Call of Duty’s upcoming titles are still headed to PlayStation consoles, even though the franchise’s parent company, Activision Blizzard, is being acquired by Microsoft. The 2022 and 2023 Call of Duty releases, at least, will both be available on PlayStation consoles as well as Windows PC and Xbox, along with a “new iteration” of Call of Duty: Warzone, reports Bloomberg. The games will be released on Sony’s consoles as part of an existing agreement between the company and Activision; that commitment will remain in effect “for at least the next two years,” Bloomberg says, citing four people “with knowledge of the deal.”
Bloomberg’s report also clarifies that, for now, Call of Duty’s upcoming schedule is what most people expected it to be: This year’s iteration is being developed by Infinity Ward, the studio behind 2019’s Modern Warfare (which Call of Duty 2022 will likely be a sequel to), while 2023’s game will be developed by Treyarch, the maker of 2020’s Black Ops Cold War.
One thing the report does not elaborate on is what exactly it means by a “new iteration” of Warzone, the free-to-play battle royale game that launched in 2020. Jason Schreier, the reporter behind the story, referred to the title as “Warzone 2” on Twitter, and said it is scheduled to be released in 2023.
While Warzone regularly gets new content — including massive overhauls like Warzone Pacific — none of it has comprised a full-fledged sequel or separate release, only updates to the existing game. Activision has yet to announce any Warzone follow-up.
This all lines up with comments from Phil Spencer, the newly minted CEO of Microsoft Gaming. After the announcement of the Activision deal, Spencer said on Twitter that he had spoken to PlayStation leadership to communicate that Microsoft planned to “honor all existing agreements” and that it wants to “keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.” The acquisition of Activision Blizzard is scheduled to close in Microsoft’s 2023 fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2023.
As for what will happen after those deals expire, Microsoft will have to decide whether it wants to keep Call of Duty — one of the bestselling video game franchises in the world — on its rival platform. In its earlier acquisition of Bethesda, Microsoft indeed maintained the company’s existing agreements for timed exclusives on PlayStation, but announced plans to publish subsequent games only on Xbox platforms and PC.