A report from January noted that Activision was internally debating whether or not Call of Duty should stay an annualized series. A more recent report has now stated that the company is indeed moving away from premium yearly releases, as it has internally delayed the 2023 entry in the series (presumably) to 2024.
This new Bloomberg report alleges that this move was not impacted by the recent and impending Microsoft acquisition, but because of Call of Duty: Vanguard‘s disappointing performance. It’s worth noting that, according to the NPD, Vanguard was still the best-selling game in the United States in 2021, despite having only have less than two months on the market. Executives concluded that it failed to meet expectations because Call of Duty games come out too quickly and cannibalize each other, thus leading to the decision to push Treyarch’s 2023 entry.
A new Call of Duty game has come out every since year since 2005’s Call of Duty 2. The series went on to be one of the top 10 best-selling games of the year in the United States since 2006, meaning it was a fairly significant portion of the revenue seen in traditional video game sales. It’s unclear how big of an impact it will have on 2023’s overall video game sales, but Activision will certainly be feeling Call of Duty‘s absence, as it is allegedly looking for projects to fill that void. Such projects might come in the form of the recently confirmed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare sequel and the “massive evolution” for Warzone. Instead of pumping a new game, these entries have the potential to see longer and more focused support, essentially taking the spot a new, premium title would have.
The Modern Warfare sequel and new Warzone are set for 2022, but Bloomberg reports that a new free-to-play online game is also coming next year, too. While it seems like the new free-to-play game could be the same as the new Warzone, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier confirmed that the free-to-play game is a new Call of Duty title. Treyarch is also helping develop the unnamed free-to-play game.
Activision has not confirmed its plans for future Call of Duty games. But in a response to this report, an Activision Publishing spokesperson had the following to say:
“We have an exciting slate of premium and free-to-play Call of Duty experiences for this year, next year and beyond. Reports of anything otherwise are incorrect. We look forward to sharing more details when the time is right.”
An earlier report also stated that these next few Call of Duty games would be coming to PlayStation, but some questioned if the series would stay on Sony consoles after. However, a recent Microsoft blog post confirmed that “Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles” will be on Sony and Nintendo platforms beyond the current agreements.