Despite positive reviews, first week sales of Activision and Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare are 48.4% down in the UK compared to 2015's Black Ops 3 launch.
The initial unveiling of Activision and Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare six months ago was something of an anticlimax, with the reveal trailer garnering a considerable amount of hate almost immediately. But come three days ago, when the latest installment of the mega-popular shooter series was finally released, it appeared to defy all initial negative impressions, garnering generally positive reviews across various publications. However, it appears that positive word of mouth can only go so far, a sentiment that's been reflected in the the first week sales of Infinite Warfare in the UK.
According to Gfk Chart-Track, while Infinite Warfare managed to top the sales chart in its first week of release in the UK, the sales were down a whopping 48.4% compared to last year's Black Ops 3 launch. Even taking into account of the console install base disparity between the PS3 and Xbox 360 compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, sales are still down by 43.6%.
It appears that Activision is happy enough with the UK sales numbers though, sending out a statement to VG24/7 saying that Infinite Warfare is still the biggest shooter launch of 2016 so far, surpassing even the impressive first week sales of Battlefield 1. On the topic of Infinite Warfare's shooter rival, Battlefield 1 saw a 45% dip in sales from last week but it was still enough to the World War I shooter to hold onto the number two spot, ahead of the well-received FIFA 17.
As for reasons why Infinite Warfare suffered such a drastic UK sales drop compared to Black Ops 3, it is likely that the mega-popular series is finally suffering from a case of franchise fatigue, which isn't too surprising given that new Call of Duty installments are released on an annual basis. Another possible reason is the backlash from Activision refusing to sell Modern Warfare Remastered seperately from Infinite Warfare, which has resulted in disgruntled players being dissuaded from buying the bundle altogether.
Despite Activision's positive spin on the situation, the underwhelming first week UK sales, coupled with the generally positive – though not fantastic – reviews of Infinite Warfare, is bound to be somewhat of a disappointment to the publisher, especially since the game had the potential to bring life back to the Call of Duty series.
Having said that, if the past few Call of Duty titles are any indication, it is more than likely that the space-themed shooter will still end up being a massive financial success for Activision, and the sales dip will be seen as nothing more than a mere blip.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.