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This year’s regularly scheduled Call of Duty entry – Call of Duty: Vanguard – does not appear to be performing as well as previous Call of Duty games in terms of sales. One big reason may be that everyone is just too busy playing other games.
GamesIndustry.biz, in collaboration with PAX and EGX, has conducted a survey of 671 participants in the gaming convention in recent months on their Call of Duty buying habits. Of those, 284 people said they had bought a Call of Duty game in the last five years – but only 59 (21%) of this group said they had bought Vanguard.
Call of Duty: Vanguard Roadmap screenshots
Of the remaining group who had recently purchased a Call of Duty game but did not purchase Vanguard, more than half of respondents (55%) said they were already too busy playing other games.
In fact, many respondents seemed to have other games at heart. 34 percent said they had been playing too much Call of Duty lately, and 14 percent said they were already happy with Call of Duty: Warzone. A further 11% said they were specifically waiting for another game to play, with some offering Battlefield 2042 and Halo: Infinite as examples.
Still others said they were discouraged by reviews (20%) or price (4%), were not interested in WWII games (24%), did not want to support Activision Blizzard because of “business practices” or “treatment of employees” (6%), felt that the community was full of cheaters (3%), felt that the single player mode was not good enough (2%), or felt that the download size was too large (2%).
While this is a small sample of gaming enthusiasts, an apparent apathy towards Vanguard seems to be reflected in the early sales figures. Vanguard sold fewer units at launch than last year’s entry, Black Ops Cold War, in the UK and Europe, both in physical units (down 26%) and digital (down 44%). That said, in the same regions, it remains the second largest game launch in 2021 (behind FIFA, as usual).
It also does not get the best reviews. Although we thought Vanguard had a very polished campaign, said campaign is also very short and has a lack of variation, and its multiplayer did not really differ from previous Call of Duties. And the critical consensus about Vanguard seems to be that it just is not quite as good as its Call of Duty brothers.
Meanwhile, other war shooter reviews Battlefield 2042 are even worse, but last week was one of Steam’s most played games. Fortunately, the people surveyed who endured the Halo Infinite look like they’re up to something special.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.