Activision Publishing CEO: “Our Most Important Audience is Our Fans”
Whether you think Call of Duty: Ghosts is sliced bread #2 (the greatest thing since sliced bread – look it up) or not, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg believes that the series’ main critics – the fans – are perfectly happy with the game.
Speaking to Game Informer, Hirshberg answered “No,” as to whether the brand was at risk of disappearing due to gamers’ fatigue. “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.”
Has the decision to bring about yearly sequels resulted in diminishing returns as the series rolls on? “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.”
So like it or not, even if you’re sick of the lack of changes or innovations in the franchise, as long as fans of the series love it, we’re going to get our usual dose of Call of Duty for the foreseeable future.