Included in its latest earnings report, Activision has confirmed the inevitable Call of Duty sequel that’s due to release this year. But what comes as a surprise is the news that this year’s game will be making its way back to the franchise’s “roots”.

During a conference call with investors, chief operating officer Thomas Tippl initially discussed 2016’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Where he described it as “a high-quality, innovative game,” he further revealed that it “underperformed [Activision’s] expectations.” It has been relatively well known that sales were down significantly when compared with the previous year’s Black Ops III. That was mainly due to Infinite Warfare being a new sub IP, making for an unfair comparison with the well established Black Ops. Talking about the same, Tippl says,

It’s clear that, for a portion of our audience, the space setting just didn’t resonate, we have a passionate, experienced studio deeply committed to this direction, and despite the risks we saw, we believe it is important to consider the passions of our game teams in deciding what content to create.

While it wasn’t the success we planned, it allows us to protect the core tenets of our culture that Bobby discussed: empowering our talented teams to have the chance to pursue opportunities that they are passionate about. Providing an environment that recognises passion is a critical component of our success, and a process to learn from our mistakes is what makes our company special, and it’s why the most talented people in our industry are attracted to our company.

Despite all of that out in the open, and Call of Duty’s sales performance being well above satisfactory, Activision is now obviously aware of the demand for a Call of Duty game that feels a lot closer to the series’ older and more loved titles. Tippl further continues to add,

In 2017, Activision will take Call of Duty back to its roots and traditional combat will once again take center stage, this is what our dedicated community of Call of Duty players and Sledgehammer Games, which has been developing this year’s title, are the most excited about

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