The trailer for the latest blockbuster Call of Duty game has become one of the most disliked videos in YouTube history.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare departs from the military shooter’s roots, taking place in a near-future, sci-fi setting.
Fans have reacted by rating the video negatively, expressing more than 1.5 million dislikes in eight days.
Overall, the trailer has amassed more than 16 million views.
The game’s dislikes make it the most disliked trailer or promotional video on the site, and the worst-rated gaming video in the site’s history. However, it still trails behind Justin Bieber’s music video, Baby, with 6.1 million dislikes, and Rebecca Black’s Friday, which has more than two million.
Call of Duty is one of the world’s best-selling game franchises, selling millions of copies of each annual installment.
The game’s publisher, Activision, said the reaction was down to the passion of gamers for the franchise – and said the company had seen such a reaction before.
“The fact is, while it’s very early, pre-orders are off to a very strong start,” CEO Eric Hirshberg said in an earnings call with investors.
“Views of the reveal trailer that you referred to are up and, in fact, the number of likes per view on the Infinite Warfare reveal trailer are also the highest we’ve ever seen.
“We’ve seen this in the franchise before. The reveal trailer for Black Ops II, which took the franchise into the future for the first time, had the most dislikes of any reveal trailer we had ever made at that time. And that, of course, went on to become our most successful game ever,” he said.
“What we know for sure is that if we always just did what worked in the past and never took any creative risks, we wouldn’t have a franchise. The day to worry is the day we stop trying new things.”
The company is also facing a backlash from some fans over an updated version of their 2007 classic, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
The hugely successful title is being remastered with updated graphics for modern consoles, but will only be available to those who purchase the new Infinite Warfare game.
Call of Duty’s sales have been in slow decline in recent years, although the most recent instalment, Black Ops 3, reversed that trend in 2015.
Activision is attempting to keep the franchise “fresh” with a new setting, said Piers Harding-Rolls, Head of Games Research at IHS Technology.
“Many veteran players are mostly interested in the multiplayer aspects of the game and can be considered ‘core gamers’, but more mainstream console gamers often get access to the latest version of the game as a Christmas gift,” he said.
“If anything, the popularity of the respective trailers is a response to what is put in front of them – the trailer, the way it is edited and the music.
“After all, what people are liking/disliking is a short video clip and not the actual gameplay quality, which is central to how a game sells over its lifecycle.”