Usually video game companies do not reveal new games - especially big ones like this - during investor calls, since these are both rather unceremonious and also public. Infinity Ward has made an exception recently, confirming that 2022's Call of Duty game is Modern Warfare 2, a sequel to 2019's reboot of the subline, and will include an entirely new Warzone experience.
Infinity Ward Co-Studio Head Pat Kelly revealed the game in a conference call including developers, investors and content creators, so there was definitely some marketing deliberacy going on, and considering the state of the industry and shaky circumstances of big events and shows, we can't blame them for taking this route.
Maintaining the yearly Call of Duty release schedule at all costs - at least for now, until the Microsoft acquisition goes through - is clearly an important stipulation for Activision, and Modern Warfare 2 has been in development for some time. Rumors and unsubstantiated leaks have already predicted that this will be the next game in the franchise, but now we have official confirmation to back them up.
One of the most interesting tidbits of the reveal is that Modern Warfare 2 will have what was called a "new Warzone experience". Kelly spoke in some detail about a brand new engine that Infinity Ward has been developing for years on which Modern Warfare 2 will be built, alongside this new Warzone experience.
To alleviate many of the integration issues that the post-Modern Warfare games have had with Warzone, instead of extending the battle royale's lifespan further, the company decided that the time for an actual sequel is here. Warzone 2 appropriately launches alongside Modern Warfare 2, just like the predecessors of both.
No concrete release dates have been revealed, other than the window of late 2022. Call of Duty titles almost always release in November though, so it's a good bet this time around as well. 2019's Modern Warfare has sold upward of 30 million units, and Kelly said in the call that a sequel coming should have been "obvious" - probably another justification for the rather low-key announcement.
Concrete details beyond this were sparse, though Kelly did speak a bit about Warzone 2, or whatever the game will be called. PR phrases like being a “massive evolution" of the genre and being "disruptive" were tossed around, but the most interesting part was references to an "ambitious sandbox mode" which sounds a bit like what we saw with Battlefield Portal.
This announcement gets an extra dimension, so to speak, in the context of Warzone's current, controversial state. This did not go without acknowledgement, and Kelly addressed the significant concerns players have with the state of the game, calling Warzone "broken" and committing to fixes.
Even so, the developers have decided it is time to move on with Warzone. If the free-to-play model is retained, and we see no reason why it shouldn't - Warzone is ridiculously successful as it is, so why mess with it - a sequel shouldn't result in losing players, since they can just move on without paying, and the hype of a new launch is bound to attract new players too.
Stay tuned for more Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 news!