A change of horizon for Activision’s formidable cash machine. Call of Duty Infinite Warfare immerses fans of the license into the immediate future and into space. Even if it means unseating them.
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare is available this Friday, November 4, when its publisher, Activision Blizzard, reports higher results for the third quarter. Its net income actually soared 57% to $ 199 million and its turnover 58% to $ 1.57 billion. But the party for the 4e quarter is not won. The publisher expects sales of $ 1.86 billion, below analysts’ forecasts. However, he will be able to count on the sales of his blockbuster which arrives in a more competitive environment than ever, with in particular in front of him Battlefield 1, the FPS (first person shooter) of Electronic Arts which this year, made a box full of criticism. (See our test). And the game is selling well. It occupies three places in the top 5 of the Sell / GFK for France and the first place of the British ranking.
For Michael Sportouch, vice-president Europe of Activision-Blizzard, no doubt possible. “We have one of the leading franchises in this industry,” he assures us. So much so that the Californian publisher cannot do without its annual meeting with its cash machine franchise. It is a bit the license of all superlatives for Activision which does not hesitate to communicate on its good scores repeatedly. The publisher claims 15 billion dollars generated since the first opus of the franchise released in 2003 and 250 million games sold over the same period. It also has more than 100 million unique players registered since 2007. But it is not resting on its laurels either. And to clarify: “we have always been in a spirit of competition. The competition is stimulating ”.
Space battles for Infinite Warfare
If Battelfield fits this time, and in a very successful way, in the historical framework of the Great war, that of 14-18, Call of Duty takes a turn this year that will unsettle its fans. Infinite Warfare changes universe by opting for the near future “which allows us new things in terms of gameplay”. The player slips into the shoes of Captain Reyes who, after a surprise attack that devastated the land, must lead the surviving combat forces to counterattack against a fascist power. Good against evil, as usual. Nothing overwhelming then, except the spaceship atmosphere. And this year, the Infinity Ward studio is at the helm, Activision running the teams on its franchise by now offering them three-year development cycles. Last year, the Treyarch studio was at the helm for Black Ops 3 (see our test), for a half-hearted opus. And the year before, it was Sledgehammer Games which officiated for Advanced Warfare (see our test).
For Infinite Warfare, Activision wants to keep the Hollywood saga side while offering players three games in one with multiplayer mode, zombie mode and the single player campaign which “this year is particularly strong, well scripted and staged”, explains sure of himself Michael Sportouch. Note also that the Digital Deluxe version is enriched with a remastered version of Modern Warfare, extremely convincing (see our test).
And then Activision is counting on its transmedia strategy to permanently establish its franchise, even if nothing has yet been announced concerning a possible porting to the big screen. “The good results recorded by Warcraft, which has exceeded $ 500 million in cinema receipts, encourage us to go more in this direction,” admits Michael Sportouch. Even if it means exhausting gamers …