It’s that time of year again. The current Call of Duty is a few months old, and it’s now time to set our eyes on what’s to come at the end of the year. Truth be told, Call of Duty Vanguard hasn’t been a well-loved title by the community. In fact, in Activision’s fourth quarter earnings report, they started that both console and PC sales have declined year-over-year, showing lower “premium” sales of Vanguard verses Black Ops Cold War, which launched the year prior. Also, lower engagement in Warzone needs to be addressed. To combat this, Activision, which is being purchased by Microsoft, has once again turned to the Infinity Ward team to see if they can turn things around for the next Call of Duty installment.
Infinity Ward to lead Call of Duty team on ‘most ambition plan’ yet
While Vanguard was made by Sledgehammer Games and Cold War by Treyarch, Activision is once again returning to Infinity Ward for the next Call of Duty release. This follows declining sales of Vanguard and lower engagement in Warzone, though fourth quarter in-game “player investment” was “well above” the level seen prior to the launch of Warzone in 2020.
This year, we’re expecting the Infinity Ward team to embark on Modern Warfare 2, a follow-up to the previous Modern Warfare 2020 launch that is still my favorite Call of Duty title in the past decade. While we don’t know for sure what the title will be or what the game is based on, we do know that this will be the “most ambitious plan in franchise history.” This comes from “industry-leading innovation and a broadly appealing franchise setting,” which is where we get the idea that it’s a Modern Warfare 2 release this year.
Through the next several months, we’ll be learning more about what the 2022 launch of Call of Duty has in store, and only time will tell how exciting it will or won’t be. While I was a huge fan of Modern Warfare and have many, many hours in the game, Cold War wasn’t nearly as drawing for me and I honestly didn’t even play Vanguard. However, if Infinity Ward can deliver another classic like they did in 2022, I’m all in this year.
Honestly, that’s what the Call of Duty franchise needs at this point. We’ve tried experimenting with Cold War and Vanguard, and the player base has reacted negatively toward it. What they want is classic Call of Duty gameplay with new twists, not entirely new premises.
The series turns 19 this year, as the first game was released in September 2004. That’s right – if you’ve been playing the games since launch, that’s 19 years of history to call back on. It’s hard for studios to follow that up year after year, and now, I’m wondering at what point Call of Duty stops being a hype train and eventually falls into the realm of nostalgia games? It’s hard to imagine a game series lasting 18 years, but Call of Duty has managed to do that. Looking back at other games from the same time, Medal of Honor game out around the same time and hasn’t had nearly the same fate as Call of Duty. Battlefield, which actually came out a year earlier and turns 20 this year, is still alive and well.
Only time will tell if this year’s Call of Duty will redeem the franchise in the eyes of gamers. Without more information, I can’t say for sure where I fall here, so I’ll be watching the news closely to see if the 2022 Call of Duty will be another one for me to invest hours into, or if I’ll pass yet again.
FTC: 9to5Toys is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links