Call of Duty’s long-running series Black Ops looks as if it will return for a fourth entry later this year. According to Eurogamer, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will launch this fall.
This comes on the heels of “industry insider” Marcus Sellars tweet about Black Ops 4.
COD 2018 is Black Ops 4 and is coming to PS4/Xbox/PC/Switch. It is set in the modern times and is boots on the ground. The Switch version will support DLC, HD Rumble and motion controls. The Switch version is also being ported by a company which is familar with COD games.
— Marcus Sellars (@Marcus_Sellars) February 4, 2018
Reportedly, Treyarch is developing Black Ops 4, which will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Unlike Sellars, Eurogamer couldn’t confirm the existence of a Nintendo Switch version. It is Treyarch’s “turn” for the annual series. Call of Duty games have rotated between multiple development studios since 2006. While development previously went back and forth between Infinity Ward and Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games joined the cycle with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in 2014 and hit its stride with Call of Duty: WWII in 2017.
And it is perhaps Call of Duty: WWII‘s lingering presence that makes Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 a bit of surprise. WWII brought the series back to its historical roots after a string of futuristic entries that started to blend together. In a sense, it felt as if the bestselling shooter franchise had been rebooted. And, by almost all accounts, the return to World War II was a smashing success. It recharged a series that fans had soured on after the disappointing Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
While we know nothing about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — including official confirmation from Activision that it is real — one has to wonder what direction Treyarch would choose to take with Black Ops 4. 2015’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 transported players to the year 2065 and featured futuristic warfare. If Black Ops 4 carries on as a sequel, as each entry has so far, then science fiction tropes and advanced tech will come back into play just a year after they were ditched.
Of course, Treyarch could take a different approach. After all, Black Ops titles haven’t all featured futuristic elements. Call of Duty: Black Ops dropped players in the thick of the Cold War 1960s. And Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 mixed alternative history with the series’ first jump to the future in branching storylines in 2012. If Activision wants to remain free of the near or distant future, perhaps Black Ops 4 will return to the past or even pre-date the original game.
It may be a couple months before we know for sure the direction Treyarch will take in the yet-to-be-confirmed Black Ops 4. Activision typically reveals annual Call of Duty entries in April. If the yearly trend continues, the next Call of Duty game will likely launch in the first week of November.