Activision has reportedly delayed the intended launch of 2023’s Call of Duty title. This will result in the franchise missing it’s annual release for the first time since 2005.
According to Bloomberg (paywall), the company is pushing back the release of its next title due to the underperformance of Call of Duty: Vanguard. Unnamed sources have reportedly stated that executives at Activision are beginning to believe that new iterations of the franchise are being delivered too rapidly. This has potentially lead to cannibalising one another’s audiences.
Call of Duty Delayed
The decision that resulted in Call of Duty delayed was apparently made without any connection to the ongoing Microsoft purchase of Activision. Activision currently remains autonomous. However, it’s entirely possible that Microsoft could reverse this decision once the acquisition has been completed. This is expected to occur in the summer of 2023.
“We have an exciting slate of premium and free-to-play Call of Duty experiences for this year, next year and beyond. We look forward to sharing more details when the time is right.”Activision spokesman, Bloomberg
New Free-to-Play Title
Activision is working on other projects related to the Call of Duty franchise. These will likely fill the gap left by missing the annual lead title. A new Call of Duty game set for release this year will receive continuous post-launch content. Furthermore, a new free-to-play title in the vein of Call of Duty: Warzone will arrive. Treyarch, the Activision-owned studio at the helm of the now-delayed game, will reportedly be assisting with this new free-to-play title.
Should the rumours hold true, there’ll likely be a race from other publishers to fill that Call of Duty-sized hole this autumn. The regular annual Call of Duty titles typically stampede everything else released during their launch window. But now, without a Call of Duty title to compete against, it’s possible we’ll see some fresh names attempting to take the limelight.
Until such a time as Activision outright confirms or denies the Call of Duty delay, it remains a rumour. But we’re still interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments section below!