Oh, sure, it's easy not to care about sales performance when you're working on one of the most consistently fiscally successful entertainment properties the world has ever seen. That sort of track record gives your company the ability to step away from guessing at what the market wants and towards building a game modeled around what you perceive as fantastic.
At least that's Infinity Ward's Creative Strategist Robert Bowling's perspective on the matter.
Speaking with IGN Australia, Bowling indicated that sales performance isn't necessarily the main focus for the IW team. More importantly to gamers, the focus seems to be on building the game. Here's Bowling:
"We don't care about sales numbers, we don't care about competition, we don't care about beating anyone. Our 100 per cent focus is making a game that we're going to love to play, that we're going to be proud of, and that we know that our fans are going to play. To us, we don't care if there are three people playing it or 30 million people playing it. If there are three people having a great time then we've done our job correctly and we will be happy."
Face it, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 stands no chance at bombing once it hits retail. This game will sell extremely, extremely well. That fact could make any development team lazy.
However, if what Bowling is saying is true and Infinity Ward isn't focusing on the numbers game that will meet them upon release, then this Call of Duty will not see the effort of a team that doesn't care. It should be better based on the fact that sales aren't the final goal.
We'll take passionate game design over number crunching any day of the week. Kudos to Bowling and the IW team for this one.