If the call of duty franchise going all out to reunite with its audience in the coming months, with a slew of new games and projects announced or rumored, the latest Call of Duty Vanguard can’t be said to have shaken up the crowds. The game, considered lazy by our tester, is a (small) commercial success but a critical failure.

The Second World War is boring like the rain

Bugs at launch, an uninspired campaign, unfinished modes, all in a turbulent period for Activision Blizzard with complaints of harassment and abusenot to mention the tense calendar of the license which is exhausting the players, with an opus shipped every year and which tends to lose its fanbase a little more each time. Despite the profits, the studio is losing players, that’s undeniable.

But no, go! None of this is reasonable. In its latest financial statement, investors confirmed figures below expectations (as a reminder, the game is one of the best sellers of 2021, but had the worst launch for the saga) and found the reason for this failure: World War II does not sell.

Call of Duty remains one of the most popular entertainment franchises of all time, our 2021 release fell short of our expectations. (…) The World War II context of the game does not affect part of the community and we were not able to deliver as much innovation as we would have liked.

In short, “the historians are painful with their Second World War, you can’t put blasters and turbojets on the ___s”. A leak of responsibilities for Activision, which had started its franchise by recovering a historical context in distress at Medal of Honor, with the first Call of Duty in 2003.

The saga certainly took off with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (23 million sales) but throwbacks to WW2 have done pretty well in the past, like Call of Duty: WWII (20 million). Some games are still a hit today with this historical period, such as World of Tanks, Hell Let Loose or Post Scriptum. Is context really the cause of Vanguard’s failure? Shouldn’t we make this historical period interesting by a better narration instead of seeing it as a waste of time?

If it is not impossible to never again rewatch WW2 at CoDmeanwhile, the next installment Modern Warfare II has finally been made official with a date. We hope to see a Medal of Honor opus at the Allied Landing level one day…

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