Warzone will be the main focus for a long time, says Activision.
Activision talks about the future of COD Warzone
Although COD Warzone was originally released as the free-to-play Battle Royale from Modern Warfare, the game is now “solo” and received content from Black Ops Cold War.
During Activision’s quarterly earnings report, Activision President Rob Kostich revealed that the game will be “front and center” of the publisher for “a long time.”
Tyler Parker (KeyBanc Capital Markets): I would like to talk about Call of Duty first, I think. So first, now that you’ve released a new addition to the franchise with Black Ops Cold War and integrated it into Warzone, I guess what are you learning so far? Did it go as expected? And after that, just bolster your confidence, maybe in the strategy going forward, or did you have any new ideas on how to integrate these future releases into the Warzone experience? Thanks.
Rob Kostich (President of Activision): Hey, Tyler. It’s Rob. Thanks for the question. As you mentioned, Warzone is now fully integrated into Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare. And that was a huge effort from our development teams on content, progression, game systems and more. And overall, as we noted in the call, it’s going really well right now. We have a historical Q4 involvement in our premium and Warzone games. We had a record second year sales for Modern Warfare in 2020, and also Black Ops Cold War sales started strong and picked up momentum in December when we released Season 1. The great news is that we are seeing positive momentum early this quarter as well.
Now that we’ve answered your question, we’ve learned a lot from this integration. I would say here are probably some of the toplines. Black Ops Cold War brought a ton of content to Warzone, with over 30 new weapons, new operators and more, and this was a massive update that required a lot of resources from our side. And having gone through this integration now, we now have an even greater sense of how we can make these transitions work even better and more smoothly for all of our players in the future. And that’s really important to us because Warzone is going to be front and center for a long time to come.
Call of Duty 2021 confirmed by Activision
During the recent Investors conference of Activision, the publisher confirmed that a new title of Call of Duty will be released in 2021. While there is still no confirmation of who is developing the title, company executives have stated that a new premium experience will be unveiling in the franchise this year.
Several known Call of Duty leakers predicted that Sledgehammer Games is working on the 2021 title. Although the studio hasn’t produced a game since 2017, the recent surge in signings and the studio’s silence has given credence to many fans’ speculation. In 2020 alone, the studio hired 150 new developers across all of its departments, suggesting that something big is probably afoot. Fans are currently speculating that the new title could be a new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare or even Call of Duty: World War 3.
Activision was careful not to announce or leak any specific details about COD 2021. With new franchise titles usually unveiled in May, the game will likely be released in October or November of this year. That’s assuming Activision follows the pattern.
An interesting fact is that this year’s game will come alongside Call of Duty: Warzone. Similar to the release of COD Black Ops Cold War, the game will be closely associated with Battle Royale. Activision President Rob Kostich confirmed that Warzone will be “central” to the future of the Call of Duty franchise.