According to a report by Jason Schreier of Bloomberg, the Call of Duty franchise will skip a year in its game release schedule for the first time since 2004, having started its yearly streak of games in 2005 with Call of Duty 2. ABK is reportedly delaying the 2023 Treyarch-developed title to 2024, after Vanguard was met with mixed reactions from fans and critics. This is the first time in 17 years that they have chosen to not release a game in a given year.
The decision comes amid uncertainty for the future of Activision Blizzard and its games. Microsoft recently announced that it will buy ABK for $69 billion dollars, and has confirmed its intention to keep COD available on competing consoles like Sony's PlayStation for the near future. However, the massive company acquisition also leaves a lot of question marks about how the Call of Duty series, and other ABK titles, will be run into the future. This decision also comes amid delays for both Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, both of which were delayed in 2021 for indefinite periods of time.
The 2022 release of Modern Warfare 2 and the related Warzone 2 is still expected for later this year. The company is relying heavily on those titles to catch on since it will have to carry the franchise and the CDL esports scene for two years rather than the traditional one year.
Call of Duty: Vanguard was released to mixed responses late last year, with some enjoying the World War 2 based shooters, while others found it to be uninspired. It ended up with critical ratings in the 70s from many outlets, and according to Bloomberg's report released to disappointing sales numbers for Activision.
Activision Blizzard's stock price was up .22% on the day following the news, as of writing this article.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.