The CEO of Activision Publishing has declared that the Call of Duty franchise has never been stronger as the games industry gears up for the shift to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Chatting with IGN, Eric Hirshberg observed that digital growth is particularly strong for the brand, and that anticipation is at an all-time high for the forthcoming 2013 series entry, Call of Duty: Ghosts.
“All I can tell you is that the franchise has never been stronger. At this moment in time, we have more people playing every month, more people logging on to play every day, a better digital business with people playing longer into the cycle of each product and purchasing more DLC and purchasing micro-DLC and purchasing season passes,” he said.
“Those are all the hard measures. How is the content we’re making selling? Are people enjoying it? That seems to be going well. Then you look at the softer measures, just in terms of social media engagement and video views. Anticipation is high for Ghosts. When you’re building off such a strong foundation of engaged players, that’s usually a pretty good sign.”
Speaking of Ghosts, the executive teased that developer Infinity Ward has a lot of new ideas it has brought to the table, and promises an emotionally-charged campaign. Strong sales are also expected.
“Now, at the end of the day, it all comes down to us making another great game. That’s why we set the stage for greatness with Ghosts by wiping the slate clean creatively, not doing another Modern Warfare game with Infinity Ward, allowing them to create an entirely new narrative and cast of characters,” he said.
“We’ve changed to a world where America is not the dominant force, but an underdog. That opened up new visual opportunities. It opened up new gameplay opportunities. We’re shaking things up. Multiplayer is going to have new ideas. Dynamic maps are something we’re doing. Character customization is something we’re doing.
“The story mode is going to be…I don’t know if you’ve seen what we [showed at E3], but it’s gorgeous. It’s emotional. It’s got a different kind of tonality and feeling to it. It all comes down to us making a great game every time out, and I’m confident that we are going to deliver something special with Ghosts.”
Call of Duty: Ghosts is due out in November for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U.