Call of Duty sales take a nosedive with ‘Infinite Warfare’

The Call of Duty franchise has seen its sales figures slowly decline over the last several years, and in a year filled with excellent multiplayer shooters, it appears that the latest installment, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, has sold especially poorly.

NPD figures for the month of November suggested that sales for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare were down by almost 50 percent compared to the sales of 2015’s entry in the series, Black Ops III.

Doug Creutz, an analyst for the Cowen Research Group, told clients that sales of the blockbuster shooter were about 17 percent lower than the group’s previous expectations. Activision-Blizzard shares have dropped by roughly 20 percent since October, even as Blizzard’s Overwatch continues to thrive, reaching 20 million players in just five months.

Black Ops III saw a much healthier launch last year, with $550 million in initial sales after both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare had under-performed. The game was also available on the last-gen Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, however, although those versions of the game featured a heavily downgraded multiplayer mode and didn’t feature a campaign at all.

At the time, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said that the player engagement for Black Ops III was the highest in Call of Duty history.

Infinite Warfare released in November at the industry standard $60 price point, but an $80 Legacy version of the game also bundled in a remastered Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. While reception to the newer game — and particularly its multiplayer mode — has been decidedly lukewarm, Modern Warfare Remastered was met with a much more positive response. It seems almost inevitable that Activision will continue down this route with future Call of Duty games, likely with a remastered version of Modern Warfare 2 or the original Black Ops.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.