The video game publisher Activision declares its intentions to have the next sequel for the first-person shooter franchise, Call of Duty, go “back to its roots.”

As many Call of Duty fans are aware, the franchise as of late has been steadily making leaps and bounds toward the use of futuristic settings and weaponry, with recent titles in the series such as Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare incorporating more over-the-top and gravity-defying action elements into their formulas. Interestingly enough, the American interactive gaming and entertainment company Activision Blizzard today reported earnings for its fourth quarter and full-year ending on December 31, and used time during the proceedings to declare that the next Call of Duty game will go “back to its roots.”

As reported by GameSpot, Activision Blizzard also used today’s quarterly earnings report to declare that despite its successful showing as the best selling video game of 2016, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare underperformed in the eyes of the company, as the title apparently “didn’t resonate” for a part of the franchise’s audience. Although it wasn’t officially stated as such, this could definitely be a major reason among many for Activision to want to transport Call of Duty back to its origins and try to capitalize on nostalgia.

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With Activision declaring intentions to take Call of Duty “back to its roots,” it’s almost impossible to not correlate the phrase with the very first entry in the series, which was set during World War II. Naturally, the company failed to explicate exactly which era would be involved with the next sequel, or what kind of gameplay would be included, but if Activision is truly intending to take the franchise back to where it all started, then WWII would arguably be the foundation from which to begin.

Of course, Call of Duty has included several other periods of warfare aside from WWII, with the franchise’s first installment in the run of Black Ops games taking place during the 1960s in the Cold War, roughly around 20 years after the events of World at War. Interestingly enough, there have been rumors circulating online that point to the possibility of Sledgehammer Games – the next Call of Duty developer in Activision’s 3-year production cycle for the series – will take the forthcoming sequel to a similar time period in the Vietnam era.

Bearing all of this in mind, it’s anyone’s guess as to exactly when Activision will set the next Call of Duty game, but if the company does indeed go back to the franchise’s “roots,” then fans ought to be given a sequel that either tones down all of the latest installments’ futuristic aspects or makes them completely nonexistent. With Activision seemingly steering back toward the past with the series, it’s possible that Call of Duty might do well to replicate the practice of its sales competitor in Battlefield 1, as the DICE shooter went far back in time to place the game in World War I, and it had a remarkably successful debut.

The next Call of Duty game has yet to be officially announced, but it is being developed by Sledgehammer Games to be released in 2017.

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