Infinity Ward’s decision to move the Call of Duty franchise into a distant, space-exploring future was controversial. The reveal trailer for Infinite Warfare became the series’ most unpopular, with over three million dislikes on the game’s official YouTube channel. The game’s sales suffered from this negative reception, falling in comparison to its predecessor. Analysts reported that physical copy sales of Infinite Warfare dropped up to 50 per cent during November, compared with sales of Black Ops 3.
A set of teaser reveals indicate that the series’ next developer might be planning to bring Call of Duty back into modern times. Sledgehammer Games released a New Year’s tweet, stating “It’s officially 2017! Some call it the zodiac year of the Hammer.” The message appeared above a video of an antique clock counting up to the year 2017. While this might seem like a simple holiday greeting from the developer, a similar post by Infinity Ward nodded to the space-age setting of Infinite Warfare.
A second tweet, posted by Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey, created more speculation for fans. Condrey’s message included an image of a handgun that resembles an M1911 pistol. This weapon was commonly used in several military conflicts of the 20th century, including both World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. The combination of these messages points to a more historic setting for Call of Duty 2017.
A change in pace like this wouldn’t be unprecedented in a first person shooter. Last year’s Battlefield 1 surprised many when it dug into the trenches of World War 1. While Call of Duty could be aiming to experiment with that setting, some are predicting a more familiar premise. Predictions from game industry analyst Michael Patcher suggest that this title could be the Modern Warfare sequel that many have been waiting for. Of course, nothing will be definite until an official reveal is made.