Activision has been revealing more and more information about this year's Call of Duty release, rumored to be a Black Ops reboot called Cold War. The news about the title, as well as the approach of its assumed release window have sparked concerns about Warzone, the battle royale mode tied to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Activision clarified that Warzone is here to stay - and will have very strong links to CoD 2020.
Specifics on how exactly Warzone will be "tightly connected" to Call of Duty 2020 are yet to be revealed, but in an earnings call Activision Publishing president Rob Kostich spoke about the current tight connection between Modern Warfare and Warzone - which is pretty implicit, seeing as Warzone is built completely on the same engine and gameplay mechanics, and amounts to a standalone free-to-play game mode for Modern Warfare - and how that connection is important to players.
As a result, the company seeks to maintain a similar connection between Warzone, which they assure players is here to stay, and CoD 2020. Whether players choose to play Warzone only as free-to-play, or buy the full Call of Duty game, the linked experiences should still be present in a way similar to the current links between the battle royale and the main game. Since the two are linked narratively, we can expect story connections between CoD 2020 and Warzone. Whether this means Warzone may get a new map is anyone's guess.
It makes sense that the publisher wants to keep Warzone alive. Unlike the franchise's previous foray into battle royale, Blackout, this attempt was actually successful.
Over 75 million players clash in Verdansk, with the number of active Warzone players expected only to rise - especially with the release of Season 5. Abandoning such a popular product just because the next Call of Duty game is being launched would be a terrible business decision.
Make no mistake, the next Call of Duty game will launch promptly - Activision stated that the COVID-19 pandemic, though slowing development, will not affect the release date of Call of Duty 2020. The project is on schedule, and a new partnership was revealed. The game is being developed by Treyarch, the other main CoD developer aside of Infinity Ward, in cooperation with Raven Software. Raven Software is a veteran of the FPS genre, and of the video game industry as a whole.
Debuting in 1992 with Black Crypt, RavenSoft as they were known in the past also released classics like Heretic, Soldier of Fortune, Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy and Wolfenstein.
This isn't exactly new turf for them. Raven Software has been helping both Treyarch and Infinity Ward develop Call of Duty games since the original Black Ops in 2010, however their role was always minor. Since the companies felt it important to give this partnership a big announcement, it probably means that Raven will be shouldering a much larger portion of development this time around.
Stay tuned for more news on Call of Duty 2020!