Report: Call of Duty might not be annual once Xbox deal closes

Captain Price Modern Warfare
Captain Price Modern Warfare (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced a deal recently to acquire Activision Blizzard for Xbox.
  • According to a report from Bloomberg, it's possible that sometime after the deal closes, Call of Duty will not be released annually anymore.
  • These reported discussions are not finalized.
  • Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer recently noted that he wants keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.

When Microsoft's deal to acquire Activision Blizzard for Xbox closes, the Call of Duty franchise might not be annual anymore. This comes via a report from Bloomberg, which notes that according to two people familiar with high-level discussions, there are talks to no longer put out a premium Call of Duty title every year.

This plan isn't finalized but comes as Call of Duty: Vanguard, the latest entry in the series, underperformed significantly, despite strong NPD results in December 2021.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer recently stated his interest in revitalizing older Activision games. Over the last few years, Activision has eschewed its teams working on a wide slate of games, compounding resources to keep Call of Duty as a yearly title.

Spencer also noted that he has a "desire" to see Call of Duty stay on PlayStation, and that any existing agreements will be upheld. Microsoft is upholding its contractual agreements inherited when it acquired ZeniMax Media, releasing timed console exclusives Deathloop and the upcoming Ghostwire: Tokyo on PS5.

Bloomberg's report also notes that there is some optimism among Activision Blizzard employees that the acquisition could be a positive change, drawing on how other studios have been carefully treated when acquired by Microsoft in recent years.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.