Is Call of Duty suffering from franchise fatigue?

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Every year, certain games release. Like clockwork, we know that we will get a FIFA, a new PES, and a new Call of Duty. Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield also used to be part of the annual cycle, but decided to sit out and try to hone the experience, something that has definitely worked well with Battlefield 1, and I hope means revived interest in Assassin’s Creed when they inevitably bring it back. But does Call of Duty need to take a break? Are people beginning to lose interest in the annual franchise?

On PC, it certainly seems that way, as explained by Alessandro this morning. But I’ve never really thought of CoD as a PC-gaming franchise – it’s all about playing on console, right? I mean, that’s why the championships are played on console and why all the best players seem to play it that way. But even console players don’t seem to be buying it as much as before.

Reported by GfK (thanks VG247), Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has blasted to the top of the charts, as expected. However, it’s the small print that’s most interesting:

However, it’s not enough to outperform last year’s ‘Black Ops III’ launch week with sales down 48.4%. There is no Xbox 360 or PS3 version this time round, although even comparing just PS4 and Xbox One; sales are still down by 43.6%.

Sales are down by almost 50%? Even accounting for the platforms, sales are still down by over 43%? That’s quite something. Granted, these are just numbers from the UK, so they might not be indicative of how the game is performing around the world, but it’s certainly surprising for me. I thought if anything was certain in the world of gaming, it was that Call of Duty would always sell like hot cakes. Instead, sales are down.

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Perhaps people are put off by the pricing issues. Or maybe Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 are scratching the FPS itch. Or maybe usual CoD fans are still too busy playing Overwatch and Destiny. It’s hard to tell if this is a downward trend for Call of Duty, or if perhaps people are just waiting to pick it up this year instead of buying it at launch. Of course, even with a 43% drop in sales, I’m sure the numbers are pretty staggering – when you’re making money by the billions of dollars, even losing that much money means you’re still making billions.

Have you picked it up already? Are you excited to play a new Call of Duty, or are you sticking with Blops 3 for now?

Last Updated: November 7, 2016

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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