Call of Duty will see the launch of two new major instalments later this year with sequels to 2019’s Modern Warfare and free-to-play battle royale shooter Warzone, both being developed by Infinity Ward. After that, however, things are less clear.
Recent reports have suggested that while the next Call of Duty game after this year’s entry is in development at Treyarch, it will not be launching in 2023, making it the first time in nearly two decades that there’s no new Call of Duty release in a year. It’s also been claimed that once Microsoft completes its acquisition of Activision next year, Call of Duty could move away from its annual release schedule.
Things, however, might not pan out that way. In a report published on Exputer, known insider Tom Henderson states that Sledgehammer Games has started pre-production on its next Call of Duty game, next in line to launch after Treyarch’s 2024 game.
Interestingly, Henderson says that according to anonymous developers at the studio, Sledgehammer has been given until 2025 to finish developing its title, suggesting that Activision could just be looking to take a “gap year” next year, before then resuming annual releases starting with Treyarch’s game in 2024, and Sledgehammer’s title the year after that. Meanwhile, it also looks like Infinity Ward is working on two years of content for its upcoming Modern Warfare sequel across all of the game’s modes, to make up for the gap year in 2023.
As Henderson points out, Sledgehammer has also been ramping up recruitment even though Call of Duty: Vanguard launched just last November, which might indicate that the studio has moved on to production for its next instalment.
What this next instalment could be remains to be seen. Shortly before Call of Duty: Vanguard launched, writer Sam Maggs said Sledgehammer Games wanted to make at least twodirect sequels to the shooter, though given the fact that the game has performed below Activision’s expectations on both critical and commercial fronts, it remains to be seen whether the publisher will greenlight those sequels.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, it was confirmed that all future Call of Duty games going forward will be built on the same new engine, which is being introduced with the Modern Warfare sequel later this year, so presumably Sledgehammer’s game will fall in line with that.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has previously said that once it has acquired Activision, its titles will continue to be released for other platforms even beyond existing agreements, so it’s likely that all Call of Duty releases in the foreseeable future launch for both PlayStation and Xbox.
Last month, Activision confirmed that Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is also in development. Read more on that through here.