For the past three years, the Call of Duty series has been split into two franchises: the main COD titles with their campaigns and classic multiplayer modes, and the standalone Call of Duty: Warzone (its free-to-play battle royale component). However, despite essentially being different products, COD and COD: Warzone are often connected. In the past, when Activision released a new COD game, a large Warzone update followed close behind. Yet, the recent release of Modern Warfare 3 included no significant Warzone updates.
Naturally, this caused many gamers to wonder when Call of Duty: Warzone 3.0 will launch. The technical answer is a solid “nobody knows.” However, a series of official and unofficial updates at least shine a light on what happened and when we might finally see that update.
On November 10, 2023, Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (not to be confused with the 2011 game of the same name). Fans and critics alike savaged the title due to a myriad of issues, including a titanic 240+ GB download size. However, despite these problems, many players looked at what they thought was a silver lining: Modern Warfare 3 must mean that a Warzone 3.0 update is not far behind. After all, Activision upgraded COD: Warzone to Warzone 2.0 several weeks after the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. That update included changes such as an improved loadout system, better movement, and new maps
However, Activision has been radio silent regarding any potential (or even hypothetical) Warzone 3.0. In fact, Activision has seemingly abandoned the “2.0” moniker; the game’s now back to being called COD: Warzone despite all the improvements. But does that mean the company isn’t planning a Warzone 3.0? For that matter, are we even going to get a significant Warzone update that incorporates Modern Warfare 3 content and changes? Activision will probably roll such an update out, but not necessarily in a form gamers expect.
The launch of Modern Warfare 3 coincided with a patch for Warzone, although that might have more to do with the franchise’s new universal platform (Call of Duty HQ) that all modern entries now use. On one hand, this client gathers all the data under one roof. On the other hand, HQ’s file size is already ballooning out of control, and if a COD game you don’t play receives an update, you’re going to need to download it anyway.
Still, this patch gave COD HQ a healthy helping of Modern Warfare 3 data, which is going to make it easier to implement its maps and weapons into Warzone since that game also uses the HQ client. As for when Warzone will actually use that data, it’s anyone’s guess, but that won’t stop us from hypothesizing.
Since Warzone 2.0 marked the start of a new season, it’s reasonable to assume an upcoming Warzone season might patch this content in, thus marking the start of Warzone 3.0 in possibly everything but name. Since we are in the middle of Season 6, this hypothetical Warzone update could launch on December 6 at the earliest. At the very least, we can safely say that the next major Warzone update will launch in December. That’s because the Warzone team previously confirmed that the mode’s new map (Urzikstan) will launch in September alongside the game’s new season. Delays are always possible but that certainly seems to be the plan as of this time.
So why hasn’t the team been a little more clear about the plans for this Warzone update? For that matter, why wasn’t the next major Warzone update released a little sooner? Again, nobody knows since the company’s PR team is acting tight-lipped. However, it was widely reported that Modern Warfare 3 was rushed to release following some scheduling changes (despite internal blowback to that suggestion). Given its rushed development, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the previously planned Warzone update also seemingly took a hit. For that matter, given Modern Warfare 3’s poor reception, we wouldn’t be surprised if Activision planned to announce further Warzone news but backtracked, assuming it would be viewed as the salt in the wound left by Modern Warfare 3.
With any luck, Activision will release its plans for Call of Duty: Warzone 3.0 (or whatever it plans on calling it) in the near future.