When news broke that Microsoft was to acquire Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal, fans of the Call of Duty series began to theorize that Sledgehammer Games and other Call of Duty studios might abandon the series to work on other games. While that might be a possibility once Microsoft acquires the publisher, it’s not currently planned.
Sledgehammer Games has already begun pre-production on its next Call of Duty title, sources have said. But game details weren’t provided due to the uncertainty of what the final game will entail.
Writer Sam Maggs has suggested in the past that the title could be a sequel to Call of Duty: Vanguard, telling New York Comic-Con in 2021 (via VGC) “we have two more stories that we really want to tell with these characters.” Sledgehammer Games’ ambitions to make a sequel may not materialize, with Call of Duty: Vanguard failing to meet Activision’s expectations.
Bloomberg first reported that Call of Duty will not be releasing a premium title in 2023 because the publisher believes it may be releasing premium Call of Duty titles too quickly, which explains Vanguard’s low sales. However, Bloomberg News has not confirmed or denied that Call of Duty will be moving away from annual releases indefinitely. Even if such plans were the case, the decision could be reversed once Microsoft’s acquisition is finalized.
Following the Bloomberg report, an Activision spokesperson said, “We have an exciting slate of premium and free Call of Duty experiences for this year, next year and beyond. Reports on anything else are incorrect. We look forward to sharing more details when the time is right. »
These comments likely refer to two free-to-play Call of Duty projects in development. Call of Duty: Warzone mobile is due out later this year, Warzone 2 will be released in 2023.
To fill the void of not releasing a premium Call of Duty title in 2023, it looks like Activision is also planning to release a third Call of Duty project in the two-year window. No details have been officially given about the project, but a likely title could be a standalone Call of Duty zombies project that I first heard about last year and was in pre-production. The title could be a good middle ground for Call of Duty zombie fans, who apparently won’t get a classic zombie experience in Modern Warfare 2.
There is a separate Call of Duty Zombies project in early development, which is not currently tied to any title.
—Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) February 23, 2021
With Sledgehammer’s next title, a developer had anonymously suggested the plan could simply be a “gap year” for the series, with annual releases resuming soon after. The theory is based on the fact that the studio has until 2025 to complete its next Call of Duty project. Still, game development is a very smooth process and the date could easily be changed based on data obtained when Treyarch’s title releases in 2024. But this snippet of information suggests that we shouldn’t rule out premium titles. Call of Duty annuals. go ahead and Activision apparently has all of its bases covered for the franchise.
Such plans may also be talked about publicly, with Sledgehammer Games seemingly acquiring developer talent, rather than losing it. According to the studio’s LinkedIn, it saw more than 21% talent last year, with growth of 7% over the past six months. What’s more, the studio doesn’t seem to be slowing down on hiring either, with over 60 jobs open (the same number as last year) across its four studios based in Australia, Canada, the US and the UK. . Sledgehammer Games now has nearly 500 employees, putting the studio on par with Call of Duty’s other two main studios, Treyarch and Infinity Ward.
With the acquisition expected to be completed by summer 2023, no one really knows the future of Call of Duty. Plans today could be changed in an instant tomorrow, but one thing is certain – we’re getting at least one Call of Duty title this year developed by Infinity Ward. Sources said the title has two years of content planned across all of its modes, and I’ll provide more details when I hear more.
Activision has apparently covered all of its bases for any scenario that may arise over the next couple of years, with multiple Call of Duty experiences in various stages of production. On the contrary, it looks like we’ll get more Call of Duty games rather than fewer going forward.