What you need to know
- Call of Duty, the blockbuster first-person shooter franchise from Activision, has released a new premium title annual for more than a decade.
- There were rumors that this year Activision would give Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) extra breathing room and a new full title would not release until 2024, though this story changed over time.
- Activision has done very little to confirm nor promote this year's Call of Duty title, in a break from tradition.
- Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision, which would make Call of Duty a first party title for Xbox despite the franchise's outstanding marketing deals with PlayStation.
Activision has been unusually tight lipped when it comes to confirming any details about the next premium Call of Duty title, but this may have been for not as an account on Twitter has leaked the game's title and promotional material for Monster energy drinks.
The cardboard boxes in the two photos shared on Twitter feature a dour looking Captain Price outlined with red rim lighting with the title Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 stamped over him. The front and back labeling of a Monster energy drink can are below with the backside of the can featuring Simon "Ghost" Riley and a QR code. The left side of the display features a green design that, despite being cut off, indicates there are Monster Energy themed bonus in-game rewards, including an operator skin, weapon decal, and double XP.
Rumors surrounding Call of Duty 2023 have been abundant, but the only acknowledgement that players have had of the game's impending arrival has been one lone tweet from the official Call of Duty Twitter account that asked if players felt their Operator bundles from Modern Warfare 2 should carry forward. The two options to the poll were simply "Yes." and "Yes, when is the reveal?" In 2022, Activision held its first ever Call of Duty NEXT event, a showcase specifically designed to focus on Call of Duty's future announcements.
While there have been no official details confirmed about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 it is expected that the game will get a full reveal and massive info dump during a Call of Duty NEXT event showcase sometime in September. Similarly, data miners have uncovered hints that the next COD title could be announced as part of a Warzone event shortly before the NEXT showcase takes place.
- Classic Call of Duty titles on Xbox are experiencing a player resurgence
- Call of Duty 2023 — Rumors, leaks, and what we know
- Team RICOCHET releases progress update in the fight against cheaters in Call of Duty on Xbox and PC
- Activision reportedly wanted better revenue split before Call of Duty would come to Xbox Series X|S
Call of Duty is published by Activision, part of Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is currently in the process of acquiring ABK for a record setting $69 billion however the deal has been met with legal kickback from regulatory bodies in the US and the UK which has led to the 2 corporations extending their deadline for when the merger must close. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Microsoft have recently agreed to pause litigation and appeals as Microsoft attempts to assuage the CMA with remedies for their concerns of anti-competitive behavior in the cloud gaming market.
With the new deadline for the Xbox and Activision Blizzard King (ABK) merger to close being set in October, it is entirely likely that Call of Duty could become a first party title under Xbox prior to its release this fall. That said, players will have to wait a little longer for the ABK titles to hit Game Pass once the deal closes as there is an outstanding marketing agreement for Call of Duty between Activision and PlayStation that does not dissolve until the end of 2024. Microsoft has remained steadfast that it will honor existing contracts with PlayStation following the acquisition of ABK, including a 10-year contract to keep Call of Duty a multiplatform title.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.