Activision CEO on COD: Infinite Warfare reaction - “The day to worry is the day we stop trying new things.” | PCGamesN

Activision CEO on COD: Infinite Warfare reaction - “The day to worry is the day we stop trying new things.”

Infinite Warfare dislikes

The quarterly Activision Blizzard financial call was last night. They’re usually fairly dull affairs, gaming boiled down to its facts, figures and who is making cash where. It’s rare an announcement gets out beyond a release window, and the Q&A at the end is all business to business, growth targets and dodging. This go round was a bit different, with one questioner asking about the huge number of dislikes the Infinite Warfare reveal trailer has received, and how the company responds. Eric Hirshberg, top man of the Activision half, acknowledged the passion of the community, but essentially said it’s not to be worried about.

Where will this year’s offering land on our list of the best FPS games?

Starting off by saying that there really aren’t other franchises or entertainment mediums where this level of passion is on display, Hirshberg goes on to point out that the actual impact of the downvote campaign has been minimal.

“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.” he explained, before comparing it to a similar situation with Black Ops 2, “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.”

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He also points out that they are making sure to provide for those that prefer, as he puts it, “boots on the ground gameplay” with Modern Warfare remastered, while pushing the franchise further into the future than before. He finishes by saying that “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.”

It’s a fair point. While the downvote ratio on the video is the worst the franchise has seen, the number of votes combined is less than 7% of the total number of views. While it’s not exactly superb to have this sort of thing front and center on your big reveal, it’s not representative of the majority. It is still ‘the new COD’ plus an old favourite, which will have drawing power with their audience, and casual fans like me are a lot more interested in it going to space than we would be in another retelling of Evil Corporation Attempts Takeover or Things Are Quite Bad In The Middle East.

You can have a listen in the archive, with this question starting at about 36 minutes. As for the rest of the call, there's not a lot of news, other than a small note that Whispers of the Old Gods and Overwatch are going to be in the same financial quarter and everybody's getting paid. We’ll see more on Infinite Warfare at E3 - where do you sit on the new COD?

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AnAuldWolf avatardwunken wabbit avatar
AnAuldWolf Avatar
1 Year ago

Except Activision never tries new things???

Certainly, this is this is the expected response. I -know- that, but I couldn't help but bite because I'm a little bit flabbergasted by their sheer arrogance. They hired High Moon and forced them to try to rip off Titanfall whereas they could've made something truly unique if left to their own devices; Their last Black Ops was a cheap mockery of Deus Ex: Human Revolution; And this one seems to be capitalising on how 'archaic, anachronistic jet fighters in space is popular with a pretty large demographic' again. It's funny, because when people talk of neckbeards they think of people who're overly attached to the traditional, the inverse couldn't be more true. Usually it's the nerdliest people who want exotic novelty, and the mainstream who just want to play space games with the Star Wars aesthetic until they die. Without ever being challenged by any high concepts.

You need look no further than the ending of Mass Effect 3 and the reaction to to see how true that is. I don't like being overly negative, but the thing is is that most people have an astounding capacity for mimicry, and a profound inclination toward being boring. The most interesting people I've met have all had brain damage of some form or generally unusual brains.

It's like imagining what the fantasies of Tesla and Edison are, you know? The mainstream seems to be the latter.

Tesla had a love affair with a pigeon that shot lasers out of its eyes. Edison had no loves beyond the unambitious pursuit of money.

Sometimes it's really just better to be crazy than boring. And the recent thinking of psychological science is that insanity isn't harmful in and of itself because it's created by an excess of rationality, rather than an absence of it. And it's only how that ambition then is utilised dictates whether or not the person is harmful to society, rather than the insanity in and of itself.

Most enlightened thinkers are what the common person thinks of as 'insane.' Which is disappointing.

The thing is is that I'm sure that plenty of people would nod their heads along with this. But would this Call of Duty happened if not for titles like Elite, Star Citizen, and No Man's Sky? The only difference is that they watered down the technology and made it look like it's from a Star Wars film so that it won't confuse the assumedly tiny minds of the average person, according to their perception.

Meanwhile, you have ISIC in Battleborn being a pretty clever and intelligent parody of the reality simulation theory. And not a mean-spirited one, either. That's what makes ISIC so funny in Battleborn -- he's not wrong! After all, if reality is indeed a simulation, then it's being run by incredibly unethical monsters or unimaginably incompetent idiots. Either possibility is entirely quite terrifying. It's not a theory many want to entertain due to human arrogance and the supposed importance of the human species in the grand scheme of things (an importance which, technically speaking, doesn't exist).

He also makes the point of [Skip to the next paragraph to avoid a spoiler!] how the Varelsi seem to be running scared from something, something that made them -this- desperate. And what thing could be powerful and dreadful enough to do that to a race of beings that can leap dimensional gaps and go around merrily stealing stars?

But you won't see that sort of cleverness or subversiveness in an Activision game.

Just... Not sure how they can say that so shamelessly, that's all. I guess all dignity goes out of the window when you're involved in big business.

dwunken wabbit Avatar
1 Year ago

The day to worry is when you try new things that the public tell you what they don't want but you don't listen. Hope the other studio's in your series are not working on futuristic concepts for the series? or you in trouble! They may be to far into making them already to change ! i'm not slating the new one until i try it, but jet pacs ?? come on, coloured suits guns, stupid types of characters ! that stuff is for kids. We want warfare not Clown Wars