Activision's new financial forecasts suggest something big is happening in 2023, and it could be another mainline Call of Duty game.
Reports say Call of Duty will break its annual release schedule for the first time in 19 years. Sources have told Bloomberg that Call of Duty will skip 2023 and move to a biennial cadence, returning in 2024 with a big new game. Activision is expected to release a standalone zombies live experience in 2023 to fill in the gap. Management says Call of Duty is moving towards an "always-on" structure.
However, new financial data from Activision-Blizzard may indicate otherwise. The company forecasts significant net revenue growth in 2023 to a new all-time record high of $4.688 billion, up nearly 18% over 2022's expected earnings.
Typically there's only one franchise that can spike Activision's earnings like this.
There's two things to keep in mind, though: 1) These forecasts could've been made before Activision reportedly adjusted its internal roadmap plans, and 2) it's still possible for Activision to make this kind of money even without a premium Call of Duty game.
By 2023, Activision is expected to have as many as five monetized live Call of Duty experiences on the market including:
- Warzone (2020)
- Warzone 2 (2022)
- Warzone Mobile
- Call of Duty Mobile
- Standalone Zombies
These games could be responsible for the heavy forecast jump.
This year's Call of Duty is expected to be Modern Warfare II accompanied by a new next-generation iteration of Warzone that's built with Infinity Ward's revamped game engine. Following that is the zombies game/mode, which may in fact turn into some sort of premium release.