Call of Duty has been releasing a game per year since 2005. That means, for the past 16 years, we've got a new Call of Duty release every single year. Even though Activision had multiple teams working on the games – whether that's Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch or Raven – that's still a lot of game over a relatively short amount of time. But that era could soon be coming to an end.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, a number of "high-level employees" at Activision are considering altering the release cadence of the Call of Duty series, and are considering moving away from the game's current setup as an annual franchise.
Given that the Call of Duty Vanguard sales were the worst the game has seen in a decade – and with the on-going issues with Warzone continually making headlines – it seems the series' developers want some time to step back and address some fundamental problems.
Given that we've also seen the likes of Toys For Bob, Beenox, Demonware, High Moon Studios, Radical Entertainment and Vicarious Visions wrestled from their own projects to toil in the Call of Duty salt mines, this news no doubt comes as a relief to the studios grouped under the Activision Blizzard banner.
Whether or not these rumblings from within the company will bear any fruit remains to be seen; Microsoft has just acquired Activsion Blizzard for an eye-watering $68.7bn. Given that Microsoft has "a desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation" – maybe in a bid to recoup costs – we could see Phil Spencer and Xbox keep pushing for yearly releases of CoD games.
But, by the same token, it seems Xbox is keen to diversify the Activision Blizzard product; just yesterday we heard Spencer name-check King’s Quest, Guitar Hero and even HeXen. Could we see some of the auxiliary studios come out from under the CoD shadow and start building their own games again? I, personally, really hope so.