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Activision Blizzard has finally confirmed the long-gestating rumours that Call Of Duty is moving away from its traditional annual release schedule - although the alternative sounds more horrifying.
Earlier this week, Activision Blizzard announced that all of its US-based QA testers would become full-time employees. As part of this announcement, the company took the opportunity to highlight a major change in how it plans to handle future Call Of Duty games.
Before we move on, take a look at some of the best Call Of Duty wins and fails below:
"During the last two years, Call of Duty has expanded and evolved," the company said in its statement. "Our development cycles have gone from an annual release to an 'always on' model. In response to greater engagement, we’ve increased our live services business across all platforms."
It's been rumoured for a while now that Call Of Duty is ditching the annual release schedule that has plagued it for so long. For the last decade or so Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games have shared a three-year development cycle, each taking it in turns to release a game. Studios like Beenox, Raven Software, and Toys For Bob lend their support across all titles.
This grueling schedule has long been a point of contention, with many critics suggesting that churning out a new Call Of Duty game every year without fail maybe isn't the best move in regards to quality.
It's also been suggested - although not yet confirmed - that 2023 will be the first year without a brand-new Call Of Duty game. Instead, Activision is expected to focus on new modes for existing games and extended support for this year's instalment from Infinity Ward.
Here's the internal email that was sent to Blizzard employees: pic.twitter.com/Phm5byMafy— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) April 7, 2022
The wording of Activision's statement certainly seems to suggest that this is company's new approach, although "always on" couldn't sound more horrifying if it tried. This obviously feeds into the constant updates and new content that modern Call Of Duty games receive, and no doubt has something to do with the recent job listing that hints at a live service future for the franchise.
All in all, it sounds like Activision intends to ditch annual releases in favour of longer and more consistent support in between games. How much better that ends up being for the developers trapped in the Call Of Duty mines remains to be seen, but we should always stay frosty when a publisher mentions the words "live service".
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