There was a touch of genius to EA's big Battlefield 1 reveal earlier this week. After the hype surrounding Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has subsided - and chatter had moved on to whether the Modern Warfare remaster was a smart addition or a carrot on a stick designed to paper over the series’ stagnation - up popped DICE and Battlefield.
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Both trailers are typical examples of how you put together Hollywood style cut-and-thrust (and then thrust a bit more for good measure) hype machines, but their respective performances on YouTube to date could give a good indication on just how each will be received when they hit the stands later this year.
Having gone live on May 2, the Official Call of Duty: Infinite War trailer has amassed more than 12 million views and, as we go to press, a total of 232,059 likes. On the surface, not a bad number, equal to around 2 million views a day. The dislike total, however, currently sits at a whopping 830,174.
Compare that to the Battlefield 1 trailer, which lifts the lid on the series’ jump back to the First World War in quite spectacular fashion.
Since it went live four days after Call of Duty on May 6, it has hit more than 14.5 million views, and drawn in 764,397 likes. That’s an average view rate of more than 7 million views a day, give or take, and interestingly the trailer has only triggered 14,663 dislikes.
So, while for Infinite Warfare for every person that ‘likes’ the trailer, there are three and a half people hitting that dislike button (we’re not quite sure how you define half a person), Battlefield 1‘s ratio has swung completely the other way, with a whopping 52 people liking DICE’s latest for every one person angered enough to tap dislike.
Interestingly, Activision has chosen to acknowledge the ‘mass dislike campaign’ as we reported earlier in the week, with CEO Eric Hirshberg claiming that it shows “the passion of gamers”. “This is an industry like no other and a fan base like no other,” he stated in an earnings call.
“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. 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.”
Does any of this really matter? Of course, YouTube video views and likes do not translate to sales at the tills, but EA and DICE will likely see the overtly positive reaction to Battlefield 1 and the somewhat mixed reception Infinite Warfare - Modern Warfare remaster aside - has received to date as a step forward as it looks to chase down Call of Duty during the Christmas run in.
Also, taking PC out of the equation, Call of Duty’s recent close association with PlayStation and Battlefield 1‘s EA Access bonus on Xbox One will had a whole other dimension to the battle come launch. Expect console fanboys to pick their side not based on gameplay, but rather which machine gets additional content first - all while secretly buying both games, of course.
It’s also worth noting that Battlefield’s typically slightly older demographic compared to Call of Duty may also have had an impact on the like to dislike ratios, as well as the fact that DICE is in charge as opposed to Visceral Gameson Battlefield Hardline (a game we didn’t think quite lived up to the series’ high standard last year), which will likely bring dedicated Battlefield fans back to the fold.
Still, in the war of YouTube trailers, Battlefield 1 has definitely come out on top so far. First blood to EA?