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Why Call Of Duty: Vanguard Didn't Sell As Well As Black Ops Cold War, According To Activision

Plus, the Call of Duty publisher reveals that more than 3,000 people are now working on the franchise.


Call of Duty: Vanguard did not sell as well as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and now Activision has offered some insight into why that might have been. In its latest annual report for 2021, the company said it failed to execute, and the World War II setting didn't particularly grab fans.

"While Call of Duty remains one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time, our 2021 premium release didn't meet our expectations, we believe primarily due to our own execution," Activision said. "The game's World War II setting didn’t resonate with some of our community and we didn't deliver as much innovation in the premium game as we would have liked."

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Management said it is "certainly" addressing both of these issues with Call of Duty's 2022 release, which is Modern Warfare 2. The Modern Warfare series, which is set in the modern day, is known to be particularly popular. In fact, 2019's Modern Warfare is the "most successful" Call of Duty game in history, Activision said. The game is reported to have sold more than 30 million copies.

As for the "innovation" that Modern Warfare 2 might include, Activision has teased that the game will be the "most advanced" in the history of the series.

Not only is a new premium Call of Duty coming this year, but developer Infinity Ward is also leading development on the next Warzone game.

"We are working on the most ambitious plan in Call of Duty history, with over 3,000 people now working on the franchise and a return to the Modern Warfare setting that delivered our most successful Call of Duty title ever," Activision said.

While Vanguard might not have sold as well as Black Ops Cold War, it was the best-selling game overall in the US during 2021, with Black Ops Cold War following in second place.

In other news, Activision Blizzard is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for $75 billion. Going forward, the Call of Duty series is expected to continue to be released on PlayStation, and potentially Nintendo Switch. But in a big shift for the series, Activision will reportedly not release a new premium Call of Duty game in 2023.

This is all happening amid reports of workplace issues at Activision Blizzard, including allegations involving CEO Bobby Kotick, who is expected to leave the company if/when the sale to Microsoft goes through. The company is facing multiple lawsuits and also dealing with ongoing unionization attempts amongst its workers.

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