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Call Of Duty 2021, whatever its official title will be, is confirmed to tie into the progression and development of Call Of Duty: Warzone.
That statement could be interpreted in various ways, so let's roll it back. Yesterday, Activision held a call with its investors, wherein it appraised stakeholders and the general public of its performance across the fourth quarter of 2020, as well as its present and future plans for its intellectual properties. "Within Call of Duty, we have meaningfully expanded social connections and improved engagement through free-to-play experiences on mobile phones, computers and game consoles," said CEO Bobby Kotick, adding that the blueprint for Call Of Duty has been applied to the other eggs in Activision's basket. "These initiatives expanded franchise reach with over 250 million people playing Call of Duty last year, more than tripling the 70 million people who played Call of Duty in 2018."
Indeed, Call Of Duty generated over $3 billion in revenue in 2020, which contrasts with the news that redundancies would continue to occur owing to an outsourcing initiative for its teams external to the development process. In this latest investor call, Activision reiterated that the premium aspects of Call Of Duty are doing very well, with "full-year premium unit sales [growing] over 40% year over year, with a further strong shift to digital premium downloads." Furthermore, in-game net bookings across all platforms rose by 50% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, and a record number of Battle Passes have been bought for Black Ops Cold War Season 1.
The future is looking incredibly bright for Call Of Duty, which is unsurprising given the steadfastness of the series. Recent rumours claim that it's Sledgehammer Games at the helm of Call Of Duty 2021, and that checks out, following a massive surge of new hires at the studio over the last year. However, Kotick said that Warzone will be a "central" cog in the future of Call Of Duty, which would of course count Call Of Duty 2021 under this umbrella. Though not a lot is inferred from this statement, it may mean that Warzone is much more balanced due to its role as a foundation for the rest of Call Of Duty. The game's been plagued by hackers almost from the get-go, and undermining the experience in this way will be one of the first things that Activision would want to sort out.
In other news, Activision is contending with a copyright infringement suit which insinuates that Operator Mara is a copy of a writer's original character for his own feature film. "The Defendants' game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare infringes Haugen's copyrights in his Cade Janus character and his Cade Janus Photographs," read the legal documentation. Yikes. If that wasn't enough, Activision has rebuffed a report that claimed it wasn't interested in adopting diverse recruitment practices for its studios.
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