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Call Of Duty: Vanguard did not meet Activision's expectations, and now the publisher has shared the most wonderfully daft excuse as to why.
The World War II shooter still sold plenty of copies compared to other games, of course, but by Call Of Duty standards? It was the least successful launch the franchise has seen in over a decade. Heck, it was apparently so bad that Activision is planning to release Modern Warfare 2 earlier.
Why, then, did Vanguard fail? What is it that Sledgehammer Games' 2021 shooter did wrong? How do we learn from this? Well, according to Activision, it was the game's WWII setting.
Okay then, sure. That's why people hate Medal Of Honor: Frontline, Call Of Duty: World At War, and the dozens of award-winning movies that have been made about WWII over the years. People just can't stand WWII.
To be fair, Activision didn't just chalk it up to the setting. The publisher also admitted that it didn't do enough to innovate with its latest instalment.
“While Call of Duty remains one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time, our 2021 premium release didn’t meet our expectations, we believe primarily due to our own execution,” Activision Blizzard wrote in its investor report on April 30.
“The game’s World War II 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.”
This does rather seem like an oversimplification. Call Of Duty fans have plenty of problems with Vanguard, but I don't think a single one of them is to do with the game being set during WWII.
The short, confusing campaign? Probably an issue. The underwhelming Zombies content? Definitely a point of contention. The numerous bugs and technical issues that plagued the multiplayer experience? Fans weren't too happy about that either.
Unsurprisingly, Activision's report makes absolutely no mention of the many troubling claims of workplace harassment and toxic leadership that have been levelled at the publisher over the last year. I'd imagine a fair few people didn't want to buy Vanguard because they didn't feel comfortable supporting Activision. But yeah, WWII is the problem.
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