Despite active advertising for Activision, Call of Duty: Vanguard sold much worse on release than Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – digital sales in the UK (the main market for evaluating the success of video games) fell by 40%. What’s more, it was reported shortly thereafter that Vanguard’s launch was the weakest in the franchise in over a decade. To find out why gamers abruptly stopped buying Call of Duty, the information publication Games Industry conducted a survey among avid gamers in the UK – a total of 671 players were surveyed, only 59 (21%) of whom said they bought a new Call of Duty this year. Let’s take a look at the reasons why the other 71% didn’t buy Vanguard.
55% are busy with other games
The largest number of players refused to purchase a new part of the shooter due to the fact that they are trivially busy with other video games. It is worth clarifying here that we are talking not only about competing games that were released in November (for example, Forza Horizon 5 and Battlefield 2042 went into release), but also about older projects that the audience has not yet had time to go through. And although the reason for abandoning the new part of the shooter may seem not entirely significant, in reality it is not, because these 55% indicate that the audience prefers anything, even games released six months ago, but not Call of Duty.
34% – tired of Call of Duty
Almost a third of the players surveyed said that they have played too many parts of the franchise in recent times, or played too many parts of the franchise. The result is quite obvious – the audience is tired of Call of Duty, gamers want something new, fresh, unusual, with new mechanics, and so on. Not surprisingly, the gamers themselves have talked about this many times – the annual release of the new part of Call of Duty really tires even the avid fans of the franchise, who literally ask Activision to release a shooter a little less often, at least once every two years. But no one wants to stop the conveyor, and this is the result.
24% – the setting of the Second World War is not interesting
Another problem that is quite obvious even before the release is that the modern target audience of Call of Duty is not eager to fight during the Second World War. This was clear even at the release of Call of Duty: WWII, when sales were also not very high, and the reviews from critics made it clear that the setting was not suitable for the players. What’s more, 2019’s Modern Warfare showed gamers to be in awe of modern technology, weapons, and setting, but instead the top developers took the risk once more. The experiment failed – after MW 19, the current Vanguard looks like a step back five years.
20% – changed their minds after studying reviews
Gamers often express the opinion that reviews of specialized publications, critics and opinion leaders do not affect their choice in any way, but statistics suggest otherwise. A fifth of the players surveyed refused to purchase the Vanguard after reading or viewing the review. And it’s not only about the fact that the reviews were with a negative connotation, but also about the fact that in their publications the critics clearly indicated the absence of anything new in the virtual world. A passable storyline in the style of a franchise, the same multiplayer, only with old weapons, the same zombie mode, which is needed only to unlock the camouflage – after such a description, who wants to buy the game?
14% is enough to play Warzone
Yes, Activision has dug a hole for itself, creating the most popular battle royale on the market. The fact is that Warzone is completely free, and having bought a battle pass only once, you can never spend money on it again. In addition, in this battle royale you can play with friends, while in multiplayer from the team there is no sense. For many players, this is enough to abandon the paid new part of the shooter and continue with peace of mind to play Warzone alone or with friends, shoot, fulfill contracts and take first places.
11% are waiting for another game
Another weighty stone in the once incredibly popular franchise garden – more than 10% of players have abandoned Vanguard due to the fact that they are waiting for another release. Again, it may seem like this is not such an important reason, but the bottom line is that the audience of avid gamers gives preference to something that will be released in the foreseeable future, while not wanting to give their money now for Call of Duty. Taking into account 55% of players who abandoned the shooter because of the desire to play something else, it turns out that 66% of respondents prefer other projects and franchises. A clear indication that something is wrong with Call of Duty.
17% – other reasons
Surprisingly, the scandal associated with Activision Blizzard disappointed gamers so much that they decided not to buy a new part of the shooter in protest (6%), and another 4% of the audience refused to purchase because of the too high price. The latter, unfortunately, concerns not only consoles, but also PCs – the price of the shooter has grown, although the game itself looks much cheaper than MW 19. Another 3% of players did not buy Vanguard due to the toxic community and cheaters, 2% – because of boring and a poor single player campaign, and 2% – due to too much weight of the game client. In total, it turned out 17% – an impressive figure in fact.
What to do and how to save it
Developers urgently need to do something to increase the attractiveness of the franchise – nowadays gamers are increasingly abandoning the shooter in favor of something else. In addition, it is necessary to abandon the setting of the Second World War, stop riveting the same type of parts once a year, make the connection to the royal battle more visible, punish cheaters and solve the internal problems of the company. If all these problems are solved, Call of Duty will once again be on top, but it’s strange that Activision, with hundreds of millions of dollars in the budget and world-class specialists, did not guess before these conclusions before.