- Activision has already planned out the next four years of Call of Duty games, ensuring the longevity of the popular franchise.
- Call of Duty: Warzone’s successful transition to a free-to-play model boosted the sales of mainline installments to record-breaking heights.
- Activision intends to keep the Call of Duty franchise fresh by exploring different settings and eras, while continuing to meet the expectations of its dedicated fanbase.
Activision has already planned out the next four years’ worth of Call of Duty games, a senior company official has revealed. This bit of insight into one of the best-selling video game franchises of all times was shared as part of a much wider reflection on the series’ past, present, and future.
Between Modern Warfare 2 breaking one franchise record after another and Call of Duty: Mobile continuing to dominate download charts on smartphones and tablets four years into its release, Activision’s long-running series currently appears to be stronger than ever. The gaming giant nowadays even holds a sizable slice of the immensely lucrative battle royale market, which it seized following the 2020 launch of Call of Duty: Warzone.
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As for what’s next for the franchise, Activision President Rob Kostich revealed that the publisher already mapped out all future Call of Duty games up through 2027. “We’re constantly in our planning phase,” the executive said in recent interview with VentureBeat. Elaborating on that point, Kostich explained how Activision is consistently communicating with a “massive focus group,” on top of listening to player feedback, in order to decide where to take the franchise next.
The official acknowledged that this approach hasn’t always been “perfect,” but insisted that it still served the company well, allowing Call of Duty games to meet or surpass expectations “more often than not.” Among many other things, that strategy also informed the original Modern Warfare 2, which Kostich highlighted as one of the most defining moments in the series’ history. The 2009 game launched Call of Duty into a “different stratosphere” of popularity and overall industry impact, he recalled.
Thinking back on some other such historic moments, Kostich pointed to Warzone as another massive win for the franchise, not least because taking Call of Duty free-to-play wasn’t an easy decision. That’s largely because Activision achieved tremendous success with its annual release model dating back to the late ’90s and the Tony Hawk days, so putting out a big-budget freemium game came with the risk of cannibalizing its existing sales. However, the publisher found that Warzone actually boosted the sales of the mainline installments to unprecedented heights, as most recently underlined by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2‘s record-breaking launch.
Moving forward, Activision intends to continue exploring a mixture of eras in Call of Duty games, alternating between different settings on a regular basis so as to keep things interesting, Kostich revealed. The Activision President also dismissed the risks of franchise exhaustion that come with the company’s yearly release model, describing them as a non-issue for as long as the publisher keeps meeting the Call of Duty fandom’s expectations.
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