Call of Duty: Ghosts didn't fare too well at review, but Activison feels that its biggest and most trusted critics are the fans themselves who, according to Eric Hirshberg, are getting along with the new shooter just fine.
Speaking among the pages of this month's GameInformer, Activision's head of publishing was asked if the Call of Duty brand was in danger of perishing under gamer fatigue.
He replied, "No," and added, "We've been pretty transparent all year that we think, because of the challenges of the console transition year, that that was likely in the short-term. I think it would be a mistake to conflate the challenges of the console transition year with any indications about the health of the franchise."
The magazine then asked Hirsberg if annualising the brand has perhaps caused diminishing returns to this pointm and it was suggested that this is a popular view among critics. He replied, "Well no, obviously not – and obviously I don't agree with the critics there. I know that Call of Duty's a polarising franchise with some of the critics, and it's clear to me that not all the critics like our strategy of making a game every year, but thankfully our fans do.
"It's also clear to me that the critical response doesn't always mirror the fans' appreciation of a game. We actually do read the critics' comments and take them into consideration during our creative process, but we just can't measure ourselves by that yardstick alone.
"Our most important audience is our fans, so we try to stay laser-focused on making games that they love. If you look at the fact that [Ghosts is] the most pre-ordered game of the year, it's the most pre-ordered next-gen game of the year, it's already the number one most played on Xbox Live, and that we're seeing longer average playtimes than ever before, we're confident that we're doing well by the criteria that matter most."
Is the Call of Duty brand dwindling? How much longer can it keep up this pace? Let us know below.