Along with death and taxes, it seems another certainty in life is an annual major Call of Duty release, and 2021 is no exception. Activision has confirmed that of course, it is once again making a Call of Duty game for release this year, and as has been reported, Sledgehammer is back at the helm making it.
This was revealed during Activision-Blizzard’s Q1 earnings call, during which Activision said the game was both “looking great” and “on track” for release in the fall of this year. It will include a campaign, multiplayer, and co-op play, and will “integrate with and enhance existing Call of Duty ecosystem” — possibly a reference to compatibility with Warzone, as has happened with Black Ops Cold War. And critically, it’s being “built for next-generation experience.”
Beyond that, we don’t have too many more details about the next Call of Duty, though Activision promises more details “soon.” The same report that mentioned Sledgehammer suggests that the game will be called “Call of Duty WWII: Vanguard” and will incorporate (unsurprisingly) a World War II theme, though reports have differed as to whether this is a straightforward WWII take or an alternate timeline.
Sledgehammer has previously been in charge of both Call of Duty: WWII and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and has assisted Infinity Ward and Treyarch on other recent Call of Duty titles.
Call of Duty continues to do exceeding well as a franchise for Activision, with today’s earnings call and results noting that Call of Duty currently boasts 150 million monthly active users [MAU] across all games. Free-to-play Call of Duty and Call of Duty mobile have nearly tripled total MAUs across all Call of Duty games since their launches last year, helped in part by the recent launch of Call of Duty Mobile in China bringing in “tens of millions” of new players. Activision focused on Call of Duty’s success as a cornerstone of its earnings call today, making it clear that they intend to continue building out the Call of Duty franchise, as well as implement its business model into the company’s other franchises.