You have to hand it to Activision, not many companies could put such a good spin on the fact that fans have basically started a hate campaign for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, but they’ve managed.
At the moment, they’re kind of like an overly optimistic dad on a camping holiday, rubbing his hands together enthusiastically as it pisses down with rain because that just means we get more use out of the tent.
During a conference call with investors and analysts to review its most recent quarterly earnings report, Activision Blizzard executives were asked about the massive number of YouTube dislikes that the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare reveal trailer has bagged itself.
If you haven’t been keeping an eye on it, it currently has 424, 699 dislikes to 196, 199 likes. Anyway, Activision have impressively managed to turn this into a positive.
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, said:
This is an industry like no other, and a fan base like no other, and we love that our fans treat this franchise like it’s their own and has 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. That’s a good thing.
He also acknowledged that there are fans out there who are keen on a return to Call of Duty games like Modern Warfare (it’s pretty hard to drown those guys out, after all).
However, he maintained that there are millions of people in the COD community who want “new, innovative experiences in the game each year”.
Hirshberg went on to say that YouTube dislikes aren’t indicative of sales (who knew?):
While it’s very early, preorders are off to a very strong start, views of the reveal trailer you referred to are up, and in fact the number of likes-per-view on the Infinite Warfare reveal trailer are also the highest we’ve ever seen.
To be fair, the trailer currently sits at over nine million views – 400k dislikes is a pretty small amount in the grand scheme of things.
This also isn’t the first time something like this has happened. It’s happened with Call of Duty before, and it certainly happens with other videogames. For all the hate Black Ops II initially received, it went on to become the best selling COD ever.
Hirshberg finished by reminding everyone of the (much maligned) Black Ops III:
We have more people playing Black Ops III–a game that takes place in the future with boost jumps and futuristic weapons and all the rest–than any game in our history. So 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.
So will Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare continue the franchise’s tradition of magically raking in cash despite the fact everybody claims they hate it? We’ll have to wait and see.