There has been a new mainline Call of Duty title every year since 2005, but that will apparently change next year. Activision Blizzard is delaying a Call of Duty title that had been scheduled to release in 2023, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier.
Activision is pushing the game, which Schreier says is being developed by Call of Duty: Black Ops maker Treyarch, after last year’s annual release, Call of Duty: Vanguard, didn’t meet expectations. That led executives to “suspect that it had been cannibalized by the previous year’s game,” Schreier reports. A recent SEC filing said that Vanguard failed to meet Activision’s fourth-quarter projections.
However, it seems that Activision will release other Call of Duty content. The 2022 title, which Activision has already announced will be a sequel to 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, will get “a steady stream of additional content,” Schreier says. There’s also a new free-to-play online game that will be available in 2023 as well, and it appears that will be in addition to the eventual release of Warzone 2, a game that Schreier mentioned in a tweet.
“We have an exciting slate of premium and free-to-play Call of Duty experiences for this year, next year and beyond,” Activision spokesperson Neil Wood said in a statement. “Reports of anything otherwise are incorrect. We look forward to sharing more details when the time is right.”
Activision announced initial details about the Modern Warfare sequel and a “new Warzone experience” (which is perhaps the Warzone 2 Schreier mentioned) earlier in February, and both are scheduled to come out this year. While Activision said they will be “designed together from the ground-up,” it’s unclear if the new Warzone is a full sequel or a big update to the existing game. Both will be powered by a new engine.
Activision has been under significant scrutiny due to California’s lawsuit alleging it fostered a culture of “constant sexual harassment” and labor protests from staffers, including some who work on Call of Duty. Microsoft announced in January it had struck a deal to acquire the company for $68.7 billion, though the deal isn’t expected to close until sometime in Microsoft’s fiscal year 2023, which begins in July.
Update February 22nd, 7:40PM ET: Added statement from Activision.