“Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” may have irked many fans of the “Call of Duty” franchise who did not expect the different route the game took when it comes to its plot line. So now, publisher Activision is telling shareholders who are looking forward to the 2017 installment that the upcoming game will take fans to the “roots” of the game series.

According to IGN, Activision stated at the company’s fourth quarter 2016 earnings conference this week that the next installment will take things back to the roots of the franchise. Also, the publisher teased that “traditional combat will once again take center stage.” The statements certainly sound like the company’s response to the massive complaints against the 2016 title. Activision even admitted that the space setting of “Infinite Warfare” did not resonate with players, so the game did not become as successful as they projected.

It’s not surprising that the 2016 “Call of Duty” game did not become a massive hit. Even its reveal trailer on YouTube received a lot of negative feedback from disgruntled fans. As a matter of fact, the trailer raked in almost 3.5 million dislikes — a figure that’s seven times bigger than the 500 thousand likes it got. What’s actually surprising here is the fact that “Infinite Warfare” performed better and even went on to be the best-selling game in the United States last year. It’s worth noting however that “Infinite Warfare’s” figures weren’t able to surpass those of “Black Ops 3.”

Although Activision has already said that the next title is going back to the roots of the franchise, Cinemablend still believes that this couldn’t really be the case. The news site reports that the publisher can do nothing at this point because developer Sledgehammer Games has long started working on the 2017 title. For years now, Sledgehammer has been developing the campaign, multiplayer mode and other aspects of the “Infinite Warfare” successor. So it’s not for certain that the next installment will indeed go back to its roots.

Cinemablend pointed out that Activision may say things to shareholders at present, but it wouldn’t matter at all. Sledgehammer has already spent three years into making the next “Call of Duty” game. Thus, they are likely to have already established the story, gameplay and many other elements of the title. And it wouldn’t be easy to do an overhaul just because the publisher has learned what the franchise’s fans really want.

No release date has been given yet. The title of the 2017 installment has not been disclosed either. Still, it’s good that Activision mentioned the game this week. There is now an assurance that a new “Call of Duty” game is slated for release this year. 

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