Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg is not a man who believes that lower sales, lack of ambition and critical under-reaction are necessarily mean that his IP - in this case Call of Duty - is in trouble. He believes the critics are wrong.
He also believes that lessened sales of CoD Ghosts
compared with Blops II
is down to console generation transition and not to the fact that the series is growing more dull and predictable. He tells Game Informer: “We’ve been pretty transparent all year that we think, because of the challenges of the console transition year, that that was likely in the short-term. I think it would be a mistake to conflate the challenges of the console transition year with any indications about the health of the franchise.” As for the critics opining that the annualisation of the series is dulling it?
“Well no, obviously not – and obviously I don’t agree with the critics there. I know that Call of Duty’s a polarising franchise with some of the critics, and it’s clear to me that not all the critics like our strategy of making a game every year, but thankfully our fans do.
“It’s also clear to me that the critical response doesn’t always mirror the fans’ appreciation of a game. We actually do read the critics’ comments and take them into consideration during our creative process, but we just can’t measure ourselves by that yardstick alone.