The Call of Duty series has been an annual release for over 15 years now, with a rotating team of developers consisting of Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. Due to the recent Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a yearly release could very well change for the series, according to inside reports.
As reported by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, discussions are currently happening inside Activision Blizzard regarding the future of the company under Xbox’s banner. Apart from the enticement of more creative freedom, cautious optimism of the merger and potentially giving CEO Bobby Kotick the boot, one topic discussed was moving Call of Duty out of its annual release schedule.
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The merger is not all optimism, unfortunately, as some employees are worried that it might lead to more layoffs. While the deal hasn’t officially been completed (and probably won’t until next year), there’s a dark cloud hanging over the studio right now. However, talks about Call of Duty not sticking to an annual release schedule anymore is certainly a highlight, as many players have experienced fatigue over the franchise’s long history in gaming.
Ubisoft previously moved their Assassin’s Creed franchise out of an annual release schedule too, choosing to release a new game every couple of years instead. This offered the studios more time and creative freedom to work on their new entries, and it has seemingly worked wonders since the release of Origins spun the series in a more acclaimed direction, for the most part.
Call of Duty has been under intense scrutiny for years now, with some fans feeling that an annual release didn’t give the development trio of studios any breathing room for experimentation, resulting in several entries in the series feeling the same or undercooked. If Xbox chooses to move ahead with removing the annual Call of Duty release plan, it could open up possibilities for the studios to do their own projects and put more focus on making better and more polished titles again. Take it with a grain of salt for now.
The latest entry, Call of Duty: Vanguard, is currently available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
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Source: Jason Schreier