It hasn't been a particularly good start for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. We learned yesterday that, despite topping the sales charts in the UK, its actual sales are still down by nearly 50 percent compared to last year's Black Ops 3—which was itself down from Advanced Warfare in 2014. And as game analysis site Githyp recently pointed out, the actual player numbers are way down too, by an even wider margin.
Black Ops 3 made it as high as number four on the Steam charts last year, peaking at 63,681 concurrent players during its launch weekend—no mean feat given that the top two positions are perennially occupied by Dota 2 and CS:GO. Infinite Warfare's peak concurrent user count, on the other hand, topped out at 15,280 over its launch weekend; it climbed only as high as number 27 on the Steam Top 100, and currently sits in 35th place, well behind older military shooters Arma 3 and Rainbow Six Siege, and also much more niche fare including Euro Truck Simulator 2 and the newly-released transportation tycoon sim Transport Fever.
That's not good, and it points to a potentially bleak future for the Call of Duty franchise. Black Ops 3 has seen a "large player drop-off" since it came out a year ago, and is currently averaging around 5000 (currently a little over 6000) players per hour. But Infinite Warfare isn't doing a whole lot better than that on its opening weekend. "With last year’s Call of Duty losing 86 percent of its playerbase one year later, there might only be a couple thousand PC players left playing Infinite Warfare on Steam come this time next year," the site said. "It's likely only going to get worse for next year’s fourteenth installment in the series based on the current numbers."
That doesn't take into account console sales, which are obviously going to dramatically outpace the PC, nor does it include Windows Store sales, although my guess is that those make up a very small slice of the pie. But it does point toward an accelerating trend of declining sales, reinforced by a simultaneous, and nearly as dramatic, fall-off in Twitch viewership: Black Ops 3 peaked at 190,000 viewers on Twitch, enough to give it the top spot on the site for two days last year, while Infinite Warfare has thus far topped out at 101,000.
We'll have our Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered reviews up soon. For now, you can see how it's going in our review-in-progress.