In the most shocking turn of events since Nintendo once sensationally announced there would be an eighth Mario Kart game, Activision has confirmed there will be a new Call of Duty game this year. I know, I know, it’s a lot to take in.
Speaking during Activision-Blizzard’s annual financial briefing, COO Coddy Johnson confirmed a 2020 Call of Duty game is inbound and has been “generating high interest internally” through play testing. “We feel great about the content” enthused Johnson.
What’s particularly unusual about this year’s Call of Duty is that we don’t actually know which studio is developing it. The Call of Duty franchise has operated on a three pillars approach for this generation, rotating between Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer and Treyarch. With Infinity Ward releasing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare late last year, to considerable success, next in line should be Call of Duty: WWII developer Sledgehammer Games.
But, just to throw a curveball into the mix, a Kotaku insider report last year claimed Sledgehammer’s game was in trouble and Treyarch had assumed control of development. If that’s the case, the next COD could be another Black Ops, just two years after Call of Duty: Black Ops 4was released. We’ll have to wait and see though. Call of Duty games are typically revealed during late spring, with a launch in either October or November.
Activision-Blizzard is currently riding high off the back of COD: Modern Warfare, however. The soft reboot, complete with a new game engine, saw double-digit unit sales versus Black Ops 4, as well as increased digital sales, more microtransaction revenue, and became the most pre-ordered game of 2019.
“Our fourth quarter results exceeded our prior outlook for both revenue and earnings per share,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “Our recent Call of Duty success illustrates the scale of our growth potential, as we expanded the community to more players in more countries on more platforms than ever before. With our strong content pipeline across our franchises and momentum in mobile, esports, and advertising, we look forward to continuing to delight our players, fans and stakeholders in 2020 and beyond.”
Whichever Call of Duty is out this year, it will certainly have some big shoes to fill.