Activision: Console Transition to Blame for Lower Call of Duty Ghosts Sales

Eric Hirshberg says fan feedback is more important than critical reception.

by on 4th Dec, 2013

Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg has claimed that the console transition, and not series-fatigue, is to blame for lower sales of Call of Duty: Ghosts compared to previous titles in the series.

Asked in the latest issue of GameInformer if franchise tiredness was responsible for declining sales he replied. "No."

He explained that Activision holds the transition from the PS3 to PS4 and Xbox 360 to Xbox One as responsible. 

"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."

While EA recently ruled out annualising Battlefield for fear of damaging that franchise Hirshberg does not believe this is a problem for Call of Duty.

"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.

"Our most important audience is our fans, so we try to stay laser-focused on making games that they love. If you look at the fact that [Ghosts is] the most pre-ordered game of the year, it's the most pre-ordered next-gen game of the year, it's already the number one most played on Xbox Live, and that we're seeing longer average playtimes than ever before, we're confident that we're doing well by the criteria that matter most."

While Call of Duty: Ghosts is the lowest rated entry in the series that hasn't stopped the game becoming the best selling and most played title on PS4 and Xbox One. 

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