The most disliked Call of Duty in history allegedly had a 90/10 player base split with Zombies taking the lead.
We never thought we'd be talking about the now somewhat forgotten Call of Duty Infinite Warfare again but a few surprising tweets from former Project Director Brian Bright has shown some light on how things went down that year for Call of Duty and its fascinating.
Infinite Warfare had an extremely volatile response when it was first introduced to the world via YouTube on the 2nd of May 2016. Players seemingly weren't pleased that the franchise was heading to space. Not even John Snow or Conor McGregor's appearances in the Campaign could save it. In fact, the response was so bad that the reveal trailer received 1.4 million dislikes, which slung the game to the 5th most disliked video of all time on YouTube at that time.
Conor McGregor featured in the campaign - Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016)
So why are we here in the year 2022 talking about the most disliked Call of Duty in history? Well, as previously mentioned some interesting tweets have been making the rounds the last few days with regards to the games Zombie mode and its project director.
"9 months after release it was closer to 90% IWZ to 10% MP. - Brian Bright, Project Director Infinity Ward via Twitter
According to Brian Bright, former Project Director on Infinite Warfare Zombies. 9 months into the game’s life cycle only 10% of players were playing multiplayer and a whopping 90% were playing Zombies. To put that into perspective the insanely popular Treyarch zombies like Black Ops 3 or older versions usually attracts about 20-30% of players.
It must be said that Infinite Warfare had a lot to live up to when releasing its first ever zombies’ mode. By that time Treyarch were already the kings of the undead mode with World at War, Black Ops, Black Ops 2, and Black Ops 3 all having increasingly popular entries into the genre.
The general response to IW's attempt was very positive, it was a fresh take on the mode with a camp, goofy 80's movie vibe. It even attracted huge movie stars to do voice over work. Stars including David Hasselhoff, Paul Reubens, Seth Green, Ike Barinholtz, Jay Pharoah and Sasheer Zamata. Later DLC's would see an animated version of Kevin Smith and Elvira join the ranks.
David Hasselhoff promoting Infinite Warfare Zombies in Germany (2016)
Although IW Zombies had a positive response and had some pretty huge stars from the past attached to it the whole 90% to 10% split is likely because people just didn't like the multiplayer offering. In those days the player base of Call of Duty would fall off massively towards the end of the game's life span. 9 months in you are seeing a fraction of the players from launch. It's not fair to take anything away from the fondly remembered zombies’ mode but Zombies fans tend to go a lot harder and are more likely to stick with the game longer than the average player.
Brian Bright - Former Project Director Infinite Warfare Zombies
The studio pretty much collapsed because of the poor response from players. Brian Bright, the modes lead retired soon after. Lee Ross who was the associate Project Director at the time left the studio and joined Treyarch for a brief period before leaving Activision altogether. Infinity Ward had a huge overhaul of its teams and management.
The studio's next title was Modern Warfare (2019), where the choice was made to leave Zombies to Treyarch, instead offering player vs AI bot's for the third game mode. Warzone would soon be introduced and place Infinity Ward slap bang back to centre stage. This sadly means we will probably never see a sequel to Infinite Warfare's Zombies mode and frankly, that’s a disappointing pill to swallow.
Feeling nostalgic? Check out the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Zombies reveal for Zombies in Spaceland below.