Call Of Duty: WWII Is “The Right Game At The Right Time,” Says Activision CEO

Call of Duty: WWII will finally mark the series’ return to its roots later this year, but while we already suspected as such, given both Activision’s previous comments as well as various leaks more or less confirming the move, seeing the iconic brand once again paired with this particular historic period still manages to conjure a sense of mild surprise. Having followed a linear trajectory over the last several years that’s seen its settings and features become increasingly alien and complex, stripping all of that away and making the action more grounded seems, to me at least, to be the biggest step forward the franchise has taken in almost a decade.

Last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the terrific series entry that it was, didn’t quite mesh with fan expectation and, given the huge success of EA’s Battlefield 1, released around the same time, it certainly appeared that Infinity Ward’s latest efforts were simply not reflective of current consumer culture. This is the belief that Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg seems to hold, at least, as he discussed Infinite Warfare‘s disappointing performance as well as the high hopes he has for this year’s entry in a recent interview with Polygon.

“I think it can be simultaneously true that it was a really high quality game that Infinity Ward did a really terrific job with and the game was delivered at a very high level, creatively — and that it might have been the wrong game at the wrong moment in terms of getting that rhythm right with the audience and with the culture,” Hirshberg told Polygon in reference to Infinite Warfare, adding that, “despite the good timing, this year’s WWII setting wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to current trends but rather, had been given the green light to enter development all the way back in 2014.”

“I mean three years ago when we dreamed up this game and decided it was time to go back to our roots, we could not have known at that time that the year we would launch it would be a year in which there would be several World War 2 movies in the theatres and that there would be other competitors going back to historical settings,” he said, concluding that WWII releasing in 2017 is simply “one of those years where it feels like the right game at the right time being made by the right team.”

Besides confirming its existence, Activision has yet to provide any gameplay or trailers for Call of Duty: WWII, but you can expect that to change with a livestream due to begin later today at 1pm EST/6pm BST/10am PST. Don’t despair if you can’t make it, we’ll be covering all of the relevant details as and when they come.