Space failed to 'resonate' with some fans
Where do you go from space? From "infinite" warfare? Rather than charge forward and continuously raise the stakes, presumably, you pause, weigh your options, and start heading in the other direction.
In a financial report, Activision said that the next Call of Duty title -- an as-yet-unnamed 2017 release in production at Sledgehammer Games -- "will take [the series] back to its roots."
That statement can mean a whole lot of things, but for added context, Activision chief operating officer Thomas Tippl told investors that Infinite Warfare "underperformed" and "for a portion of our audience, the space setting just didn't resonate." (No kidding!) With respect to this year's Sledgehammer-developed Call of Duty, "traditional combat will once again take center stage," he elaborated.
Finally, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg added that the project was given the go-ahead "over two years ago," and the game's reveal will happen "soon" (though I suspect we're still a couple months out).
Fourth Quarter 2016 Results [Activision]
This year’s Call of Duty will go 'back to its roots' [Polygon]