Sledgehammer Games reportedly working on the premium DLC for Modern Warfare 2

An insider clarifies that the "Premium Release" for Call of Duty that's scheduled for next year is not a new installment.

Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 isn't even a month old and Activision Blizzard is already talking about what's next for the franchise.

Sledgehammer Games Premium Dlc Modern Warfare
What are the chances that the premium DLC for Modern Warfare 2 will center around the fan-favorite character, Simon "Ghost" Riley?

For the past year, we've heard rumors that Modern Warfare 2 will get two years of support. Unfortunately, without an outright confirmation from Activision Blizzard, fans have been left to speculate about the franchise's future. But, via Activision Blizzard's latest earnings report, it seems that we might have our biggest piece of evidence yet.

Although Activision Blizzard is still refusing to explicitly state that Modern Warfare 2 will get two years' worth of support, Jason Schreier reveals that the wording all but confirms this.

Activision Blizzard states in its earnings report:

Activision is looking forward to building on its current momentum in 2023, with plans for next year including the most robust Call of Duty live operations to date, the next full premium release in the blockbuster annual series.

Several outlets believe this means the next Call of Duty game will come out as early as next year. However, Schreier insists that Activision specifically chose the "full premium release" wording so it can sell it for $70, but it's still going to be an extension of Modern Warfare 2 and not a new game.

Money is the biggest reason why Activision releases a new Call of Duty game every year. It's a lot more lucrative to sell a new $70 game every year compared to supporting it with DLC that might not sell as well post-launch. However, packaging the DLC as a premium release at a $70 price point might solve that problem. It won't necessarily make Activision Blizzard look less greedy, but it is what it is. People will buy the unconfirmed Modern Warfare 2 DLC, regardless of price, if it comes with both single- and multiplayer content, which Schreier is insisting that it's going to have.

Using the words "full premium release" also separates the upcoming $70 DLC for Modern Warfare 2 from what's already available for the game, such as the Call of Duty Endowment Protector Pack that sells for $9.99.

Sledgehammer Games Premium Dlc Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's sales suggest that people will lap up more content for the game regardless of price.

What's interesting here is that Sledgehammer Games is working on the DLC. Has Activision Blizzard lost faith in the studio after back-to-back duds with WWII and Vanguard? Or, is this the start of a new cycle? For example, if Treyarch is busy working on Call of Duty 2024, it makes sense for Sledgehammer Games to take over duties for next year's premium content for Modern Warfare 2 as Infinity Ward focuses on the base game. The next cycle would then see Infinity Ward support Treyarch with premium DLC for its Call of Duty game in 2025 as Sledgehammer Games works on a new entry for 2026.

It wouldn't surprise us if this is what Activision has planned for the future of Call of Duty. It was reported earlier this year that Sledgehammer Games is already working on a new Call of Duty game. The same report could have gotten the details wrong. Instead of a new entry, Sledgehammer might have been working on the premium content for MW2. This implies the rumored free-to-play Zombies game by Treyarch for next year isn't coming or was never true at all.

Unfortunately, we'll probably need to wait for the next earnings call or two for clarification about the status of Modern Warfare 2 next year.

Sledgehammer Games Premium Dlc Modern Warfare
It would be interesting to see more post-launch single-player content in future Call of Duty games.

Until then, we can expect Modern Warfare 2 to keep on setting new records after a massive opening weekend.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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