2023 Call of Duty delayed and what it means for the future of the series

Activision /

According to a report by Jason Schreier at Bloomberg, Activision Blizzard is delaying their 2023 release. What does this Call of Duty delay mean for the series going forward?

Activision Blizzard takes a break year for Call of Duty

According to Schreier’s report, Activision Blizzard had decided to delay 2023’s Call of Duty after Vanguard’s failure to meet expectations. Allegedly, the executives over there believed that new games were being pushed out too quickly, with nothing to do with the company’s recent acquisition by Microsoft.

There’s also going to be a new free-to-play title in 2023, but I’m not sure how this will work with Warzone given its massive popularity.

Breaks in annual releases aren’t unheard of, but it seems rather out of character for Call of Duty, which had aggressively pushed titles out yearly since 2004’s Call of Duty 2.

Why delay now? Why not years ago when the company was dumping mediocre to poor titles last decade? Whatever the case may be, I can only hope they innovate in an otherwise stale series going forward.

The series began in 2003, so this delay means that Activision will be missing out on the Call of Duty’s 20th anniversary. At the very least, I hope there will be anniversary content coming in Warzone and 2022’s Modern Warfare entry.

My theory is that Warzone, not only a great CoD experience but also a great free-to-play title, is cannibalizing sales from the main series.

Since Warzone launched, there have always been tie-in content with the main series CoD games. What sets the premium offerings apart (little as it may be) are ripe for content updates in Warzone, so there’s not much incentive to buy something like Vanguard when the same setting is applied to Warzone.

Related Story. Sony acquires Bungie. light

Both games’ development concepts are similar at their core: they both deliver seasonal updates. The key difference is that Warzone’s are free. Why would you pay about 60 bucks for a new Call of Duty every year when you get fresh content for free?

Call of Duty is suffering from its own success. This should be a crossroad for Activision Blizzard to decide what direction development needs to go, as it’s clear from the delay that they don’t think it’s working right now.