some consumer fatigue with the series?

Was it just the setting that was keeping players from Vanguard?

Perhaps it’s a good thing, then, that the rumors that the series’ developers are eager for Call of Duty to abandon its annual release schedule seem to carry some weight.

Perhaps this will be the writing on the walls that will allow the likes of Toys For Bob, Beenox, Demonware, High Moon Studios, Radical Entertainment and Vicarious Visions to step out of the Call of Duty content mines and into other, non-CoD- return to projects? Headline studios like Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games could then — in theory — spend longer in the development cycle without so many ancillary studios stepping in to help.

What’s next? Well, Activision thinks it has identified the issue with the 2021 release and won’t make the same missteps in 2022. This year’s title – Modern Warfare 2 – “will be the most advanced experience in franchise history,” and the publisher wants to “address [setting and innovation] Problems with launch 2022”.

Developed by Infinity Ward, the game is said to include morale systems, weapon malfunctions and more – time will tell if gamers actually want to see that in their Call of Duty games. Call of Duty: Vanguard underperformed because nobody wanted a WW2 game, says Activision

Fry Electronics Team

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