The large image: Next yr might be an uncommon, transitional one for the Call of Duty franchise. As Microsoft acquires the collection’ writer, Activision will not put out a brand new mainline entry within the collection and can as an alternative concentrate on paid content material. The firm confirmed this whereas reporting a big income decline.
This week, Activision Blizzard introduced plans to launch “premium content material” for Call of Duty in 2023, prone to compensate for the absence of a brand new full launch that yr. The information is a part of the corporate’s Q2 2022 monetary report which signifies declining person engagement with the franchise.
In February, Activision revealed that it will not launch a mainline Call of Duty title in 2023, delaying Black Ops studio Treyarch’s subsequent sport. The absence will mark the primary yr since 2004 with out a new entry because the franchise reaches its twentieth anniversary.
Activision did not say what kind the brand new premium content material would take, but it surely may symbolize a shift or backtrack for Call of Duty. The collection previously expanded upon mainline video games with paid map packs however ended the follow with 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, turning to battle passes and different microtransactions to make sure all gamers had the identical maps. The 2023 content material will possible be for Modern Warfare’s sequel, which launches on October 28. The sequel to Activision’s free-to-play Call of Duty Warzone releases later this yr.
The Q2 monetary outcomes containing Activision’s announcement present general revenues declining by virtually 30 % year-over-year, possible as a result of a big drop in Call of Duty gamers. Over the final yr, Activision’s reported month-to-month energetic customers steadily fell every quarter from 127 million in June 2021 to 94 million in June 2022. Active participant numbers have not fallen under 100 million since 2019. In distinction, Blizzard’s and King’s person numbers noticed a lot smaller shifts over the identical interval.
The decline in Call of Duty customers may stem from frustrations with the franchise’s most up-to-date launch – Vanguard – which noticed a few of its content material delayed earlier this yr. Another attainable issue is Warzone gamers ready for the sequel, which can reset all progress from the primary sport.
As Microsoft prepares to buy Activision Blizzard, Sony advised Brazil’s competitors regulator that it’s involved about attainable aftereffects. The firm thinks that if Call of Duty video games stopped supporting PlayStation, it could have an effect on many shoppers’ console buy selections and that nobody else may replicate the collection’ model. So far, Microsoft hadn’t indicated that it is making Call of Duty unique to its platforms.