After plenty of hype, rumours, and speculation, Call of Duty finally released an initial trailer for 2016’s Infinite Warfare. Going the exact opposite direction from what the fans want, the trailer was infinitely unsuccessful.
Wherever you would find Call of Duty discussions, you’d typically find three key requests: boots-on-the-ground-style combat, modern setting or earlier, and the then-rumoured Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare remaster to be available for purchase separately. Infinity Ward ignored their pleas: Infinite Warfare is set in the future, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is exclusively bundled in the game's Legacy Edition.
The majority of Call Of Duty fans expressed their desires for the franchise to go back to its roots instead of the futuristic CODs of late. Infinity Ward completely disregarded fans’ wishes, which triggered an extremely negative reaction from the Call of Duty community. Just how negative, exactly? In just three days, the trailer accumulated well over 355,000 dislikes on YouTube, and it’s probably much worse off as you’re reading this.
To put that in perspective, the trailer has roughly 540,000 total reactions, a culmination of both likes and dislikes. Of these, 185,000, or about 34 per cent of people liked the video, while the remaining 66 per cent disliked it. Now, let’s compare that to Activision’s 2015 COD title, Black Ops III. Of the roughly 473,000 reactions, the launch trailer has about 394,000 likes, with roughly 79,000 dislikes. This means about 83 per cent of fans liked the trailer, while only about 17 per cent disliked it.
For measure, the most disliked video currently on YouTube is Justin Bieber’s Baby, with about 6,050,000 dislikes. However, Bieber’s music video has been ripe for the disliking for over six years, while the Infinite Warfare trailer has been live for a matter of days. If the trailer were to keep up the current trend of about 100,000 dislikes per day (which it probably won’t- there will likely be a gradual decrease as the trailer loses the fans’ attention), it would knock Bieber out of the number one spot in just over two months.
Okay, maybe comparing the trailer to Bieber’s Baby is a bit of a stretch. After all, it’s currently the tenth most viewed YouTube video of all time. Hold your horses, though: Although Baby is the most disliked video of all time, it still maintains about 43 per cent approval. The video has about 4,505,000 likes among the total 10,570,000 reactions. You guessed it: that’s better than Infinite Warfare’s 34 per cent approval rate. Yikes.
Infinite Warfare probably won’t take the "YouTube's Most Hated" crown from Baby – at least not any time soon. More realistically, the trailer will probably break into the top 25 most disliked YouTube videos of all time by the end of the week. In doing so, Infinite Warfare will have "no treble" stealing the 25
spot from Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass, which currently has about 491,000 dislikes.
Fans have the amazing ability to make or break a game before it even exists - who would've thought, right? Look at Yooka-Laylee as an example: People wanted a nostalgia-infused 3D platformer to the tune of Banjo-Kazooie or Spyro the Dragon. The genre may not have seemed to be in huge demand, nor have a large or profitable following, but Playtonic Games wanted to cater to said community anyway. The team, a group of ex-Rare developers, offered Yooka-Laylee as a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie through Kickstarter. Long story short, more than 73,000 people pledged money to the idea - that's right, just an idea of an unfinished game that wouldn't release for well over a year - raising almost $4,000,000 CAD in just a few months. How's that for a dead genre?
On the flip side, sometimes fans don't give new ideas a chance. Pigeonholing developers can often be artistically restrictive and dissuade them from trying new, innovative things. Metroid Prime: Federation Force didn't deliver the Metroid game fans wanted and on it's E3 trailer, the game was disliked almost 87,000. That's about 90 per cent of the total number of reactions on that video. So few people support the idea of a new spin on the Metroid series, which could prove to be a remarkable success - but fans won't give it a shot.
The point is, happy fans make a successful game, no matter the genre. Behind all the numbers and statistics is one infinitely upset community – and it’s not the minority, either. Sooner or later, major developers like Infinity Ward will need to listen to fans to avoid their wrath. Regardless of the reason(s) behind each dislike, Infinity Ward has clearly done something wrong this year. The fans have spoken, and Infinity Ward has about six months to prove they're listening. Although the game's mechanics and setting are probably already set in stone, it isn't too late for the developer listen to the community's plea for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered to be released as a standalone title.