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Call of Duty Will Not Skip 2023

Posted February 12, 2023 | Activision Blizzard | Call of Duty | Games | PC gaming | Playstation | Windows | Xbox | Xbox One | Xbox Series S | Xbox Series X

It looks like Activision Blizzard has had a change of heart and will now release a full Call of Duty title this coming holiday season. The gaming giant originally intended to support the current game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, with additional paid content instead.

News of the change came right from the top: in its announcement for the quarterly results—in which Activision Blizzard reported a net income of $403 million on revenues $2.3 billion—the firm said that its 2023 plans include “the next full annual premium release in the blockbuster [Call of Duty] series.” And this point was emphasized again in the post-earnings conference call with the press and analysts.

The speculation—and face-saving—began immediately.

“[It’s] not unfeasible to add content to something that started off as an expansion and sell it for $60-70,” Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier tweeted. “Either way, the point is that it’s a continuation of MW2.”

Call of Duty fans have received an annual premium release in the series every year since 2005 when Call of Duty II arrived as an Xbox 360 launch title. (The original Call of Duty shipped in 2003 and was a PC-only title originally.) But after the disaster that was Call of Duty: Vanguard in 2021, fans were complaining of fatigue. Perhaps it would make more sense for Activision Blizzard to take a year off.

And that was the plan, reportedly. And Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was so successful—it earned $1 billion in just 10 days, faster than any previous entry in the series—and in its earnings announcement, Activision Blizzard reported that the title had “delivered the highest opening-quarter sell-through in franchise history.” Padding the schedule with a year of new downloadable content (DLC) might make some sense, especially if the publisher could delight fans with a widely rumored collection of remade multiplayer classic maps from across the years.

But it looks like that’s not happening and it’s possible that the success of Modern Warfare II isn’t the only factor. It’s also likely that the DLC content that various studios were working on was judged to be of high-enough quality and volume that it warranted a standalone release. Whatever the reason, it now looks like we’re getting a new COD title in 2023.

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