Activision Blizzard released its quarterly financial report last week, and it didn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that Infinity Ward will launch a new Call of Duty game this holiday season. Activision did say, however, that this will be a new “ innovative” entry into the long-running franchise – not a word usually associated with Call of Duty.
There’s been a Call of Duty game released every year since Call of Duty 2 in 2005. The development of the titles was split between Infinity Ward and Treyarch on an alternating yearly basis but the franchise moved from a two-year to a three-year development cycle in 2014, with Sledgehammer Games joining the other two studios as a lead developer.
It will be Infinity Ward’s first Call of Duty game since 2013’s CoD: Ghosts, which was the first game in the series to appear on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The developer knows it has a lot to live up to - last year’s entry, Black Ops 3 from Treyarch, was the best selling game of 2015.
We don’t know what the upcoming game will be about; it could be a new Ghosts or Modern Warfare, but Infinity Ward did post a tweet mentioning “reaching new heights” last month that included a picture of an astronaut. Could this hint that the game will be set in space (like the brief section that appeared in Ghosts)? It could explain why Activision is using the term “innovative.”
Activision reported that its quarterly and yearly sales were down last year. The company’s adjusted revenue for the quarter was $2.12 billion, down from $2.21 billion from the same period a year earlier and below its forecast of $2.15 billion. Total revenue for the year was $4.62 billion, compared to the $4.81 billion it made across all of 2014.
The company said that two of its expected big-earners, Skylanders Superchargers and Guitar Hero Live, performed weaker than it anticipated. Activision blamed this on greater competition in the toys-to-life genre and the “casual audience’s shift to mobile devices.”