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Next Call of Duty game could be last in yearly release schedule

We've seen a new Call of Duty game release each year for well over a decade now - is it time for this yearly release schedule to change?

Call of Duty Yearly Release Schedule: Polina is firing an M1 Garand on Dome

Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68 billion has, once again, brought the Call of Duty yearly release schedule to the forefront of discussions. For many fans, the quality of Call of Duty games has been in decline for some time and many are suggesting that abandoning this yearly release schedule could be the answer.

In a recent report from Bloomberg, it has been revealed that several “high-level employees” at Activision Blizzard have been discussing the idea of “moving away from the annual release schedule” in relation to the Call of Duty series. This might not sound like breaking news, but the recent acquisition by Microsoft and the reports that the series “saw a 36% decline” in the U.K. sales chart all suggest that something could, and perhaps should, change.

At the moment, fans fear Call of Duty games are being rushed to meet the yearly release quota and the issues we’re seeing with Vanguard and Warzone at the moment seem to reinforce these fears. There are calls for Microsoft to end the Call of Duty yearly release schedule and it, at the very least, appears to be already in consideration.

In recent years, it has been reported that Call of Duty games undergo a three-year development cycle with Activision’s rotation meaning we get a Treyarch game one year, an Infinity Ward game the next, and so on. Polygon reported this development in 2014, however, this was short-lived and the introduction of Warzone as a persistent Call of Duty title alongside the yearly releases has disrupted this system.

Activision might be considering a change to the Call of Duty yearly release schedule in place, but Microsoft’s influence won’t be felt until next year. Reports suggest that the acquisition deal won’t be finalised until mid-2023. We’re still anticipating another Call of Duty title this year, which is likely to be the long-rumoured sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare.

All of this talk about yearly releases and Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t take away from the fact that Warzone is still going to get regular content updates for the foreseeable future. If you’re looking to get ahead of the game before the next season starts, we have a definitive Warzone meta guide here – this should help you grab a win or two on Caldera before the next major update.