Somebody tell Activision Blizzard to make up its mind because it's still calling this year's Call of Duty a "full annual premium release."
Ever since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 came out and set a franchise record, fans assumed that it would get a premium DLC later this year. Most expected that Activision Blizzard will end the series' annual cycle and give Treyarch more time to work on the next Call of Duty, which is presumed to have a "semi-futuristic" setting.
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But, it appears that Call of Duty won't skip a new entry this year, as per the company's latest financial report.
Here's what Activision Blizzard had to say about its plans for Call of Duty this year:
Our teams are working to amplify the success of the fourth quarter, with 2023 plans including even more engaging live services across platforms and the next full annual premium release in the blockbuster series.
So, what does this all mean? According to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, the "full annual premium release" remains the exact same expansion for Modern Warfare 2, except that it's gotten so big that Activision could release it as a separate title.
But, Schreier reiterates that it's still a continuation of Modern Warfare 2. In this case, Activision could use the Special Ops Raids to connect Modern Warfare 2 to whatever Sledgehammer Games is working on.
In this case, what will happen is that Sledgehammer will continue to work on Call of Duty, albeit as a support studio for the game-sized expansions and DLCs, while Treyarch and Infinity Ward take lead developer duties.
At the end of the day, it makes more financial sense for Activision Blizzard to market the upcoming "premium DLC" for the incumbent Call of Duty game as a "full annual premium release" if only so that it can command the usual retail price. And, to soften the blow, Activision Blizzard could throw in a remaster of Modern Warfare 3 as a freebie. Besides, Activision has stuck to the annual cycle for 17 years, so it might as well keep it going.