Microsoft’s impending purchase of Activision Blizzard could lead to a lot of changes for the video game industry, most notably for the Call of Duty franchise. There are a lot of questions about how the Xbox purchase might impact the series, including its release schedule. According to new reporting from Bloomberg, “high-level employees at Activision have discussed moving away from the annual release schedule.” It’s worth noting that this change isn’t expected to happen immediately, as a new Call of Duty is already planned to release later this year.
There are a lot of potential benefits to slowing down the Call of Duty release schedule! While the series continues to perform quite well from a commercial standpoint, a lot of fans have been unhappy with Activision Blizzard’s handling of the franchise. Cheating in Call of Duty: Warzone has been a rampant issue, even after the release of the Ricochet anti-cheat. Meanwhile, the publisher just released an apology for other issues in Warzone, as well as Call of Duty: Vanguard, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Clearly, the current release schedule is a lot, and it’s forcing these teams to try to fix issues in multiple games at the same time. Given the fact that Microsoft delayed Halo Infinite an entire year to improve that game, it doesn’t seem farfetched to imagine Call of Duty’s teams getting more time to develop new entries.
Call of Duty has become so big for Activision that the publisher has moved nearly all of its teams to working on the series. Following the success Toys for Bob had with Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, many fans were excited to see the series continue, and there were even hints about a follow-up game. Unfortunately, Toys for Bob became a support studio for Call of Duty: Warzone last year, seemingly dashing hopes that the studio might make another Crash or Spyro game. Longer waits between releases for Call of Duty games could free up teams to work on other games, instead.
If the Call of Duty series does move away from yearly releases, chances are, fans of the series will have no shortage of ways to get their fix! Xbox could give games longer support and Call of Duty: Warzone could also receive a bigger focus. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but hopefully any changes to Call of Duty’s release schedule will be for the better!
Do you think Call of Duty needs to move away from yearly releases? Do you think the move would benefit the series? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!