To state that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has had a fractious start to its life in the video game world is something of an understatement. After all, before the game was even released the title was on the receiving end of the ire certain parts of the gaming community, with the game’s first trailer receiving a ton of hate online. As it turns out, though, even the sometimes-negative reception that the game has received has not stopped it from reaching the top of sales charts.
The most recent number one place that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has received is as the best-selling digital console game for the month of November. These sales figures come courtesy of research company SuperData, which released its year in review for 2016, as well as its figures for November 2016. It certainly made good reading for publisher Activision and developer Infinity Ward – particularly given how lukewarm the reception of the game has been otherwise.
It’s a good thing for the game’s creators that digital console sales were strong, as Infinite Warfare did not even touch the top ten for PC gaming in November. The game has not proved anywhere near as popular for PC gamers, as shown with the title’s low Steam player numbers, with many users left frustrated with the PC version of the game. Indeed, the lack of compatibility between the Steam version of Infinite Warfare and the Windows Store version even led to one player receiving a refund.
Of course, these figures could perhaps be taken as part of a greater narrative regarding the game. Infinite Warfare‘s console popularity was already known, with the game previously announced as the most-downloaded PS4 game for November, but it’s with physical releases that the title has truly struggled, with a 50% decrease compared to last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. At least some of this could be down to a shift towards digital downloads in general, but that physical sales drop was no doubt still a worry for Activision and Infinity Ward.
Even with a decrease in sales and a lacklustre critical reception, though, any Call of Duty release is still a force to be reckoned with commercially. After all, the game was still the top-grossing console game in the US, in spite of the drop in units sold. Should the series’ decline continue, however, then there could be some cause for worry for Call of Duty creators.
Infinite Warfare was far from the only winner over the course of 2016, though. Overall, interactive entertainment managed to make $91 billion in revenue over the course of the year, with a full $41 billion of that sitting at the feet of mobile games such as Pokemon GO and Clash Royale. Whether that then evolves into a larger stake of the market in the coming years, though, remains to be seen.