There has been a huge amount of controversy surrounding Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare ever since the game was first announced with a reveal trailer on YouTube several months ago. Almost instantaneously, the trailer accumulated more than 3 million dislikes, making it a record-setting video on the site. Of course, that isn’t the kind of record anyone wants to set.
Despite this rather discouraging metric, Activision is undaunted. Actually, CEO Eric Hirshberg has stated that other metrics are doing just fine, including (most importantly) pre-orders.
In fact, Activision is so confident in Infinite Warfare that they are considering developing an entire new sub-series out of it.
In an interview with Polygon, game director Taylor Kurosaki said that Infinite Warfare may be the foundation stone in an entire new sub-series of COD games—much like Modern Warfare and Black Ops. As he indicates, that doesn’t make this a “reboot”—just something new, a different spin on an old concept.
This may seem like a somewhat astonishing pronouncement in light of all those YouTube dislikes, but Kurosaki believes that there is a huge amount of creative ground to cover starting with Infinite Warfare. As he explains, “We’re trying to develop a very rich world that we’re not even close to exhausting.”
It is worth taking a moment to learn a little more about Kurosaki—we recommend reading the full interview at Polygon. The thing is, we can talk all day about whether taking COD further into an imaginary future is a “good” idea or not, but at the end of the day, the game’s success rests on the creativity of its developers. So if we want to judge whether or not Infinite Warfare holds water, it makes sense to look more closely at the team and its director.
Here are a few key points from the interview which may tell us a little bit about what we can really expect from Infinite Warfare:
• Kurosaki is not a big fan of Ghosts. He doesn’t outright insult it, but he does say, “I can’t speak to what the intentions were when the team was working on Ghosts.” So if you were not a big fan of Ghosts (and many COD players are not), this may be a positive sign.
• Even though the setting has changed, in terms of storyline, COD may yet have its boots on the ground. Kurosaki talks about revisiting classic war movies to help the team to frame the story.
• The team includes members whose experience ranges from The Last of Us to Uncharted (Kurosaki himself worked on The Last of Us).
• The single-player component of video games is crucial to Kurosaki, who explains that the single-player campaign has to set the “toehold into this new story universe.” Multiplayer is important too, but it all hinges on single-player.
• Kurosaki wants to push the envelope in how game stories are told. As he points out, traditionally COD games put players in the shoes of a fresh new soldier. This is only natural as it makes for an easy introduction to the game, but Infinite Warfare will be played through the eyes of a leader.
Ultimately, Kurosaki’s goal—and Activision’s goal as a whole right now—seems to be to prove that good storytelling and action go beyond eras and contexts. Essentially, they are commenting on the human condition. Kurosaki sums it up nicely by saying that Infinite Warfare is, “a war story about warriors doing their jobs and what those extreme pressures do to these brothers in arms in the moment. That notion can transcend any settings.”
That sounds like a great start to a new era of Call of Duty.
COD: Infinite Warfare will be released on Xbox One, PS4 and Windows PC on November 4th. Pre-order now to play the game the day it is released!