Activision Blizzard Inc., the publisher of the extremely popular Call of Duty (CoD) series of videogames is reportedly planning to delay next year’s entry – an as of yet unknown sequel.
According to Bloomberg, this will mark the first time in nearly two decades that Activision will not be releasing an annual Call of Duty title, with the next title only expected in 2024. This will leave 2023 without a title from one of the largest and most lucrative video game series in history – a boon for other developers to push their games in CoD’s wake.
AAA Video Game Publishers looking at Holiday 2023 Release dates for their games now that Call of Duty is delayed pic.twitter.com/bI1fKGrxw9
— Benji-Sales (@BenjiSales) February 23, 2022
Activision Blizzard seems to be pushing off the release of next year’s title after 2021’s Call of Duty: Vanguard failed to meet sales expectations, leading some executives at the company to believe that new versions are being introduced “too rapidly” and potential customers are suffering from fatigue. This decision is apparently not related to Activision’s recent agreement to sell itself to Microsoft Corp for a cool $69-billion.
Not one to be left wanting, however, Activision is reportedly working on other titles to fill the gap next year. Another Call of Duty game is expected to come out later this year and will be receiving a steady stream of additional content support from Activision over the next few years, and 2023 will also see the company release a new free-to-play online game with Treyarch (the studio behind the largest and most popular entries in the CoD series) leading that game’s development.
“We have an exciting slate of premium and free-to-play Call of Duty experiences for this year, next year and beyond,” a spokesman for Activision wrote in an emailed statement seen by Bloomberg. “We look forward to sharing more details when the time is right.”
The delay of next year’s mainline CoD title is expected to have a “massive effect” on the industry and the gaming landscape as a whole. Every spring since 2005 Activision has released a new AAA entry in the almost self-selling first-person shooter series – considered to be one the biggest cash cows in gaming, alongside other mega-popular titles released yearly such as FIFA.
More than 400-million units of Call of Duty games have been sold since the series began in 2003.