Call of Duty Could Move Away From Annual Releases, According To New Report

In the wake of Microsoft’s blockbuster acquisition of Activision Blizzard, some Call of Duty devs are reportedly eager to move away from the annualized released schedule that has defined the series for much of its existence.

In a new article that provides an overview of Activision Blizzard’s internal reactions to the acquisition, Bloomberg reports that “high-level employees” have discussed ditching Call of Duty’s current release schedule. Currently, Activision continues to put a new Call of Duty every year from a rotating series of studios — a strategy that has proven an awkward fit since the release of Warzone.

Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard: The Story So Far

These developers are said to feel that slowing the franchise’s release cadence would please players who have grown weary of Call of Duty’s steady drumbeat of releases. Bloomberg’s article cites Call of Duty: Vanguard‘s 36 percent sales decline in the UK, though it still managed to top 2021’s sales charts.

According to Bloomberg, the shift may not happen until “next year or later,” with this year’s release “expected to redeem the franchise’s fortunes.”

Call of Duty: Vanguard is commonly said to suffer from “Call of Duty Fatigue” — a label that has been applied to other underperforming releases such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Some have questioned the wisdom of releasing another World War II shooter relatively soon after Call of Duty: WWII, which came out back in 2017.

In the meantime, Call of Duty faces plenty of other questions amid Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard. While Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have both signaled their intention to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles, it is unclear whether they are referring to Warzone, the annualized releases, or both.

The games industry continues to sift through the fall out of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition, which we called a “content war and not a console war” in a recent op-ed. You can see how it compares to other major entertainment acquisitions here, as well as why we think Call of Duty’s days on PlayStation are numbered.

Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN

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