Call of Duty: WW2 represents a return to the series' roots, but the timing of this resurgence is also important, according to Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg.
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg is the man responsible for juggling the three Call of Duty studios as each one works on a game completely different from the rest. But when he greenlit Call of Duty: WW2 in 2014, he knew it would hit a particular rhythm with franchise audience.
"I think it can be simultaneously true that it was a really high quality game that Infinity Ward did a really terrific job with and the game was delivered at a very high level, creatively — and that it might have been the wrong game at the wrong moment in terms of getting that rhythm right with the audience and with the culture," Hirshberg told Polygon about last year's Infinite Warfare.
The CEO said that although the three-year cycle has great creative advantages for developers and result in better games for players, it makes predicting future trends more difficult. Hirshberg also said the impetus to go back to WW2 wasn't particularly motivated by EA's decision to back to a historical setting with Battlefield 1.
"I can speak for us and you know I totally acknowledge that these things do seem to happen in waves like this," he added.
"I mean three years ago when we dreamed up this game and decided it was time to go back to our roots, we could not have known at that time that the year we would launch it would be a year in which there would be several World War 2 movies in the theatres and that there would be other competitors going back to historical settings."
Hirshberg believes Call of Duty: WW2 strikes the right balance between being familiar, and fresh enough not to be boring.
"But when you get that balance right, I think that’s when you get the best games and the best fan response and the best results overall. I think this is one of those years where it feels like the right game at the right time being made by the right team," he said.
Call of Duty: WW2 will be officially revealed in a livestream later today. Activision did not divulge details about what will be shown, but you can look forward to our impressions soon.