Call of Duty Vanguard being the best seller in the United States shows Activision's possible mistakes with their expectations – Sportskeeda

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Call of Duty Vanguard is the last premium release of the series that happened towards the end of 2021. Developed by Sledgehammer Games, the game took players back to the World War 2 setting, with insignificant changes in scenes. Whatever expectations Activision had with the release, the sales figures have reportedly not been matched. Even though the end-of-sale figures for March 2022 show that the game has sold the most in the United States.
Call of Duty Vanguard’s reception over social media has been slightly lukewarm compared to other games. According to an NPD report in the past, the sales were less than that of Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. This report was around the start of 2022, so the game has sold for nearly three more months since that report. Based on the overall ranking, there might be a case where Activision may have set incorrect expectations about its latest release.
Earlier at the start of 2022, reliable industry insider Tom Henderson reported that Call of Duty Vanguard sales hadn’t been satisfactory for the game’s devs. He added that this could lead to the publishers revealing Call of Duty Modern Warfare II in the summer, followed by a slightly earlier release.
Since then, much has changed as Vanguard ended the last financial year on a high in the United States. Modern Warfare II has also been officially confirmed, with a reveal coming any day now. As things stand, an assumption could be made that the publishers might have gotten it wrong.
When one analyzes Activision’s high expectations, it’s quite easy to see why. Call of Duty Modern Warfare’s release was followed by the Covid-19 pandemic that created lockdowns worldwide. This could have had a positive impact on its sales and Black Ops Cold War. As people spend more and more time in their homes, they require different sources of entertainment.
This could have been the reason why Activision was disappointed with the early sales. The world has been relatively open in recent days, which could have affected its sales. It should also be noted that the game had issues at launch.
Since then, Call of Duty Vanguard has grown in content and activities. It’s not the perfect military-themed FPS shooter by any means, but it has improved from what it was at launch.
Another reason that may have led to an increase in sales is the performance of Battlefield 2042. While the two games have different settings, competition would have been there with the same release window. Due to problems in Battlefield 2042, many players might have later bought Call of Duty Vanguard.
Ultimately, expectations can still not be met even when a game sells well. Sometimes, a video game might have enough quality and still fail to meet the publisher’s expectations. This has been the case with Guardians of the Galaxy, whose sales figures reportedly didn’t please Square Enix.
It would be a matter of overwhelming speculation if one had to guess Activision’s expected sale numbers. The numbers Activision might have had were based on factors that have changed due to other conditions.
While Call of Duty Vanguard remains the most sold game in the United States, the franchise is going through a rut. Based on the first investor meeting in 2022, Call of Duty has reportedly lost about 50 million players. A major part of that might be the decline in Call of Duty Warzone‘s player count, which has suffered from several issues of late.
Call of Duty Vanguard’s top sales might not be good enough if the steep decline means anything. This will naturally put a lot of pressure on the developers since they will have to outdo their current performances. While 2022 will be a pivotal year for the franchise, it remains to be seen if Call of Duty Modern Warfare II meets the same fate.

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