Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject.
This year’s regularly scheduled Call of Duty entry — Call of Duty: Vanguard — doesn’t appear to be doing as hot as previous Call of Duty games in terms of sales. One big reason why may be that everyone’s just too busy playing other games.
GamesIndustry.biz, in collaboration with PAX and EGX, conducted a survey of 671 gaming convention attendees in recent months about their Call of Duty purchasing habits. Of those, 284 individuals said they had purchased a Call of Duty game in the last five years — but only 59 (21%) of that group said they had bought Vanguard.
Of the remaining group that had recently purchased a Call of Duty game but did not buy Vanguard, more than half of respondents (55%) said that they were too busy playing other games already.
In fact, a lot of respondents seemed to have other games on their minds. Thirty-four percent said they had played too much Call of Duty lately, and 14% said they were already happy with Call of Duty: Warzone. Another 11% said they were specifically waiting for another game to play, with some offering Battlefield 2042 and Halo: Infinite as examples.
Still others said they were put off by reviews (20%) or price (4%), not interested in WWII games (24%), did not want to support Activision Blizzard due to ‘business practices’ or ‘treatment of employees’ (6%), felt the community was full of cheaters (3%), thought the single-player mode wasn’t good enough (2%), or thought the download size was too big (2%).
While this is a small sample of game enthusiasts, a seeming apathy toward Vanguard does seem to be reflected in early sales numbers. Vanguard sold fewer units at launch than last year’s entry, Black Ops Cold War, in the UK and Europe, both in physical units (down 26%) and digital (down 44%). That said, in the same regions it remains the second-biggest game launch of 2021 (behind FIFA, as usual).
It’s not getting the best review scores, either. While we thought Vanguard had a highly-polished campaign, said campaign is also very short and has a lack of variety, and its multiplayer didn’t really distinguish itself from prior Call of Duties. And the critical consensus on Vanguard seems to be that it’s just not quite as good as its Call of Duty brethren.
Meanwhile, fellow war shooter Battlefield 2042 is reviewing even worse, but last week was one of Steam’s most-played games. Fortunately, the folks surveyed who were holding out for Halo Infinite look like they’re in for something special.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
Source: IGN Video Games All