After Bloomberg broke the news on February 22 that 2023 will be the first year without a mainline Call of Duty series release in two decades, Activision has refuted the report. Many reasons are cited for the delay, including the lack of met expectations from the last installment and focus being shifted to a free-to-play title.
“The company is pushing off the release after a recent entry in the series failed to meet expectations, leading some executives to believe that they’re introducing new versions too rapidly,” Bloomberg reports. “The decision was not related to Activision’s agreement to sell itself to Microsoft Corp. for $69 billion.”
Activision has since denied the Bloomberg report’s claims. In a statement to Digital Trends, a spokesperson for the publisher says: “We have an exciting slate of premium and free-to-play Call of Duty experiences for this year, next year and beyond. Reports of anything otherwise are incorrect. We look forward to sharing more details when the time is right.” Digital Trends asked for clarification on whether that meant a mainline game is still planned for 2023 and will update this article when we receive a response.
The report states that Activision is working on upcoming projects to fill the void left by this lack of Call of Duty. One of these titles is a new Call of Duty game set to release in the fall that Bloomberg reports will receive constant content updates.
There is also a free-to-play title in the works that is launching in 2023. Developer Treyarch is reportedly shifting its focus to that project instead of working on the next mainline title. This new FTP focus stems from the success of Call of Duty: Warzone and the underwhelming sales of Call of Duty: Vanguard. Bloomberg reports that Warzone‘s success and the subsequent release of Vanguard led “executives to suspect that it had been cannibalized by the previous year’s game.”
While the status of the game is up in the air, Microsoft’s purchase of Call of Duty’s parent company could change the plans of the next mainline title after the deal’s finalization in summer 2023. Microsoft previously noted that the series will remain on non-Xbox platforms moving forward.
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