Instead of skipping a year, Activision’s Call of Duty franchise will get a full-price, stand-alone video game this fall, Bloomberg reports — but it’ll be a continuation of last year’s rebooted Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier noted in Thursday’s report that Activision’s plans for the series originally called for a “premium expansion” to Modern Warfare 2, rather than a full new game, sometime in 2023. This all goes back to 2020, when development difficulties moved Treyarch’s turn in Call of Duty’s three-studio rotation up a year, and brought us Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War a year ahead of schedule. Activision-owned Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer Games had split production on the series, on a three-year development cycle, going back to 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Because of that workload hiccup, Activision at first planned to go through 2023 without a mainline Call of Duty entry, pushing Treyarch’s next regularly scheduled Call of Duty game to 2024. The paid expansion envisioned for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is instead a “premium Call of Duty game” now, according to an Activision spokesperson, with a single-player campaign and new multiplayer maps, Bloomberg says.
The Call of Duty franchise will observe its 20th anniversary in 2023. Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Sledgehammer, and Activision Blizzard on the whole are in enveloped in a $68.7 billion attempted acquisition by Microsoft, announced last year, that regulators in the United Kingdom, United States, and European Union are holding up over antitrust concerns.
Correction (Feb. 27): The headline on this story was changed to better reflect the newest developments as regards to Call of Duty’s 2023 launch. Activision said in its previous two quarterly investor calls that the franchise would get a stand-alone premium title in 2023. Bloomberg’s report says it will be a Modern Warfare 2 game, which Activision has not confirmed.