Few gaming franchises ape Hollywood conventions in the manner of Call of Duty. The blockbuster action coupled with the high-end production value has ensured that Activision’s first-person shooter has remained in vogue since the genre-defining Modern Warfare in 2007. And yet, according to the company’s publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, consumer research data has suggested that the latest entry, Call of Duty: Ghosts, is lagging behind the blistering pace that the series is otherwise renown for. Speaking at Activision’s earnings call yesterday, Hirshberg levelled on the lowly response for the company’s latest production.
“As one might expect in this console transition year, pre-orders for Call of Duty: Ghosts are well below the record-setting pace set by Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 last year,” said Hirshbeg. “Our quantitative consumer research indicates that hesitation amongst past CoD pre-orderers is primarily due to not knowing which platform they will be playing on, which is natural at this time in the console transition.”
With a release date pegged at November 5th, 2013, Call of Duty: Ghosts will be available to the gaming community within the same timeframe as both the Xbox One and Playstation 4’s general release. As such, the forthcoming console transition has forced many gamers into a state of hesitation, with the majority biding their time in order to collect the game with the next-gen hardware.
In saying that, Ghosts marks a departure from the franchise’s more established frameworks – namely Modern Warfare and Black Ops. In fact, the game has still managed to accumulate twice the number of pre-orders than the original Black Ops, which was the last time that Activision set out to create a new sub-brand within their monumental franchise.
While this lowly forecast doesn’t spell out impending doom for the blockbuster franchise, it does highlight the tangible problem that publishers within the industry are currently facing. Games such as Watch Dogs, Need For Speed: Rivals and a number of EA sport titles are all set to straddle both generations upon release – which has understandably impacted the pre-order buzz for current-gen, considering that neither of the next-gen consoles have release dates at this time.
We understand that Activision will unveil the multiplayer component of Call of Duty: Ghosts on August 14th. Until then, though, tell us what you make of these figures: do you interpret an element of fatigue residing within the CoD community? Or will the majority of the fanbase wait until we have a confirmed release date for Playstation 4 and Xbox One until they place their pre-order? Let us know below.