Activision has confirmed that they intend to release a new Call of Duty game this year despite complications caused by the spread of COVID-19.
“Although the shift to remote working does add complexity and challenges in some areas of the game development process, including creative collaboration, motion capture, voiceover work, localization, and quality assurance, we are implementing mitigation measures to address each of these areas,” said Activision COO Daniel Alegre during a recent earnings call. “Importantly, based on the work to date, we still expect to deliver a robust slate of content over the remainder of the year. This includes the next premium release of Call of Duty, two titles based on library IP from Activision, the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion, regional testing for new mobile titles, and ongoing live operations across our key franchises.”
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack later expanded on that statement by suggesting that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is expected to be released sometime during the later part of the year and not during the summer as some previously anticipated. Neither representative made reference to projects such as Overwatch 2 or Diablo 4.
Let’s focus on that Call of Duty announcement for a bit, though. While it seemed likely that we’d get a new Call of Duty game this year, there were a few factors that suggested it was actually possible that Activision would skip the release of their biggest annual release. The first was obviously the spread of COVID-19 and whether or not it had affected the operations of Activision enough to potentially delay the release of that project.
There’s also the potential impact of Call of Duty Warzone to consider. So far, Warzone has proven to be an incredibly popular battle royale mode that has greatly expanded the lifespan of Modern Warfare. That being the case, it wasn’t entirely out of the question that Activision could delay the release of the next Call of Duty by a few months and just continue to support Modern Warfare and Warzone instead.
Now that we know that isn’t the case, we’ve got to ask what the next Call of Duty game will look like. Many of the rumors we’ve heard so far suggest that the next Call of Duty game will be a Black Ops sequel that will likely focus on the Vietnam war in some way, but that has not been confirmed at this time. It’s also been suggested that the next game will benefit from a collaborative development effort between Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games.