Activision has blamed the World War II setting for Call of Duty: Vanguard not meeting their sales expectations. The company revealed that it was due to their own execution that last year’s first-person shooter failed to deliver “as much innovation in the premium game as we would have liked.”
Speaking in their 2021 financial report, Activision said that Call of Duty: Vanguard failed to live up to their sales expectations, but addressed the issues directly. Despite relatively strong sales last year, Vanguard was met with a mixed reception from fans who felt that it also underdelivered on its premise in addition to stagnating the beloved shooter franchise.
“The game’s World War II setting didn’t resonate with some of our community,” said Activision, blaming the game’s historic setting as one of the reasons behind its failure, adding that it simply wasn’t innovative enough.
Activision assured fans that the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, which is set to release later this year, will tackle both these issues.
The Call of Duty franchise’s roots began in World War II, with several entries in the series tackling that time period. These include critical and commercial hits such as the first three Call of Duty games, World at War and 2017’s WWII, which was also developed by Vanguard studio Sledgehammer Games.
Fans believe that the setting wasn’t necessarily the big issue with Vanguard, but rather its lack of innovation. The series has struggled to find new settings to explore since the divisive reception of its futuristic ventures in Advanced Warfare, Black Ops III and Infinite Warfare. The annual release cycle hasn’t done the series any favours either, which doesn’t seem to allow much room for experimentation from its core development studios.
Call of Duty: Vanguard is currently available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.